What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory, non-contagious skin disorder. It is also known as eczema and atopic eczema. Atopic dermatitis is most common in children but may occur at any age. It affects 10-30% of children and 1-3% of adults.
Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry, irritated, red, itchy skin that can develop into lesions which may ooze or crust. Affected skin is most often the face, neck, and the folds at the elbows and knees, although it can appear anywhere on the body. Scratching will aggravate the condition, and delay the healing process.
Atopic dermatitis arises because of a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. These include defects in skin barrier function, making the skin more susceptible to irritation by soap and other contact irritants, the weather, and non-specific triggers.
Since there is no known cures for atopic dermatitis, the treatment should also involve prevention, including topical creams and ointments. Topical treatments focus on enhancing the skin barrier by reducing both the dryness and inflammation of the skin. To combat severe dryness associated with atopic dermatitis, a high-quality, dermatologist-approved moisturizer should be used daily. Moisturizers should not contain any ingredients that may further aggravate the condition. A thick moisturizer is preferred as it will be more effective in retaining moisture .