Atopic Dermatitis is a condition that causes itchy, inflamed skin. It typically affects the insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, and the face, but can cover most of the body. Atopic dermatitis falls into a category of diseases called atopic, a term originally used to describe the allergic conditions asthma and hay fever. People who live in urban areas and in climates with low humidity seem to be at an increased risk for developing atopic dermatitis.
The atopic dermatitis symptoms vary with each person. However, the one common denominator is that everyone with atopic dermatitis itches considerably. There is a itch cycle called, 'the itch-scratch cycle'. The constant itching brings on constant itching with the need to scratch which only makes the atopic dermatitis worse. Other symptoms are that the skin is dry and sometimes cracks and has a red rash appearance after scratching. The atopic dermatitis can appear any where on the body that has contact with an irritating substance.
most unusual is that Atopic dermatitis may the eyelids, eye brows and the skin in the eye socket area. The swelling of the eyelid area can have the appearance of an extra fold of skin or appear to 'look fatty'. Some people may have the appearance of dark eye make-up on their eye lids due the the darkened effect of the inflammation.
Other symptoms of atopic dermatitis include a reddened face with paleness around the mouth, darkened circles under the eyes, and additional lines on the palms of the hands.The appearance of the rash may be very different from one person to another. Scratch marks are often seen, along with scaly dry skin. The skin may become infected and show yellow crusts or little, pinpoint, pus-containing bumps. The skin also may become thickened from long-term scratching and rubbing.
During the child's early years, the locations of atopic dermatitis are found most often on the wrists, behind the knees, hands, ankles and on the sides of the neck. Often the atopic dermatitis symptoms starts as a small irritated skin rash, but when scratched due to itching, the area begins to have elevated lesions or papules. Dermatitis-Ltd III will soothe and reduce atopic dermatitis
The atopic dermatitis symptoms can fade for a while before it returns in several months or several years. Or it may disappear forever. Sometimes in children the atopic dermatitis condition reappears later when girls began to use irritating cosmetics or harsh soaps to remove the cosmetics. And often teenage boys and girls have stress that is partially the cause of atopic dermatitis.
In adults, there also seems to be a trend just as in young children and teenagers. The area affected with atopic dermatitis varies from person to person and the location of the affected area can be at any place in the body that varies with each person ranging from the hands and feet that become dry and red while also having itchy cracked areas that may become infected. Adult normally have atopic dermatitis caused by substances that their skin becomes irritated by the use or with the simple contact of the substance. Some areas such as atopic dermatitis of the nipples or vulva can be embarrassing but needs to be treated.
Common trigger factors include:
- Dry skin - As the skin become dry, it does not performs as well as the 'natural barrier' to keep out bacteria, virus or fungi. A dried out skin is not functional in providing the protection needed. When the skin is 'dry' it becomes more porous to allow any type of invader to penetrate instead of 'rolling off'. Keeping the skin moist by drinking plenty of water, natural juices and possibly some moisturizers such as Jojoba Oil or Safflower Oil will help to protect from atopic dermatitis or bacterial, viral or fungal invasions. Obviously more dry skin occurs during the winter when homes are heated and the humidity is low outside as well as inside of our heated homes. Likewise, we pick up more bacterial, viral and fungal infections during the winters when our respiratory system has less water to keep our system functioning properly so drink up with plenty of water. The smallest person needs a minimum of 8 glasses if they are 90 pounds. Most of us need much more that are 150 pounds or 200 pounds.
- Irritants are any of the substances outside the body that can cause burning, redness, itching or dryness of the skin.
- Emotional stress comes from many situations. People with Atopic dermatitis often react to stress by having red flushing and itching.
- Hot temperatures and overactive sweat glands causes atopic dermatitis as the skin become irritated from both the heat and their own sweating. These occurrences can respond to the heat itself or from heavy exercise or from both the heat and exercise.
Avoiding trigger factors:
- Try to skin your skin healthy by keeping the skin barrier strong. Keep the skin barrier intact with a good moisturizer such as Jojoba Oil or Safflower Oil.
- Try to always wear comfortable clothes that allows air or 'breathes'. It is always helpful to avoid wools, or synthetic or course fabrics or stiff material.
- If the heat causes itching and sweating, then try to find a location to stay cooler.
- Stay cooler by exercising in the early mornings when it is cool outside.
- Wear clothing that can be taken off or added easily with the temperature changes called "layering of clothes". clothing and adjust to temperature changes.
- Try to keep rooms at a good comfortable temperature instead of making the room too hot.
- Use a light 100% cotton sleep wear instead of irritating clothing to sleep in.
- After exposure to pollen, sweating or any other irritant, take a comfortable or cool shower or bath.
- When your skin becomes red and inflamed, take action early to have the infection treated by either you or your personal doctor.
- Food allergies may cause the onset of itching and scratching. If you are unaware of any food allergies. Here are some signs to look out for: hives (around the face or other parts of the body) or facial swelling.
- If you have pets in your house pet dander can also lead to scratching and itching. Best way to control this is by cleaning all your rugs, furniture, bedding and so on. Also Bathing the animal often can reduce the amount of dander they leave behind.
Materials that causes irritation to the skin are known as irritants. Some of the most common irritants are those that we come into contact with that are common within our home or work. We get so used to using them that often we forget and find that our skin has become irritated from the frequent use. The skin shows 'irritation' with symptoms of redden skin, tingling or burning, and the normal 'itchy feeling' that we know so well. The most common irritants are home detergents, bleaches, fabrics made of wool, foods with a low pH that are acid in nature. There are many others that you can find by looking and thinking of the substances that you come into contact with most frequently. Obviously the stronger irritants are gasoline from filling your car tank that is harsh on the hands as well as on our lungs.
Allergens are more difficult to detect as there is not as much of an 'instant reaction' but they build up with more exposure. Examples would be pollen exposure, we think a small amount of pollen is beautiful, but when it falls heavily enough from the trees for day, it becomes 'pollen pollution' and has more of an irritant with an 'instant reaction' as we have inhaled enough for several days already, that the respiratory system and sinus cavity reacts along with the epidermis. Allergens can come from many sources such as outside animals such as horses cats and some dogs.
There are so many types of foods that people are allergic to, so it is very difficult to make a list as they vary by the various people and the exposure time. Often it is not the food that we have just eaten, but the food that went through our digestive system one to three hours prior. So identification of the food is difficult for many with food allergies. Try to keep a diary of the reaction time after consuming a list of foods, by hour consumed. Often the patient will realize that it was not the food consumed but the drink such as a soft drink or wine or beer that may have caused the reaction as they are more acidic than the more natural foods of fish, chicken, etc.
The skin of a person with atopic dermatitis loses too much moisture from the epidermal layer, allowing the skin to become very dry and reducing its protective abilities. In addition, the patient’s skin is very susceptible to recurring infections, such as staphylococcal and streptococcal bacterial skin infections and warts, herpes simplex, and molluscum contagiosum (skin disorders caused by a virus).
There are many symptoms that fit various types of people. The variety of symptoms are varied so it is imposable to easily diagnose the various symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Simply said, 'atopic dermatitis' is inflammation of the topical layer of dermis or of the skin'. Diagnosing atopic dermatitis is most commonly completed by reviewing the area of the body that the atopic dermatitis has inflamed and thinking of the possible agents, substances or stimulus that could have caused the irritation.