Atopic dermatitis is a prevalent, most common chronic (long-lasting) skin disease that affects a large proportion of the world’s population. Some call it eczema, dermatitis, or atopy. It is often a species of skin allergies or sensitivity and is often associated with an atopic triad that includes asthma, allergies (hay fever), and eczema. There is a known hereditary component of the disease seen in many families. The main signs of the disease include skin rash and itching.
What is atopic dermatitis?
Word « dermatitis »means inflammation of the skin. « Atopic »refers to hereditary diseases, tend to spread in families and usually occur together. In atopic dermatitis, the skin becomes increasingly itchy and inflamed, causing redness and swelling of the skin, cracking, exudation, scabs, and scales. Dry skin is widespread and causes some of the typical rashes.
Although atopic dermatitis can occur in all age groups, it most commonly affects young people and young children. In some cases, it can occur in adulthood or be first revealed in adulthood. Many patients generally have a chronic course with various ups and downs. In most cases, there are periods when the disease worsens, called an exacerbation or a flash of the disease that alternates with periods when the skin condition improves or clears up completely, causing remission. Many children with atopic dermatitis remain within permanent remission of the disease as they age, although their skin may remain dry and easily irritated.
Multiple factors can trigger an exacerbation of atopic dermatitis, including dry skin, seasonal allergies, exposure to harsh soaps and detergents, some creams, and cold weather. Environmental factors may activate atopic dermatitis symptoms in elderly patients who have a non-hereditary form of atopic disease.
What is the difference between atopic dermatitis and eczema?
Eczema is a general term for many types of dermatitis and allergic-type skin rashes. There are different eczema types, such as allergies, contact, irritation, and numerical eczema. Several other types have very similar symptoms. Different types of eczema are listed and briefly described below. Atopic dermatitis is a specific skin disease associated with three conditions that include eczema, allergy, and asthma. Usually, not every component is present simultaneously, but usually, these patients are prone to developing one of the three associated symptoms.
Types of eczema
• Contact eczema: a local reaction that involves redness, itching, and burning of the skin that occurs after skin contact with an allergen (to an allergic substance) or irritants such as acids, cleansers, or other chemicals.
• Allergic contact eczema: a red, itchy, secreting reaction that occurs when the skin comes in contact with substances that the immune system accepts as a foreign body, such as certain preservatives in creams and lotions, some metals (nickel, cadmium), dyes in fabrics, soaps, detergents, etc.
• Seborrheic eczema (also called seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea): is a prevalent form of mild inflammation of the skin of unknown cause that manifests as yellow, oily, scaly patches on the scalp on the face, ears, or (sometimes) other parts of the body. It is commonly known as dandruff in adults or scalp in children.
• Nummular eczema: Coin-shaped eczema (circle) is an isolated plaque of irritated skin – most commonly on the arm, back, thighs, and lower limbs – that can be crusty, scaly, and very itchy.
• Neurodermatitis: is a type of dermatitis that occurs due to scratching the skin. The main cause may be sensitization or irritation of localized parts of the skin, emphasizing the cascade of repeated itching – itching cycle. It can manifest as a scratched and stabbed field of skin. Sometimes scales on the scalp, lower limbs, wrists, or forearms cause localized itching (like an insect bite) that can be irritated by intense scratching.
• Static dermatitis: irritation of the lower limbs’ skin, generally associated with circulatory problems and leg vein congestions. It is most often black pigmentation, light brown or purple-red discoloration caused by congestion, and blood retention in the legs’ veins. It is mostly seen on the legs with varicose veins.
• Dyshidrotic eczema: skin irritation of the hands’ palms (most common) and lower leg (less common) characterized by clean, intense located blisters that itch and burn. It is sometimes described as “Tapioica pudding,” like a rash on the fingers.
Atopic dermatitis is a prevalent disease spreading worldwide with an increasing incidence. It affects men and women equally and accounts for 10% to 20% of all dermatologists’ referrals. Atopic dermatitis most commonly occurs in young people and children, and this incidence decreases with age. Scientists estimate that 65% of patients develop symptoms in the first years of life, and 90% develop symptoms before five. Onset after the age of 30 is much rarer and usually occurs after exposure of the skin to harsh living and working conditions. People living in urban areas and climates with low humidity seem to have an increased risk of developing atopic dermatitis. About 10% of all adolescents and young children have an unpleasant experience with atopic dermatitis symptoms. Approximately 60% of these children continue to have one or more atopic dermatitis symptoms equally at adulthood.
The cause of atopic dermatitis is not known, but the disease appears to result from a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors. The basis here seems to be hypersensitivity and increased itching. Evidence suggests that the disease is linked to other so-called atopic diseases such as seasonal allergies and asthma, many people with atopic dermatitis have. Later in life, many children who outgrow atopic dermatitis symptoms go on to develop seasonal allergies or asthma. Although another does not directly cause one disease, they may be related, so researchers are given clues to understanding atopic dermatitis. While emotional factors and stress may in some cases exacerbate or initiate the disease, they do not appear to be the primary or primary cause of the disease. In the past, it was thought that atopic dermatitis was caused entirely by emotional factors.
It’s not. Atopic dermatitis is definitely not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another by direct skin-to-skin contact. This is a relief for people who are in contact with people who have active atopic dermatitis, except when they have an active skin infection. Some atopic dermatitis patients get a secondary skin infection with staphylococcus (staph), herpes virus (cold inflammation), or less common candida and other fungal infections. These infections can be contagious by skin contact between two people.
Although symptoms can vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are dry, red skin that is very itchy. Itching is a major hallmark of the disease. Typical sites of involvement are the hands’ folds (elbow pits, wrists), knee pits, face, and palms. The area behind the ear and other parts of the body are less commonly affected. Itching is felt like an important factor in atopic dermatitis, but scratching and rubbing in response to itching exacerbates the disease’s skin inflammation characteristic. Patients with atopic dermatitis develop a prolonged sensation due to increased sensitivity to itching, which manifests as an “itching – scratching” cycle. Extreme itching of the skin causes people to scratch, which worsens the itching. Itching is the biggest problem during sleep when the control of consciousness is reduced by scratching and other external stimuli. Hence, the itching is much more noticeable. Many patients report worsening of itching in the early evening when they come home from work or school when there are minor external distracting stimuli. In atopic dermatitis, the skin can change by scratching and lead to a skin infection. Some patients develop red, scaly skin; others develop thinner and rougher skin due to constant scratching and rubbing. This symptom is called lichenification. Some other patients develop papules or small raised growths on the skin. When the papules scratch, they can open (exorcise) and become crusty and infected.
That. Atopic dermatitis can affect the skin around the eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Scratching and rubbing the eye area can change the appearance of the skin. Some atopic dermatitis people develop an atopic fold, or Denny-Morgan folds on the skin’s outer fold under the eyes. Other people may have hyperpigmented eyelids, meaning that their eyelids’ skin turns black from inflammation or fever (allergic bruising on the eye). Spots on the eyebrows and eyelids can also result from scratching or rubbing. The face is very commonly affected in a baby due to excessive scratching and irritation from skin contact with her saliva.
That. Differences in people’s skin with atopic dermatitis can contribute to the disease’s symptoms. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin divided into two parts: the inner part, which contains moist, living cells, and the outer part contains dry, flattened dead cells. Under normal conditions, the skin’s outer layer forms a barrier, keeping the remaining skin from drying out and protecting other skin layers from damage, irritation, and infection. When this barrier is damaged or is naturally thin, irritants attack the skin much more intensely. The skin of a person with atopic dermatitis loses a lot of moisture from the epidermal layer so that the skin becomes very dry, which reduces its protective ability. Therefore, the skin is fragile to correct the damage caused by staphylococcal and streptococcal bacterial infections, warts, herpes simplex, and molluscum contagiosum (caused by a virus).
Cutaneous features of atopic dermatitis
• Lichenification: thin, rough, skin resulting from constant scratching and scratching
• Lichen simplex: refers to thin plaques of raised skin that result from repeated scratching and itching of the same part of the skin.
• Papules: small raised nodules. When we scratch, they become crusty and infected
• Ichthyosis: dry, rectangular scaly skin, usually on the lower limbs and shins
• Keratosis pilaris: small, rough nodules mainly on the face, upper limbs, and thighs. This is also described as goose or chicken skin.
• Hyperlinear palms: increased number of skin folds on the palms
• Urticaria: Urticaria (red raised plaques) occurs mainly after exposure to allergens, at the beginning of sunbathing, or after exercise or a warm bath.
• Cheilitis: inflammation of the skin around the lips
• Atopic fold (Dennie-Morgan fold): on the outer fold of skin that develops under the eye
• Black circles under the eye: can be caused by allergies and atopy
• Hyperpigmented eyelids: eyelids that become darker after inflammation
• Prurigo knots
Grouped warts are not real warts completely. These are small thinned protrusions of the skin caused by repeated shrinkage of the same skin.
What are the degrees of atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis manifests differently in each child. Atopic dermatitis typically begins around 6 to 12 weeks of age in children. It may first appear around the cheeks and chin as a variegated facial rash that can progress to red, scaly, moist skin. Such skin can become infected. When children start crawling, exposed areas such as the knees and elbows can also be affected. Children with atopic dermatitis may be restless and crying due to itching and discomfort. Most children improve at 18 months of age, although there is a normal risk of developing dry skin or eczema later in life.
In childhood, the rash appears behind the knee and inside the elbows on the side of the neck and the wrist, ankles, and hands. The rash usually starts with pimples that become harder and more scaly when scratched. The skin around the lips can be inflamed, and the area’s constant licking can lead to a small, painful scab.
Several atopic dermatitis cases have been reported to affect growth so that children may be lower than average.
The disease can go into remission (disease-free period). The length of remission varies and can last for months or even years. In some children, the disease improves over time. It returns at the onset of puberty when hormones, stress, and the use of irritating care products or cosmetics can cause inflammation again.
Influence of atopic dermatitis on ability
Although most people develop atopic dermatitis in childhood, many atopic dermatitis symptoms also occur in adults. It is also less common (but possible) for the disease to first appear in adulthood. The disease in adults is similar to that seen in children. Only the hands or feet may be affected in some adults, becoming dry, itchy, red, and cracked.
Because of the above, the ability to work may be limited, while long-term use of medications to treat the disease can cause complications. Adults with atopic dermatitis have a predisposition to irritating contact dermatitis, especially if they often wet their hands, wash their hands, or are exposed to chemicals at work. Some people develop a rash around the nipples. These localized symptoms are difficult to treat, and people usually do not tell the doctor because of shame or confusion. Adults can also develop cataracts that are difficult to detect because they do not produce early symptoms.
Natural remedies for skin diseases
The treatment of skin diseases is very complex and usually very long-lasting. Many plants are used in the therapy, which is applied both externally and internally. Herbs containing oils and fats are used externally: almond, flax, pumpkin, and other seeds, which must be completely fresh for use. From these seeds, masks are prepared that rejuvenate and refresh the skin, restoring its moisture and softness.
Other herbs used to treat skin conditions are chamomile, white and yellow milfoil, white and marshmallow, resisted, walnut shell.
Inside to treat skin diseases, along with baths and compresses, various herbal teas are drunk: day and night, birch, dandelion, buckthorn, linden, etc.
Bath against skin inflammation and lichen
Mix 50g of chamomile and 25g of ragweed and 25g of buckthorn. Obtained
steam the mixture with 1l of boiling water. Leave to stand for 6 hours, drain and add the herbal mixture to the bathwater.
Eczema tea (for drinking)
Mix 25 g of dandelion root, watercress, walnut leaf, and asparagus buds. Pour three tablespoons of this mixture with 500 ml of boiling water, and after 2 hours, drain and drink unsweetened 150 ml of tea 3 times a day before meals.
Balm against eczema
Fry the white fleshy part of the leek in 1 tablespoon of oil, then add 1 tablespoon of flour. Fry everything well until golden brown. Cool the balm, and apply eczema to the eczema several times during the day.
To keep the skin fresh and soft.
Mix 5g of sage leaves, rosemary, lavender. Steam the resulting mixture of herbs with 1 liter of boiling water. Cover, and when cool, add 5g of freshly ground mustard seeds. Leave for 1 hour, then strain. The resulting tea can be used as a compressor as a bath.
Finely chop 2 onions, and add 150ml of oil. Cook gently on steam until you get a porridge. Apply this balm to the ulcer several times during the day. Put gauze, cotton wool, and a bandage over the balm. Keep the dressings for 2 hours. After removing the dressing, wipe the ulcers with lukewarm chamomile. In 2-3 days, the ulcers will clear and heal.