Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema that affects children more than adults. The skin condition is very common and affects males and females at about the same rate. Although atopic dermatitis may occur at any age, it most often begins in infancy and childhood.
The skin condition is caused by the exposure of the skin to harsh or wet conditions. Atopic dermatitis is a common cause of workplace disability. Those living in dry climates are at greater risk of atopic dermatitis.
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis are skin rashes, swelling, severe redness, extreme itching and crusted or weeping cracks in the skin. As you age, the symptoms lessen with and disappear by adulthood.
The location of atopic dermatitis throughout the body varies from person to person. Children who have this type of eczema exhibit symptoms on the cheeks and chin. In the severe cases, a child may look like he has a beard. In young patients, atopic dermatitis can occur on the scalp.
In adults, there are facial symptoms but the condition can also develop patches of itchy, dry, swollen skin on the insides of their elbows and knees, as well as on their hands.
There are several approaches for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Antihistamines and antibiotics are used to reduce itching and redness associated with atopic dermatitis. Corticosteroids can be of help to reduce inflammation and itching in most patients. Light therapy and calcineurin inhibitors are other methods that help reduce and prevent redness and itching associated with atopic dermatitis. In every treatment approach, preventative care at home is an important part of the process.
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