Atopic Dermatitis: What You Need To Know

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Do you have dry, itchy skin? Are you curious as to what might be the source of this ailment? It could be the case that you suffer from atopic dermatitis. Although the ins and outs of atopic dermatitis are not entirely clear even to professionals, much work and research has been performed in the past few years in order to discover the roots of this ailment. Atopic dermatitis exists mainly due to the skin's inability to contain moisture. There is more to this topic than that simple assessment, however. Read on to discover more about the dermatological ailment of atopic dermatitis.


About 17 percent of the population suffers from atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis begins with dry, itchy and flaky skin. However, the symptoms will continue from that point.

Atopic dermatitis usually turns into inflamed skin, which means that your skin may burn or sting simply from touch. After inflammation, you can expect to suffer from infection. You might find tiny bumps or pustules on your skin that are filled with water and pus, which can scab over. Over time and repeated instances of these phenomena occurring, you might find that your skin has become "permanently" dry and thick.

Mild atopic dermatitis usually only affects a small amount of the skin and, if caught early, can be treated with moisturizer. However, chronic atopic dermatitis can affect a larger area of the skin and, of course, lasts over the course of a longer period of time. It is also more difficult to combat and cannot be staved off with moisturizer alone.

There are numerous areas of the skin that are more susceptible to atopic dermatitis than others; the face, the back of the knee, and elbows are all common hot spots for atopic dermatitis to develop. A physician can usually tell if you have developed atopic dermatitis over the course of a regular physical.


Many times, atopic dermatitis can be treated at home. As mentioned earlier, you should moisturizer your skin regularly. The thicker your skin is — or rather, the thicker atopic dermatitis makes your skin — the thicker the moisturizer you apply should be. If there is a particularly egregious instance of atopic dermatitis, then you should apply petroleum jelly to the skin.

Avoid allergens, which are considered to be the cause of many instances of atopic dermatitis, at all costs. This means dander, detergents and harsh soaps should be avoided in order to clear up any instance of the ailment. Under no circumstances should you scratch the rash, especially if blisters have developed or your skin has scabbed over. This will only serve to exacerbate the issue. It is recommended that if you have trouble controlling yourself regarding scratching, then you should place a cloth bandage over the offending area in order to keep yourself from scratching or picking at the area.

If you find that you are scratching yourself at night during sleep, it is recommended that you moisturize your hands before sleep and place them in mittens. This will keep you from being able to adequately scratch the offending areas of your skin. Bathe your skin in lukewarm (not hot) water for upwards of 20 minutes a day to soothe the offending areas of your skin and make sure that you are utilizing soaps and shampoos for sensitive skin. Use any medication on your skin that the doctor has prescribed for you.

Atopic dermatitis can be an annoying phenomenon to deal with, but with a little care for your skin and dermatology services, you can keep the problem in check to the best of your abilities.