Atopic dermatitis is eczema that appears on the skin causing redness and itching. It is a chronic disorder and, although it most often appears at an early age, atopic dermatitis can appear at any time.
Atopic dermatitis is a long-lasting disorder, and although symptoms can be kept under control with treatment, it tends to flare up periodically. There is no cure and it can manifest with asthma or allergic rhinitis.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis depend on the person, although it usually manifests as dry skin with red or grayish welts, especially on the hands, wrists, neck, chest, eyelids, ankles and inner elbows and knees. Especially in infants it is very frequent to appear on the face or scalp.
Occasionally the redness may be accompanied by fluid-filled bumps or blisters, crusts, scaly, cracked or raw skin when scratched.
How to treat atopic dermatitis
Treatments for dermatitis usually involve trying different medications to control flare-ups and reduce symptoms, although it can be a trial and error for months.
The first advice to follow is to keep the skin moisturized, and if that is not enough, the doctor will prescribe creams to control itching and help repair the skin and oral medications to control infection and inflammation.
When medications are not enough we may have to resort to other therapies such as wet bandages, which consists of wrapping the affected area with topical corticosteroids and wet bandages, phototherapy, which consists of exposing the skin to a controlled amount of natural sunlight, or psychological and relaxation counseling to avoid making the dermatitis worse, especially when we scratch.