Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a group of skin conditions characterized by red, itchy rashes. It's common in children but can occur at any age.
The exact reason for the cause of eczema is not known but it is associated with overactive response of the body’s immune system. Common causes are as follows:
Weakened or abnormally working immune system
Other health conditions such as hay fever and asthma
Dry skin or other skin conditions such as psoriasis
Disorders of veins such as weakened veins
Change in genes
Damp hands and feet
Allergies to chemicals, metals or certain substances
Hair dressing, laundry, or dry cleaning where your skin in constantly exposed to irritants
Dry, cracked, scaly skin
Itching, which may be intense
Change in color where skin rashes appear
Thickened skin where rashes appear
Fluid filled blisters
Diagnosis involves physical examination and tests to rule out other conditions.
Physical examination: Physical examination of the skin.
Allergy skin test: Allergy test to check for allergies that cause symptoms.
Skin biopsy: Skin biopsy may be recommended in some cases.
Treatment involves medication, application of topical creams.
Antihistamines: Helps to control itching.
Corticosteroid: Corticosteroid oral drugs, cream or ointment to reduce swelling and itch.
Calcineurin inhibitors: Helps to control immune response causing symptoms.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics to treat skin infections
Topical immunomodulators: Helps to prevent flare-ups
Light therapy: Light therapy by exposing the skin to mild sunlight or ultraviolet light to treat rashes