What Is Atopic Dermatitis? A blog about atopic dermatitis and how you can improve your skin routine.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It is a form of eczema or dermatitis, which literally means inflammation of the skin. The word atopic refers to allergies and inherited factors that contribute to this disease. Atopic dermatitis typically appears in infants or very young children and often resolves with age. However, in some cases, atopic dermatitis continues into adulthood and requires long-term treatment to keep symptoms under control.

The most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis include itching, redness, dryness, and scaling. Atopic dermatitis usually begins with periods of rash and itching on the face and behind the ears, followed by the appearance of a rash on the arms and legs. In infants, atopic dermatitis can cause weeping areas, crusting, scaling and thickened skin. In older children and adults, it tends to affect only certain parts of the body for example around the creases of elbows or knees or on your hands or feet. The rash may come and go over time but generally tend to flare up from time to time.

Atopic Dermatitis Causes

In people with atopic dermatitis, certain triggers lead to an abnormal response by the immune system, causing inflammation in the skin. This inflammation

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that usually develops in the first few years of life. It is estimated that up to 20% of children and 1-3% of adults worldwide have AD. The word “atopic” refers to an inherited tendency to develop allergic diseases, such as asthma and hayfever, which often accompanies eczema. Atopic dermatitis can affect people of all ages but most often begins during infancy. In some people, atopic dermatitis may persist into adulthood or may start for the first time in older individuals.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis occurs when an abnormal response involving the immune system leads to inflammation within the skin. Although not contagious, atopic dermatitis has a genetic component, meaning that it tends to occur in families whose members have other allergies or asthma. While this condition results from many factors, environmental triggers can make it worse. Some of these triggers include soaps, detergents and harsh chemicals; dust mites; clothing made from wool or synthetic fabrics; extreme temperatures; airborne allergens (such as pollen and animal dander); cigarette smoke; and emotional stress. Dry skin caused by frequent bathing with soap and water can also cause your symptoms to flare

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition. It causes dry, itchy, red patches to appear on the skin. These patches can be extremely uncomfortable and may even bleed if scratched too much. The disease is most common in children but can affect people at any age.

You are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis if you have allergies or asthma. The disorder is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some people only experience symptoms during certain seasons or when they are exposed to certain allergens. Others may have symptoms all year round.

Common triggers of atopic dermatitis include:

* Wool

* Dust mites

* Animal fur

* Soaps and detergents

* Certain foods (dairy products, eggs, soy products and nuts)

* Stress

Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, a skin condition characterized by itchy, inflamed skin. It typically begins in childhood, but can also begin in adults. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious.

The word “atopic” refers to a group of diseases with an often inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever. Atopic dermatitis is not always associated with these conditions; it may occur by itself.

Atopic dermatitis affects approximately 10%-20% of children and 1%-3% of adults worldwide. In the United States, approximately 7.2 million people have some form of atopic dermatitis. It occurs most commonly in infancy and childhood; however, it can start at any age.


The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown but is believed to result from a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors. In patients with atopic dermatitis, the skin barrier doesn’t function properly, allowing irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin more easily. This triggers inflammation that causes the symptoms common in atopic dermatitis such as itching and rash.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects about 15%-30% of children and 2%-10% of adults. The disease can improve or clear completely in adolescence, but it often persists into adulthood.

The word “atopic” refers to an allergic tendency, and dermatitis (“-itis” means inflammation) refers to the red, scaly rash that typically occurs on the face or elsewhere on the body. More than 60% of patients with atopic dermatitis also have other allergic conditions, including asthma and hay fever.

Because it is not contagious and because people with atopic dermatitis look otherwise healthy, many people do not understand the impact this disease can have on quality of life. For example, children with atopic dermatitis may experience teasing because their skin looks different from other children’s. Also, being unable to participate in activities because of itchy skin can be frustrating for both child and parent alike.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is estimated to affect 15% to 30% of children and 2% to 10% of adults. AD can cause significant physical discomfort and sleeplessness, emotional distress, and impaired quality of life. In addition, AD is the most common condition leading to referral to pediatric dermatologists.1

Although the prevalence of AD varies geographically, similar worldwide trends have been described. The mean age of onset for AD is 6 to 12 months, with peak prevalence occurring at age 1 year.2 The incidence is higher in boys than in girls and declines after adolescence.3 After remission in early childhood, 25% to 40% of patients have a recurrence before 16 years of age.

Until recently, the pathogenesis of this chronic disease has been poorly understood; however, new research has begun to elucidate the complex mechanisms involved in its pathogenesis (see Mechanisms).

The mainstay of therapy for AD continues to be topical corticosteroids and emollients; however, novel therapies are currently under investigation (see Therapies).

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common type of eczema. It typically appears during infancy but can develop at any age. It often improves by adolescence, but some people may have the skin condition throughout adulthood. Even if you had the condition as a child, you can develop it again as an adult.

Atopic dermatitis is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the condition tends to run in families whose members tend to get other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis).

The cause of AD is unknown, but it’s believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

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