(Also known as dermatitis, atopic dermatitis or eczema)
- It’s a common skin disease affecting both children and adults
- It affects about 20% of children, with 70% of the affected children being under the age of 5.
- 50% of children will continue to have atopic dermatitis into adulthood.
- About 3% of adults get eczema for the first time in their lives.
Symptoms and sign
Infants and young children
- Itching often with scratching or infants rubbing against the bedding or other objects
- Poor sleep
- Dry and scaly patches affecting scalp, forehead and face (mainly the cheeks)
- Other parts on the body can be involved
- Open scratched area can be infected leading to yellowish crusting and oozing
Older children and adults
- Rashes appear mainly in the body folds (knees, elbows)
- Other areas commonly affected are the neck, wrist, ankles and the area between the buttocks and the legs.
- If untreated skin can get thickened and leathery ( sometimes skin gets darker or lighter).
- Skin can also get bumpy looking like goose bumps.
- Eczema is thought to have a genetic origin
- It affects mainly people who have family members with either eczema, asthma or hayfever ( some people call it sinuses)
- A very small number of children will have food allergies that will make their eczema worse
In some people mainly adults eczema can affect only the hands (hand dermatitis/eczema), scalp or the face.
- Treatment approaches are different for each patient
- It usually involves skin care and lifestyle changes
- Depending on the severity it can either be topical or systemic treatment (oral steroids or immunosuppresants)
- Topical treatment can include
- Topical steroids
- Topical immunomodulators (Elidel or Protopic)
Sometimes bleach baths can be suggested to reduce the frequency of infections.
For the best treatment speak to your dermatologist