Atopic dermatitis

Infantile eczema; Dermatitis - atopic; Eczema

Atopic dermatitis is a long-term (chronic) skin disorder that involves scaly and itchy rashes. It is a type of eczema.

Other forms of eczema include:

Keratosis pilaris - close-up

Keratosis pilaris is seen most commonly during childhood and presents as small, rough, raised lesions that are called papules. These papules are described as spiny and keratotic and are typically skin colored. The papules are usually found on the outer surface of the upper arms and thighs, although it may occur elsewhere on the body. The roughness is accentuated by dry skin and the condition is often worse in the winter. It tends to be inherited and may be associated with atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis

The term dermatitis describes an inflammatory response of the skin, caused by contact with allergens or irritants, exposure to sunlight, or by poor circulation, even stress. An example of atopic dermatitis is eczema, an itchy rash that produces redness, blisters and scaling. AVOID SCRATCHING. Scratching the rash may spread the inflammation, lead to infection and even leave scars.

Atopy on the ankles

Atopic dermatitis occurs in individuals with tendencies towards allergies and who seem to have very sensitive skin. The persistent itching often encourages scratching, causing the skin to become raw or leathery. Here, the ankles and feet are affected.

Dermatitis - atopic in an infant

Atopic dermatitis is quite often seen on the cheeks of infants. It consists of red, scaling plaques that are diffusely scattered over the infant's body and face.

Eczema, atopic - close-up

This view shows the red, scaly patches called plaques that are characteristic of atopic dermatitis.

Dermatitis - atopic on a young girl's face

Lupus erythematosus often produces what is often called a butterfly rash or malar rash, seen here on a young girl's face. This is the characteristic appearance of the butterfly rash.

Keratosis pilaris on the cheek

Keratosis pilaris occurs most commonly during childhood and produces small, rough spots, called papules, that are typically the same color as the skin. They usually appear over the outer surface of the upper arms and thighs, but may also occur elsewhere on the body. Dry skin, especially during winter months, makes the condition worse. Keratosis pilaris tends to be inherited and may be associated with atopic dermatitis.

Dermatitis - atopic on the legs

These red, scaly plaques on the legs are caused by an inherited allergic condition called atopic dermatitis. Many of these areas have been scratched until they are raw and infected, with the infection triggering and perpetuating the problem. In adults, atopic dermatitis frequently involves the body creases, such as inside the elbows and behind the knees.

Hyperlinearity in atopic dermatitis

People with atopic dermatitis frequently have hyperlinearity, which is a thickening of the skin on the palms and soles with an increase in the number of lines in the skin. This characteristic is closely associated with genetic predisposition.

Your skin used to be soft and smooth, but now it's itchy and scaly. It's gotten so bad that you're wearing long sleeves every time you go out, even in the summer. There's a chance you could have eczema, and if you do, there are treatments to smooth out your skin and get you back into t-shirts again. Eczema is like an allergic reaction on your skin. Instead of your eyes watering or your nose running, your skin swells up in response to an allergy trigger. A lot of people who have eczema also have allergies to pollen, mold, animal fur, dust, or sensitivities to products they use around the house. It could be that the detergent you're using or the perfume you're wearing is leaving its mark on your skin. To know if you have eczema, when you look at your skin, you'll see redness, dryness and maybe swelling, and blisters that may ooze or crust over. In babies and young kids, you'll see these sores mainly on the face, scalp, hands, and feet. In older kids and adults, the spots are typically on the insides of the knees and elbows, as well as on the neck, hands, and feet. But really, if you're having a bad eczema flare-up, you might see red patches on any part of your body. Eczema patches get so itchy that you'll probably be tempted to scratch at them. After a lot of scratching, they'll get red, thick, and irritated. Your doctor should be able to tell that you have eczema just by looking at your skin. If allergies are causing your eczema, you may need allergy tests to find out just what's setting off your skin reaction. To treat Eczema, you can apply creams or lotions to soothe and moisturize your skin. Just pick a product that's free from dyes and scents, which could irritate your skin even more. Your doctor can also prescribe a steroid cream or ointment to relieve the swelling. Medicines called antihistamines can calm the reaction that's causing your eczema and relieve the itchiness. There are a number of other eczema treatments if these don't work for you. Eczema is a chronic condition. Although kids usually outgrow it by age 5 or 6, most adults tend to get stuck with it for a long time. When you've got an eczema flare-up it will be itchy, but try not to scratch. You could give yourself an infection, or leave your skin permanently scarred. Instead, keep your skin moisturized and avoid whatever trigger is causing your eczema.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention