Atopic Dermatitis is an Allergic Condition that Causes Swelling of the Skin

Atopic Dermatitis is an Allergic Condition that Causes Swelling of the Skin

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Atopic Dermatitis
Did you know? “Atopic refers to a tendency to develop allergy conditions and dermatitis means swelling of the skin.” (National Institutes of Health, Atopic Dermatitis, 09/2009) “Atopic dermatitis (commonly known as eczema) is an inherited, chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually appears in early childhood. Patches of skin become red, scaly and itchy. Sometimes, tiny blisters containing clear fluid can form and the affected areas of the skin can weep. Weeping is a sign that the dermatitis has become infected.” (Better Health Channel, Atopic Dermatitis, 01/29/2014)
“The cause of atopic dermatitis is poorly understood and is the subject of active research. It affects the ability of your skin to hold moisture. Research shows that it develops as a result of interaction between the environment, your immune system and genetics. People with this condition are more prone to react to numerous irritants and allergens.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Most people who have atopic dermatitis have a personal or family history of allergic conditions, such as hay fever and asthma. The inflammation of the skin that causes the atopic dermatitis rash is considered a type of allergic response. Research has shown that even the unaffected skin of people with atopic dermatitis does not hold water as well as it should.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Eczema can vary in severity and symptoms may flare up or subside from day to day. The physical effects of eczema can include dryness of the skin, red and scaly areas on the front of the elbows and the back of the knees, watery fluid weeping from affected skin, itchiness and lesions that may become infected by bacteria or viruses.” (Better Health Channel, Atopic Dermatitis, 01/29/2014)
“The main symptom of atopic dermatitis is itching. The itching can be severe and persistent, especially at night. Scratching the affected area of skin usually causes a rash. The rash is red and patchy and may be chronic or recurring. The rash may develop sores that are filled with fluid, be scaly and dry, red and itchy or become tough and thick from constant scratching.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Treatment works best when the patient, family members and doctor work together. Treatment plans are based on age, symptoms, and general health. Although there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, it can be controlled with preventive measures and medicines. Treatment helps stop the rash from recurring and controls itching. You can generally bring the rash and itching under control within three weeks of a flare.

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Specific treatment depends on the type of rash you have. Typically, a combination of corticosteroid medicines and moisturizers is used.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“You may need medicine to heal your rash and reduce itching. Some of these medicines include topical corticosteroids and antihistamines. The topical corticosteroids are the most common and effective treatment for atopic dermatitis. They are used until the rash clears and may be used to prevent atopic dermatitis flares. Antihistamines are often used to treat itching and to help you sleep when severe night itching is a problem, but histamines are not always involved in atopic dermatitis itching, so these medicines may not help all people who have the condition.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Other treatment for atopic dermatitis includes light therapy and complementary therapies. Severe atopic dermatitis may be treated by exposing affected skin to ultraviolet light. There are two types of ultraviolet light, ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. Excessive sun exposure and light treatment (such as with UVA or UVB treatments) increases your risk of skin cancer.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Complementary or alternative treatments may be helpful for treating atopic dermatitis. Some small studies showed benefit from these treatments, but there is not clear scientific evidence to show that they help. Examples of complementary and alternative treatments for atopic dermatitis include dietary supplements of essential fatty acids and creams that are put on the skin that contain vitamin B12.” (WebMD, Atopic Dermatitis, 04/30/2010)
“Irritants and allergens can make atopic dermatitis worse. Irritants are things that may cause the skin to be red and itchy or to burn. They include wool or manmade fibers, soaps and cleaners, some perfumes and makeup, substances such as chlorine, mineral, oil or solvents, dust or sand and cigarette smoke. Allergens are allergy causing substances from foods, plants, animals, or the air. Common allergens are eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, soy products and wheat, dust mites, mold, pollen, and dog or cat dander.” (National Institutes of Health, Atopic Dermatitis, 09/2009)
“Stress, anger, and frustration can make atopic dermatitis worse, but they haven’t been shown to cause it. Skin infections, temperature, and climate can also lead to skin flares. Other things that can lead to flares are not using enough lubricants after a bath, low humidity in winter, dry year-round climate, long or hot baths and showers, going from sweating to being chilled and bacterial infections.” (National Institutes of Health, Atopic Dermatitis, 09/2009)

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Atopic Dermatitis, WebMD, (04/30/2010) retrieved from:
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Atopic Dermatitis, WebMD, (04/30/2010) retrieved from:
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Atopic Dermatitis, WebMD, (04/30/2010) retrieved from:
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Atopic Dermatitis, Better Health Channel, (01/29/2014) retrieved from:
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Atopic Dermatitis, National Institutes of Health, (09/2009) retrieved from:
Retrieved on: 02/03/2014

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