Atopic Dermatitis

The most common form of atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema is an itchy skin rash that can form anywhere on the body. This chronic condition often starts in childhood but can also start in adults. AD often appears within the first six months of life. Symptoms can improve as children grow, or symptoms can continue throughout life with occasional flares. You are at higher risk for developing atopic dermatitis if you or a family member has hay fever or asthma.

At the Mount Sinai Health System’s Center for Excellence in Eczema, our world-class physician-scientists lead the way in patient care as well as in atopic dermatitis research and publications, developing novel therapies to treat atopic dermatitis in patients of all ages and with all skin types. When standard treatments aren’t enough, our highly skilled specialists draw on advanced therapies and clinical trials to achieve life-changing outcomes for our patients.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis

In atopic dermatitis, the immune system becomes overactive, causing inflammation that harms the skin, creating flaky, red rashes. Some individuals with AD also have a genetic mutation that compromises the body’s ability to maintain a healthy barrier on the epidermis (the top layer of skin), allowing moisture to escape and bacteria to enter.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis can cause extreme itching that disrupts sleep and daily life. In addition, people with AD may experience the following symptoms, which may range from mild to severe:

  • Dry skin and/or areas of bumpy skin
  • Blisters with crusting and oozing
  • Color changes, such as redness in people with lighter skin tones, and brown, purple, or gray patches in people with darker skin tones
  • Leathery or thick areas of skin

Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis

Understanding the daily challenges atopic dermatitis can cause, Mount Sinai’s Center for Excellence in Eczema is committed to advancing the treatments that will give our patients their lives back. Our world class physician-scientists lead the way in atopic dermatitis clinical care, as well as research and publications, developing novel therapies to treat atopic dermatitis in patients of all ages and with all skin types. Our team works tirelessly to translate discoveries from the lab into new treatment options for our patients.

Mount Sinai’s dermatologists provide the full range of evaluations (such as skin allergy testing or “patch tests”) and eczema treatments. The care we offer includes advanced therapies only accessible through clinical trials, many of which are uniquely available only at Mount Sinai. In addition to helping you adopt lifestyle habits that will reduce your eczema triggers (from the right bathing routines to avoiding irritants), we provide the following assessments and treatments:

  • Patch tests to determine allergens that may induce or exacerbate eczema
  • Phototherapy (Light therapy)
  • Biologics
  • Oral medications
  • Topical medications

Our goal at Mount Sinai is to personalize the right treatment plan for each patient to provide relief from symptoms and achieving clear to almost-clear skin.