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Atopic Dermatitis - What Do You Know About It?

January 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema where the skin reacts easily and abnormally to environmental allergens, irritants and foods. It occurs mainly in children and is unlikely to occur in anyone over the age of 30. The skin becomes red flaky and itchy; and is more susceptible to bacterial infection.

This type of eczema can occur on any area of the body. However, the most commonly affected areas are the hands, feet, ankles, wrist, face, neck, and upper chest. It may also occur on the skin around the eyes and on the eyelids.

The symptoms of the skin condition may be made worse by superficial infection, dry skin, low humidity, dust, sand, and cigarette smoke and sweating. Other factors which may make atopic dermatitis worse are solvents, cleaners, detergents and wool fabrics. Long hot baths and showers may also make the condition worse.

The Symptoms of atopic dermatitis vary from mild to severe. It usually starts off as a red inflamed itchy rash that may quickly develop into raised painful bumps. These bumps may ooze and crust if scratched. In some persons the rash remains flat and may go on to develop a brownish discoloration. The itch becomes more intense at nights, and is made worse by scratching. When atopic dermatitis occurs around the eyes, scratching may cause loss of eyebrow hair and eye lashes.

There are many theories as to the causes of atopic eczema.

It is believed that some people have a genetic disposition to developing the condition. Researchers have found that the condition is more common in identical twins, than other family members. It is also felt that the condition is primarily triggered by contact with or ingestion of allergens. Other factors which affect the immune system such as stress and tiredness also play a part.

This type of eczema is commonly found in children with food allergies. The most common foods are peanuts, shellfish, fish, milk, wheat, soy, corn and eggs. Some persons develop atopic eczema when they eat food containing histamines. Histamines play a role in the allergic reaction process. Foods high in histamine are cheeses, sausages, tomatoes, spinach and eggplant. Fish and shellfish may also contain histamine.

The treatment of atopic dermatitis hinges around discovering what triggers allergic reactions and avoiding them. It has been observed that infants who breast feed for longer are less likely to suffer from atopic dermatitis. Avoiding the foods mentioned above may also be helpful.

Keeping the environment free of dust and pet furs is also helpful in preventing atopic dermatitis. Avoiding the use of irritating cleansers and detergents in the environment is also helpful. Avoid extremes of temperature, since both excessive heat and cold are know to trigger flare ups of atopic dermatitis.

Keep the skin moist by remaining hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

Avoid hot water baths, and apply moisturizer to the skin immediately after baths to help lock in moisture.

And if you want to find out more about atopic eczema, you can access my free e-course on controlling eczema at I have several years experience in helping people control eczema, and have gotten rid of my own eczema condition.

Source: EzineArticles
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