Atopic dermatitis is a disease characterized by a red, painful, itchy, and swollen skin. It is usually caused by genes inherited from parents. The criteria for diagnosis include a personal or family history of asthma or hay fever (inhalant allergies), in addition to the appearance of rashes.
Atopic dermatitis commonly affects young children and infants, although it can occur at any age.
The common symptoms are as follows:
- The skin becomes dry, itchy and painful.
- Tiny blisters with clear fluid are formed.
- The blisters can burst and form scabs over a period
The specific site and appearance of rash may vary depending on the age of the patient.
- In infants, the rash appears on the face and the scalp. A child might rub their skin against carpet and sheets to scratch the itch and will have trouble sleeping.
- In children older than two years, the rash may appear behind knees, on elbow creases, neck, wrist, ankles or around the crease area between buttocks. It begins as an itchy red rash, which leads to thickening of the skin over a period. The thickened skin may form knots.
- In adults, the rash first appears on the face and the neck. The skin becomes dry with severe itching. It will cause scaly skin, which may lighten or darken over a period.
Atopic dermatitis treatment involves providing symptomatic relief to the patients and making lifestyle changes. Here are a few simple atopic dermatitis treatments:
- The initial rash can be controlled using barrier repair moisturizers and by refraining from scratching.
- Avoid external triggers, which can cause allergies. Avoid contact with wool or pollen.
- For oozing rashes and thickened skin, a bleach bath in lukewarm water for 10 minutes may help.
- Corticosteroids are used for severe atopic dermatitis treatment.
- Antihistamines drugs are effective in controlling the itchiness.
- Use of vitamin D supplements and probiotics are known to improve symptoms.
- UV light is used for atopic dermatitis treatment in case the patient is unresponsive to other drugs.
The goal of atopic dermatitis treatment is to relieve the pain and itching, prevent the development of secondary infections, and stop the skin from thickening.