Atopic Dermatitis – Causes and Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is a common disorder of the skin that is long lasting and affects a large population. This is a form of eczema and occurs like a skin allergy and the common characteristics include rashes and itching. Dermatitis is the inflammation of the skin and atopic means those diseases that run in families. The skin becomes very dry and itchy which results in a typical rash.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known and is a subject of research. There are three factors that are interlinked with each other as there is an interaction between the immune system, environment and genetics. People with this condition have a sensitive immune system that reacts to number of irritants and allergens. Itching and rash can be triggered by a number of factors. They include:

  • Exposure to allergens like molds, pollen and dust mites.
  • Exposure to irritants like fumes and chemicals at work place.
  • Winter season and low humidity can cause dryness of the skin and lead to itching
  • Exposure to certain foods like peanuts, eggs, soy and wheat products.
  • Nearly 40% of children suffering form this disorder have some type of food allergy.
  • Emotional Stress also can lead to itching.
  • Excessive washing dries the top most layer of the skin which results in a drier skin.

Signs and Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis
The signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:

  • Raw, sensitive skin from scratching
  • Thickened, cracked or scaly skin
  • Small, raised bumps that can leak fluid and gets crusted
  • Itching which is very severe in the night
  • Red or brownish colored patches

Though the patches can occur any where in the body, but mostly it occurs in the hands and feet. It can also affect the skin, eyes and your eyelids

Other Factors that can complicate the signs and symptoms include:

  • Extremely dry skin
  • Rapid changes in the temperature
  • Sweating
  • Long hot baths or showers
  • Cigarette smoke

When to consult your Doctor
Consult your doctor if:

  • Skin is painful
  • Skin gets infected
  • Disturbed sleep due to itchy skin

If you suspect these signs and symptoms, then consult your doctor immediately.

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