Atopic Dermatitis: Symptoms, Treatment & More

Rohit Kushwah

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects many people, and the incidence rate among children worldwide is 15-20 %, while about 1-3 % of adults are affected. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, dramatically affects a sufferer’s quality of life. 

In this blog, we will look at the different aspects of atopic dermatitis – what it is all about and what options you can explore for treatment.

What is Atopic Dermatitis? 

Atopic dermatitis, which most people call eczema, is a chronic skin disorder that causes itchy and inflamed dry skin. Although it is common in youngsters, a person can become affected at any age. Atopic dermatitis is a type of chronic skin disease that is long-lasting and usually has periods where symptoms flare up. Although the symptoms can sometimes be very irritating, it is essential to emphasize that atopic dermatitis is not contagious.

Atopic Dermatitis Causes

Atopic dermatitis has many causes. Genetic variation, one of the most critical causes, alters skin’s protective abilities. It means that the skin loses its ability to retain moisture and prevent external causes of damage, such as bacteria, irritants, or allergens. The skin also cannot protect itself against tobacco smoke in this condition.

Another problematic factor is an imbalance of bacteria on the skin (Skin microbiota). An excess of Staphylococcus Aureus, a microorganism, sometimes interferes with normal biological balance by taking up valuable space and nutrients from the body. Such disruption also weakens the skin’s protective barrier, contributing to the development of atopic dermatitis.

When the skin barrier doesn’t work well, harmful elements from the outside can get in. It can cause an immune reaction, leading to skin inflammation and other symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms

Common symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:

  • Itching: AD is an inflammatory skin disorder, with itching being a discomforting feature. Over 85% of all people with AD itch every day. Itching produces chafed or irritated skin and disturbed sleep.
  • Sore and Painful Skin: Long-term itching causes discomfort and sores all over the body, sometimes even leading to sleepless nights.
  • Rashes Anywhere on the Body: AD can appear in many body areas. Rashes are itchy and may ooze, discharge fluid, or bleed if scratched; the wounds can increase infection.
  • Thickening and Hardening of the Skin (Lichenification): The skin becomes thick and hardened with constant scratching.
  • Skin Discoloration: Individuals with darker skin tones may notice a change in the color of their skin around inflammation.

Atopic Dermatitis Treatment

Though there currently is no cure for atopic dermatitis, patient care approaches manage the symptoms, and many people experience improvement over time. In particular, children require less treatment as they age. Key treatments include:

  1. Emollients (Moisturizers): Emollients are important in preventing skin dryness, an essential condition for keeping atopic dermatitis from worsening.
  2. Topical Corticosteroids: During flare-ups, topical creams and ointments containing corticosteroids soothe swelling and redness.

Other treatment options include:

  • Topical Pimecrolimus or Tacrolimus: Used in non-responsive sensitive areas, these medicines control eczema.
  • Antihistamines: To relieve severe itching, antihistamines are often prescribed to reduce discomfort and promote sleep.
  • Bandages or Special Body Suits: They protect the skin, allowing it to heal itself.
  • Dermatologist Intervention: More potent treatments under a dermatologist’s direction may be recommended for severe cases.

Conclusion  

Atopic dermatitis is a common, chronic skin disease. Understanding atopic dermatitis causes, symptoms, and treatment options is essential for effective control. With this guide, those with atopic dermatitis can control symptoms better, leading to a more comfortable life by keeping up-to-date and working closely with healthcare professionals.

 

Rohit Kushwah
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