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Atopic Dermatitis, commonly known as eczema is synonymous with skin disease. Dermatitis refers to the inflammation of the skin; skin becomes itchy and may develop blisters. Atopic dermatitis is a hypersensitive form of eczema. Some of the common parts of the body affected by it are inside the elbows, around the knees, especially at the back, and also hands and feet. It results in dry skin, itchiness and sometimes it can also evolve into a wound. One of the most compelling symptoms of eczema is the urge to scratch, which unfortunately also results in aggravation and increased inflammation.
Thankfully, eczema is not contagious which means friends and family do not need to worry about taking precautions to avoid catching it. Eczema sufferers benefit greatly from normal forms of social interaction as it reduces their stress level which is one of the main triggers of the skin disease if it is too high. Incidentally, people suffering from eczema may also be bearing other illnesses such as asthma and hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis). They are also likely to have family members who suffer from it as well but the severity of each case can differ from person to person.
It is a lasting disease for each person but how badly it affects you depends the season, medication, coping techniques and stress level.
1. Stasis dermatitis.
2. Allergic contact dermatitis.
3. Atopic dermatitis.
4. Irritant contact dermatitis.
6. Perioral dermatitis.
7. Seborrheic dermatitis.
The exact reason/s are not known, but it is generally understood, that a combination of factors may be responsible for the skin to flare up. Genetic, undefined lifestyle and environmental factors somehow trigger the immune system, which reacts violently to this intrusion.
This fierce fight back by the immune system results in skin flare up. On the personal front, extreme emotions or convictions can also send out false signals of intrusion which triggers the immune system. Such triggers lead to rashness around the back of the knees, inside the elbows and of course on the face causing septicemia or infections which can spread if not medically treated.
Medical research has also proven that people suffering from atopic dermatitis carry a mutated gene that helps create Filaggrin, the main protein of the Keratohyalin granules. This protein builds a protective layer on the top of the skin that prevents loss of moisture and also reduces attacks in the form of bacteria and viruses. Due to the mutation of this gene the production of Filaggrin is affected and therefore the skin becomes prone to frequent external attacks. This is the reason why people with AD exhibit dry and itchy skin.
1. Allergens present in the air.
2. Certain type of fabrics and apparels.
3. Harsh soaps and deodorants when sprayed on the skin directly.
4. Undisciplined lifestyle.
5. High level of stress.
6. Certain types of food.
5. Change in season ( Weather related ).
The above mentioned factors should be carefully analyzed and avoided to prevent triggers which could eventually lead to AD.
Atopic Dermatitis can appear anywhere on your body from your eyelids to your feet, your back to your scalp and many other areas. Below is a list of the symptoms you can visually see and feel over a given period of time.
When should you seek medical attention? It varies from individual to individual, but some of the compelling factors include –
1. Dry and itchy skin which is persistent in nature.
2. Visible sores, especially behind the knees and inside the elbows, in front of the knees in case of children. Some people also form aggressive rashes around the cheeks, neck, feet, etc.
3. Atopic dermatitis is usually a part of other allergies and conditions such as asthma and hay fever. If you experience similar symptoms the time is come to see your GP.
4. Recurrence of inflamed skin condition is another strong reason to visit your doctor because it could be a hint of an underlying skin ailment such as AD.
In most of the cases, especially those with mild AD, a long, warm bath followed by generous application of moisturizer cream such as petroleum gel can provide immediate relief. Individuals can also use this therapy for a long term relief.
Another way of preventing and getting rid of this ailment is the use of emulsifying oil added to a bucket of water before having a bath. Emulsifying oil nourishes and rehydrates the skin, offering much needed protection from skin evaporation which typically leads to dry skin and itching. Even infants can be offered this treatment. Moreover, one should not rub the body with a towel. Leaving water and emulsifying oil on the skin will create a unique layer of protection.
CBD oils can also be used to help hydrate parts of the body that are affected by eczema. Sometimes they are a great natural alternative to people who suffer from highly chemical solutions.
Topical steroid is another way that doctors exploit. It continues to be the mainstay of atopic dermatitis treatment along with superficial application of moisturizing cream. This kind of combination offers immediate as well as long term relief. Patients residing in dry environments are recommended oil based topical steroid which is applied directly on to the affected area twice a day. The same is stopped once the lesions are healed.
Some of the non-medical remedies suggested by the doctors include cotton clothes, even in winters as any other fabric tends to aggravate the dry skin. Cotton clothing can be worn in layered form during winter. Some of the other suggestions include:
1. Maintaining uniform, cool temperature inside the living quarters to prevent sweating which can cause irritation.
2. Refraining from foods that trigger this ailment.
3. Keeping away from allergen infested areas such as parks and gardens.
AD can be managed through regular medical checkups and also by maintaining quality lifestyle. Along with the above mentioned suggestions affected individuals can lead a normal life.
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