Atopic dermatitis affects more than one in ten people. It involves dry skin and causes skin lesions such as eczema (redness, itching, blisters, and crusts) that develop in flares. Individuals who suffer from this issue should see a Dermatologist in Bethlehem PA regularly.
An abnormal skin barrier
Formerly known as constitutional eczema, this disease is now called “atopic dermatitis” or “atopic eczema.” Although there are no precise figures on the number of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, an estimated 10 to 15% of people are affected. In some parts of the world, up to 30% of folks are affected by this disease. These numbers are, however, continually increasing.
Children are increasingly affected
Atopic dermatitis usually starts in infants or toddlers. It usually begins around three months, but sometimes earlier. It spreads to the face, symmetrically, with a predominance on the cheeks and chin.
In children, a 800 may notice digestive issues such as diarrhea or regurgitation associated with atopic dermatitis. It is crucial to make sure the child has no food allergies (misdiagnosis is possible). In this case, the doctor can seek the opinion of a pediatrician or allergist.
Things to watch for
Atopic patients are genetically predisposed, meaning their immune system is reactive, and their skin has one or more irregularities. Environmental allergens (pollen, dust, soap, etc.) that are typically well tolerated by most may be an issue for others. Some allergens penetrate the skin and stimulate the immune system (lymphocytes). This highly reactive system will overreact to what it considers aggression and cause the clinical signs of eczema: itching, inflammation, and oozing.
Atopic patients with dry skin may experience irritability and hyper-reactivity and can be explained by a decrease in fat on the skin surface. On the other hand, the abnormal absorbency of the skin may be related to other issues.
In children, other atopic manifestations can associate or appear throughout life:
- Food allergies are seen in younger people mostly
- Asthma (one in four pediatric patients will have asthma later in life)
- Common hay fever is often seen around adolescence
These pathologies are indicators that express the vulnerability of developing allergic diseases. Get more information here.