Atopic dermatitis, also termed as atopic eczema is a kind of skin inflammation which results in redness of skin, itchy skin and cracked skin. A clear fluid will come out from these areas that are affected which will later end up making the skin thicker. These symptoms usually seen during childhood and will become severe with time. For children less than a year old, most of the body is affected whereas for elderly children back of the knees and front of the elbow is the most commonly affected parts. Scratching worsens the symptoms and might also lead to skin infections.
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The cause is yet unknown but genetics also play a role here. Other than whichenvironmental exposures, immune system dysfunction, also play their part. If an identical twin gets affected there is an 85% chance that the other twin will also get the disease. This infection is not contagious but can worsen with exposure to certain chemicals or also frequent hand wash from hard water. Emotional stress too plays its role in making the symptoms worse.
Diagnosing atopic dermatitis is fairly simple because it can be done through inspection and does not require any special testing.
- Moisturisers have to be applied on a daily basis to prevent the skin from drying out and causing roughness.
- Changes in the diet of a person have to be made with regards to the symptoms and though the role of vitamin D isn’t clear yet, research has shown that vitamin D plays a very important role in reducing the symptoms that are associated with Atopic Dermatitis.
There is also extensive research happening on the role of long chain poly unsaturated fatty acids being used in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis.
- Modern medicine too has a lot of treatments prescribed for the treatment of this particular disorder which mainly involve the use of steroids like corticosteroids. There are also other inhibitors that can be used instead of corticosteroids, however these are avoided because they have the tendency to cause skin cancer or lymphoma.Topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone are effective in managing Atopic dermatitis.
- In some cases, Ultraviolet rays can be used to reduce the impact of Atopic Dermatitis because it can target a localised body of cells and reduce the severity of the infection.
Since a long time, diseases like Atopic dermatitis have become very common. It now affects around most of the young children around the world and also about a small fraction of adults. Over almost 15 million people in America are victims of this infection.