What is Atopic Dermatitis?

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. Atopic Dermatitis is the most common form of Eczema and a condition shared amongst 18 million Americans. Though the exact cause of Atopic Dermatitis is unknown, researchers have correlated this condition to a combination of genetics, allergens, and environmental factors. Researchers have also found it is very common for people with Asthma and/or Hay Fever to develop Atopic Dermatitis.

This condition tends to form within the first six months of a baby’s life and is most common in children, though anyone can develop this form of Eczema at any point. It is usually long-lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically.

Apotheco Atopic Dermatitis - Baby's arm with Atopic Dermatitis

What are the symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis?

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis can include dry, itchy skin, red to brownish-gray patches, most commonly found on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp. Small, raised bumps may also appear and potentially leak fluid or crust over if irritated. All symptoms can worsen if agitated by itching and/or rubbing the infected area.

Atopic Dermatitis affects an estimated 10% of people worldwide at some point in their life.

While we know this condition can be passed down through genetics, it is not considered contagious and cannot be passed from person to person virally or through touch.

How can it be treated?

While there is no cure for Atopic Dermatitis, there are ways to self-treat the area to relieve itching and prevent future breakouts. Avoiding harsh soaps and reducing stress can also help decrease flare-ups, as well as using these most common treatments below.

  • Topical steroids – These creams and gels can help reduce inflammation and relieve itching.
  • TCI – TCI’s typically act on the immune system to help reduce skin inflammation.
  • PDE-4 Inhibitors – PDE4 enzymes help regulate inflammation in your body. With Atopic Dermatitis, this enzyme can become overactive causing the inflammation to show on your skin. These inhibitors help to regulate this enzyme and decrease the overactive inflammation.
  • Moisturizers – Moisturizers are typically used to help reduce dryness of the skin.

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