What Is Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis can be defined as a familial, genetically complex dermatological disorder with a strong maternal influence. This condition is associated with other atopic diseases and usually starts under the age of 2 years. Although the pathophysiology of the condition is not fully understood, abnormalities in skin barrier function together with abnormalities of both adaptive and innate immunity seem to be important.
What Does Atopic Dermatitis Look Like
Atopic dermatitis can cause itchy skin with small, red bumps, or red to brownish-gray patches/rash. Itching is often more common and severe than in psoriasis. Scratching can cause the bumps to ooze fluid and crust over.
The condition often begins during childhood and can continue up to adulthood.
Common sites of rash are the cheeks, inside of the elbows, behind the knees, and over the neck.
What’s The Difference Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Children get eczema. They can also get psoriasis.
While more children develop eczema than psoriasis, almost 1% of children have psoriasis.
Its not always easy to tell whether a child has eczema or psoriasis. A study conducted in Australia found that most children who had psoriasis were initially diagnosed by their primary care doctor as having another disease, often eczema.
To a dermatologists trained eye, psoriasis and eczema tend to look quite different.
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Eczema Vs Hives: Whats The Difference
Your skin is exposed to thousands of substances each day, most of which dont cause a negative reaction. In some cases, however, certain substances may trigger a chemical change in the immune system, even if these substances arent generally harmful to the body.
These chemical changes are the bodys way of protecting itself from disease. Two common types of allergic reactions areeczema and hives . Because they appear quite similar to each other, confusing eczema with hives is a common mistake.
In this post, well discuss the difference between eczema vs. hives, and give you some natural treatment options to help you find relief.
If you are suffering from eczema or hives, please bear in mind that we are in no way medical professionals. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or infections, speak to a medical professional as soon as possible.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is achronic skin condition, usually beginning in infancy or early childhood, that is triggered by a number of things, including dust mites, sweating, contact with irritants such as latex or soaps, and even food allergies.
Its characterized by dry, scaly skin, intense itching, and patches of red rashes. Though there are several types of dermatitis, the most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis.
What are Hives?
Hives –red, itchy, raised areas of the skin – are formed when the body releases a chemical called histamine in response to an allergic or hypersensitive reaction.
Eczema vs Hives
Key Difference Atopic Dermatitis Vs Eczema
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin characterised by groups of vesicular lesions with a variable degree of exudates and scaling. There are different clinical varieties of eczema of which atopic dermatitis is one. Atopic dermatitis is a familial, genetically complex dermatological disorder with a strong maternal influence. Accordingly, the key difference between atopic dermatitis and eczema is that atopic dermatitis is one component of the broad spectrum of diseases which comes under the category eczema.
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Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Rosacea
Rosacea can cause red skin that looks like dermatitis. However, rosacea can also cause pimples, and the redness is typically found on your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. Have your healthcare provider take a look at your skin to determine if your condition is dermatitis, rosacea, or something else.
When To See A Doctor About Eczema
When your symptoms become too uncomfortable and you find that home remedies are not doing the trick to ease your symptoms, you should contact your dermatologist or go to your nearest eczema pharmacy. Once they view the symptoms, your doctor will develop a treatment plan to get rid of the eczema symptoms. If your child is suffering from eczema, we discuss eczema treatment for kids in our helpful guide for parents.
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Wear Eczema Friendly Clothing
Protect and soothe your irritated skin by wearing eczema-friendly clothing such as those from Remedywear. Combining eco-friendly TENCEL with anti-bacterial zinc, the result is comfortable, breathable garments that can be worn all day or as an overnight treatment. All garments are specifically designed to combat the urge to scratch by providing a gentle layer of protection in the areas you need it most.
Here are some of our favorites:
Causes Of Contact Dermatitis
Two types of contact dermatitis include:
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What Foods Should I Eat Or Avoid To Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
The connection between eczema and food allergies is unclear. If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen dermatitis. Examples of common allergies include peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugar, alcohol and gluten. Pay attention to what you eat. If your eczema flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy to it.
If you dont have a food allergy then there are no foods, including chicken, that will cause or worsen your eczema.
Causes Of Atopic Dermatitis
Research shows that a filaggrin deficiency can lead to increased eczema, especially atopic dermatitis. Filaggrin is a protein that supports the protective barrier in your skin. Without enough filaggrin, your skins protective barrier can become leaky, which allows moisture to escape. In other words, filaggrin deficiency accounts for why so many individuals with atopic dermatitis have dry, infection-prone skin.
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Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used
Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Consider these treatment tips:
If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:
- Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
- Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
- Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
- Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
- Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
- Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
- Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
- Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.
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What Causes Atopic Dermatitis
While studies show that AD has become more common now than 30 years ago, the exact cause is difficult to pinpoint. Hypersensitivity to certain foods, allergens or environmental factors is thought to cause symptoms in children. Furthermore, if a parent or family member has atopic dermatitis, hay fever or asthma, a child has a 50% chance of developing one of those conditions.
What Can I Expect If Ive Been Diagnosed With Eczema
Nearly half of children with eczema will outgrow the condition or experience great improvement by the time they reach puberty. Others will continue to have some form of the disease. For adults with eczema, the disease can be generally well-managed with good skin care and treatment, although flare-ups of symptoms can occur throughout life.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Methods
Atopic dermatitis can be diagnosed by a primary care physician or dermatologist by examining your skin and assessing your medical history.
Skin patch testing may be needed to determine if your condition is caused by an allergy. With a skin patch test, patches that contain small amounts of common allergens are applied to the surface of your skin. These patches are typically applied to your back or arm and left in place for 48 hours. During this time, you should avoid bathing, showering, swimming, and activities that cause a lot of sweating.
Redness and swelling of the skin at the site of application may indicate an allergy to a particular substance. If your patch test comes back positive for a specific allergy, you should avoid contact with this substance.
For all forms of eczema, topical treatment with steroid medication can be used to help relieve pain, redness, and itching. Topically applying coal tar, crisaborole ointment, or pimecrolimus cream can also help soothe symptoms. If more than 20% of your skin has been affected by contact dermatitis, oral steroid medications like prednisone are often required to reduce pain and inflammation within 12 to 24 hours.
Applying a cool compress to the affected areas and taking oral antihistamines may also help relieve the pain and itching caused by atopic dermatitis.
Understanding The Difference Between Atopic And Contact Dermatitis
Dreaming of an itch-free day? Eczema can cause itching so intense that it disrupts your daily routines and impacts your quality of life. But trying to find relief can be overwhelming. What type of eczema do you have? Which creams or treatments are designed to tackle your eczema?
Our team of specialists here at Regional Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center knows that eczema treatments depend on what type of eczema you have. Were skilled in identifying the type of eczema plaguing you and recommending customized eczema treatment solutions for you or your child.
In this blog, we focus on two of the most common types of eczema: atopic and contact dermatitis.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ad
Itching is the hallmark of AD, with some data showing that more than 85% of people with the condition experience this distressing symptom every day. Sore or painful skin and poor sleep caused by itching are also common.
People with AD can get rashes anywhere on the body that can ooze, weep fluid and bleed when scratched, making skin vulnerable to infection. Skin can become dry and discolored, and repeated scratching can cause thickening and hardening a process called lichenification.
Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is more than just itchy skin, although that is the hallmark symptom of eczema. Patches of dry, itchy skin can create systems of itching, scratching, bleeding, and increased skin infections. Atopic dermatitis can lead to:
- Itchy skin
- Skin infections
- Dry and discolored skin
Atopic dermatitis is chronic and runs in families, and it can come and go over months or years. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis can overlap with other types of eczema.
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An Overview Of The Different Types Of Eczema
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed and red in lighter skin tones or brown, purple, gray or ashen in darker skin tones. Eczema is very common. In fact, more than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema.
Eczema is not contagious. You cant catch it from someone else. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers.
When an irritant or an allergen from outside or inside the body switches on the immune system, it produces inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes the symptoms common to most types of eczema.
There are seven different types of eczema:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
It is possible to have more than one type of eczema on your body at the same time. Each form of eczema has its own set of triggers and treatment requirements, which is why its so important to consult with a healthcare provider who specializes in treating eczema. Dermatologists in particular can help identify which type or types of eczema you may have and how to treat and prevent flare-ups.
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What Causes Atopic Dermatitis Vs Eczema
The cause of atopic dermatitis is not known, but the disease seems to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There seems to be a basic cutaneous hypersensitivity and an increased tendency toward itching. Evidence suggests that the disease is associated with other so-called atopic disorders such as hay fever and asthma, which many people with atopic dermatitis also have.
Although one disorder does not necessarily cause another, they may be related, thereby giving researchers clues to understanding atopic dermatitis.
Many of those affected seem to have either a decreased quantity of or a defective form of a protein called filaggrin in their skin. This protein seem to be important in maintaining normal cutaneous hydration.
It is important to understand that food sensitivities do not seem to be a major inciting factor for most cases of atopic dermatitis.
This is an area of active research. Patients with atopic dermatitis seem to have mild immune system weakness.
While emotional factors and stress may sometimes exacerbate the condition, they do not seem to be a primary or underlying cause for the disorder.
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What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Red or silvery scales on the skin are typical features that distinguish psoriasis from atopic dermatitis. The most common type, plaque psoriasis, begins as small red round bumps that grow larger and form a scale. Scratching can pull the scales off the skin and result in bleeding.
Psoriatic rash or patches can erupt anywhere on the skin, sometimes all over the body . However, the common areas are as follows:
Ways To Prevent Dermatitis And Eczema
Atopic dermatitis and eczema can be prevented by managing triggers that can cause skin inflammation. Aim to:
- Avoid contact with irritating substances and known allergens.
- Manage stress to decrease inflammation throughout the body.
- Moisturize your skin regularly with thick emollients.
- Avoid activities that dry and irritate your skin, such as using harsh soaps and cleansers, taking long hot showers, and wearing tight, restrictive clothing.
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Who Gets Neurodermatitis And Why
Neurodermatitis is most common in adults between 30 and 50 years of age and occurs more often in women and people with contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Its rarely diagnosed in children, although a few with atopic dermatitis also develop neurodermatitis.
Psoriasis and anxiety disorders increase risk. Research and clinical experience suggest certain personality types are more prone to developing neurodermatitis, said Yosipovitch. These include having stronger tendencies to conform or be a people pleaser, to hold in emotions, or to be excessively dutiful.
Neurodermatitis can also be triggered by tight clothing , bug bites, nerve injury and dry skin.
How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child’s skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that “breathe,” such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
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