Atopic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of eczema on dry skin, which produces itching. The Dra. Bahillo, expert in Dermatology, exposes the symptoms and treatments indicated for each type of atopic skin.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease of the skin , in which there is an alteration in its barrier, which makes it drier and tends to present eczemas that appear in the form of outbreaks.
Causes of atopic dermatitis and its affectation in Spain
The basis of atopic dermatitis is determined by an immune disorder, which is why it is very frequently associated with other immune disorders, such as respiratory allergies. It is what we know as "atopic march". In addition, there is a clear genetic influence, appearing in several siblings or when parents have a history of atopy or respiratory allergies.
It is a very frequent problem, which occurs around more than one in ten children and adolescents and a minimum percentage of adults. The prevalence varies a lot between some countries and others.
Most often, atopic skin appears in childhood , often in the first days of life. The later appearance is not so frequent.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis
Atopic skin is characterized by the appearance of eczema, inflammatory plaques, with redness, desquamative and itching. Depending on the age, the eczemas are located in one area or another. In infants, its appearance is frequent at the level of the cheeks and trunk, while in infancy these plaques are located more in the elbows, knees and neck.. In adulthood its manifestation is frequent as eczema of hands and feet.
Other symptoms of atopic dermatitis, apart from the appearance of eczema, is pityriasis alba that appears as white spots, often on the cheeks or keratosis pilaris, which manifests as granites on the outer side of the arms.
How to treat atopic dermatitis
The treatment of the outbreaks is done mainly with corticosteroid creams. The potency and formulation of the corticosteroid will be decided according to the type of eczema and location where it is presented.. In more extensive cases it may be necessary to use oral corticosteroids. Only some patients with very frequent and uncontrollable outbreaks need other immunosuppressive treatments. It is important to treat the outbreaks to slow their spread and the chronification of eczema plaques. Your dermatologist will indicate in each case the treatment to follow.
To prevent outbreaks, proper skin care is necessary. Do the bath or shower, with warm water, non-aggressive cleansers without detergents and dry without rubbing. Hydration should be daily, preferably after showering and with specific emollients that will try to restore the damaged skin barrier. It is important to avoid other irritating factors, such as synthetic fiber clothing and very dry environments due to the use of heating.