What is Atopic Eczema?

By: Dzhingarov

People living with atopic eczema often suffer from dry, itchy skin all over their bodies. Additionally, red rashes that ooze or are thick or scaly may also develop; scratching can spread this condition further and cause infections and scarring from scratching.

Antifungals or antibiotics may also be necessary in treating infections, and injectable dupilumab (Dupixent) could provide immediate relief.


Atopic dermatitis’ exact cause remains unclear, but it generally results from when your skin barrier breaks down and allows dirt, dust and allergens into your system, leading to irritation, itching and inflammation of your skin. You become more sensitive to allergens like detergents, soaps, cold weather showers or hot showers, sweating stress or friction caused by tight clothing such as wool. This leads to itching which in some cases leads to infection from yeast (thrush), bacteria or viruses, impacting both sleep quality as well as heart rate/blood pressure regulation.

Researchers recognize that eczema runs in families. People afflicted may also have other health conditions like asthma and hay fever; additionally it can also trigger more serious ailments, like a strep throat infection.

Atopic eczema can appear anywhere on the body, though it’s most prevalent in areas that bend such as knees, elbows and hands. Eyelids may also become affected as well. When inflammation strikes it can result in cracks that lead to cracked, scaly and oozing skin; its color range includes red, brown, purple or gray and can even thicken on darker skin types.

No cure exists for atopic eczema, but treatments can alleviate its symptoms. Keep your child’s skin moist by using lotions and creams several times daily after bathing or showering; use ointments containing ceramides (an ingredient which restores protective barriers on skin); keep fingernails short to reduce scratching which damages skin; use a humidifier in your home but do not overheat as this could promote dust mite growth; avoid scratching as this damages skin surface; use humidifiers should not over-heated as this can encourage dust mite proliferation; keep fingernails short so as not to damage skin by scratching as damage; use humidifiers should not over-heat, as this could promote dust mite growth – just one more precautionary measure against dust mite infestation!

Contact your physician if you notice sudden rashes, itching that won’t go away or other signs of infection. They will ask about both your medical history and that of your child; keep a food diary to see which foods cause allergic reactions; conduct skin scrapings or allergy tests as necessary;


Atopic eczema typically manifests with red, itchy skin that may be scaly or blistered and feel rough and irritated, often itching non-stop when scratched; sometimes this leads to broken skin allowing bacteria or yeast infections (fungus) to invade; there may also be periods when flares improve before becoming worse – these periods are called exacerbations or relapses.

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No cure exists for eczema; however there are ways to manage its symptoms. Your doctor can give you a prescription for ointments, creams and lotions that should be applied 2 or 3 times each day – these products should be free from perfumes, dyes and chemicals that could exacerbate symptoms. Adding humidity into the home using humidifiers could also help. It’s also essential that both yourself and your child don’t overheat, as overheated bodies may trigger flare ups of their condition; wear loose cotton clothing as this allows maximum sweating reduction while trying to limit sweating as much as possible.

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and collect your medical history, asking about any allergies you or your child have as well as whether anyone in the family has ever suffered from atopic dermatitis. They may perform skin scraping to detect infections as well as determine the type of eczema present.

There are various types of atopic dermatitis, including hand eczema affecting only your palms and soles of feet; contact dermatitis which causes irritation from certain substances; dyshidrotic eczema which often manifests with blisters; neurodermatitis which creates itchy patches in folds such as elbows, knees or wrists – the symptoms for each type may differ depending on who it strikes;

Researchers understand that atopic dermatitis arises from both genetic and environmental influences. Children whose parents had it are more likely to inherit it themselves. People living with the condition also seem to possess an impaired barrier skin system which allows moisture out, leaving it dry.


Treatment goals should include relieving inflammation, itching and other symptoms while preventing infections. Finding an eczema regimen tailored specifically for your child may take some time – different forms respond differently – but the condition itself is noncontagious and often runs in families suggesting genetic connections.

Main treatments for skin allergies include medication that relieve itching and calm the skin. You should also avoid allergens that exacerbate symptoms, and eating less dairy and gluten (proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale) can be helpful. Wet dressings provide another topical corticosteroid option. They involve applying an ointment directly onto affected areas and then sealing it in with dry gauze or cotton; typically used by hospitals for widespread lesions; however health care providers can teach their patients how to do it at home.

Our doctors can prescribe an array of oral and injectable medications. Oral steroids can quickly relieve inflammation but should be used with caution due to potential side effects including increased blood pressure, gastrointestinal distress, decreased bone density and weight gain. Two recently FDA-approved injectable biologic treatments dupilumab (Dupixent) and tralokinumab (Adalimumab) provide effective solutions for moderate to severe cases of atopic dermatitis when other approaches don’t work effectively.

As part of our recommendations, it is also advised that both you and your child wear clothing which allows the skin to breathe and stay moisturized in hot weather. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water and shortening fingernails so as to not scratch at itchy patches is also advised. Stress can exacerbate symptoms, so we advise finding ways to cope with it such as exercising, deep breathing or speaking to a counselor. In addition, we can assist you or your child in keeping a food diary to identify which foods could trigger symptoms. An allergist/immunologist can also conduct an allergy test to identify whether you have allergies to things such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander or mold that might exacerbate eczema symptoms. He/she can then suggest appropriate allergy treatment plans if required.

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Atopic eczema is a long-term (chronic) skin condition caused by impaired skin barrier function and immune-system issues, typically beginning in early infancy but also impacting people of all ages, including adults. The condition may begin in infancy but can continue to plague adults later on as it’s often triggered by certain irritants or allergens such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, cold and dry weather conditions, high fat or sugar foods (especially food allergens from animals/plants/animals), medications/chemicals as well as food allergies such as eggs/cow’s milk allergies – however symptoms can usually be controlled or prevented or at least managed.

For optimal treatment of any skin rashes, using creams containing steroids such as hydrocortisone or calcipotriene may be the answer. You’ll find them available in most pharmacies; these creams can reduce itching, redness and swelling as well as helping repair skin tissues themselves. It is important to moisturize affected areas at least twice per day and to refrain from scratching the rash as this will only aggravate it further; infected rashes may require medication immediately – speak to a doctor immediately if such happens!

Other potential causes for an outbreak may include:

Irritants — these include soaps, detergents, harsh or perfumed soaps and bath products as well as clothing or bedding made of wool or polyester that irritate. Extreme temperatures- too hot or too cold- and stress can also aggravate atopic eczema symptoms; keeping fingernails short to minimize itching damage as well as prevent further flare-ups by rubbing.

There is evidence to suggest that atopic dermatitis increases your risk of other chronic conditions, like asthma and hay fever, later on. This may be because it exposes young bodies to allergens when their immune systems are more vulnerable.

Researchers still aren’t sure of the cause of atopic dermatitis, though there are numerous theories as to its source. One theory suggests it could be caused by genetic variations that reduce skin barrier function; another postulates that people with one or both parents who have it are more likely to inherit it themselves.