Eczema is the common name for a group of skin conditions that result in irritated or inflamed skin. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It is estimated that this condition affects over 30 million people in the United States.
When does atopic dermatitis develop and who is at risk?
Atopic dermatitis affects nearly 10 percent of infants and children, and 3 percent of adults. About 65 percent of atopic dermatitis patients are diagnosed by the time they are a year old and by age five it increases to 90 percent. The majority of patients who are afflicted with chronic atopic dermatitis will outgrow it by age 10.
The development of atopic dermatitis in many cases is genetic. When a child has a parent who has atopic dermatitis, they have a 25 percent chance of developing it, and if both parents have it, they have a 50 percent chance.
Atopic dermatitis symptoms
Although atopic dermatitis can develop on any part of the body, it is most commonly found on the face, backs of the knees and in the folds of the arms. The rash can vary from patient to patient, but some of the common symptoms include:
- Skin that is dry and sensitive
- A persistent rash (It may go away, only to reappear)
- Intense itching sensation
- Thick scaly patches of skin
- Blisters that ooze or are crusty
Keeping your skin moisturized can help reduce the frequency or severity of flare-ups you experience. Some changes to your daily routine that may be helpful include:
- Using a moisturizer several times a day, it helps keep your skin hydrated.
- When bathing use warm (not hot) water, do not use anything abrasive such as a washcloth.
- Always use a mild soap to help minimize irritation.
- Moisturize your skin within three minutes of concluding your shower, while your body is still moist.
Your care provider at the Rendon Center can prescribe creams and ointments that are much more effective at reducing the itching and bringing the flare-ups under control. He or she can also prescribe oral antihistamines if severe itching is present. Injected, or oral, corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed to treat severe cases; they can effectively reduce the inflammation and bring the other symptoms under control.
Although moisturizers might be able to help reduce the flare-ups of atopic dermatitis, only a trained medical professional can prescribe a treatment plan that can reduce the severity of the flare-ups and control the symptoms. If you, or your child, experience a persistent recurring rash, call the Rendon Center at 561-750-0544 or fill out the form on this page to schedule your appointment.