Atopic dermatitis, sometimes referred to as eczema, is a condition that leaves a red, scaly rash when the skin comes into contact with an allergen. It can present in many forms, anywhere on the body, and is one of the most common skin conditions we treat at Dermgroup NYC. As much as 20% of the population experiences bouts of atopic dermatitis at some point in their life. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious and can be induced by genetic predisposition, environmental factors, or even stress.
For many, atopic dermatitis first appears early in life, often as a baby or young child, and can be diagnosed and treated at almost any age. It presents itself differently in each patient with various symptoms depending on the severity and location of your flare-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis?
Common symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Red, inflamed skin
- Irritation and itching
- Areas of severe inflammation
- Rough leathery patches of skin
What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?
While medical professionals still don’t exactly know what causes atopic dermatitis to appear, it is generally linked to a family history of the condition, stress, and exposure to certain allergens or irritants. Triggers may also include pollen, pet dander, peanuts, dry skin, and infections, to name a few. Interestingly, those who experience atopic dermatitis during childhood often go on to develop asthma or hay fever in adolescence or adulthood. Researchers are still working to understand this link between atopic dermatitis and other conditions.
How Is Atopic Dermatitis Treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, but there are many ways to treat it. The most critical element of the treatment plan is stress management to help avoid triggers, allergens, and to prevent flare-ups before they appear.
Ways to improve your atopic dermatitis include:
- Bathing daily
- Using a moisturizer with a high oil content within 3 minutes of bathing to lock in moisture
- Avoiding hot showers and using lukewarm water instead
- Not scrubbing the skin, and washing gently
- Using soap-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free cleansers
- Over-the-counter medications
- Topical creams and ointments
- Phototherapy (the use of condensed rays of light to mitigate the appearance and discomfort of eczema)
- Avoiding exposure by identifying your triggers
For more information on atopic dermatitis or to request an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (212) 673-5633.