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Common Skin Problems – Eczema / Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is also known as atopic eczema and is a peculiar chronic skin disorder that can occur at any age. However it normally starts in young children and typically appears as very itchy skin that gets thick and discolored. Even though most children tend to outgrow atopic dermatitis or eczema, the disease could return in many adults and some may acquire it without first having had it as a child.

Atopic dermatitis or eczema is not contagious. You can’t "catch it" from anyone. However, new areas of involvement may continue to form and the flares can be influenced by stress, irritants, allergens, sudden changes in climate, etc, with almost any area of the skin being involved.

Causes of Eczema / Dermatitis

There could be a personal or family history of asthma or allergies associated with Eczema / Dermatitis and although the precise causes are unknown it is believed that the disorder is caused by a genetically disordered immune response. "Atopics" normally tend to have more sensitive that is easily irritated, with a natural tendency to itch. Atopic dermatitis / eczema interferes with normal skin functions that control the moisture content of the skin. Due to this "atopics" have dry skin that is prone to cracking and fissuring of the outer skin layers.

Heredity definitely has a role to play in many cases, since often there is a history of a relative having a similar skin rash, allergies or asthma. A rare person might get worse on eating certain foods. However, this is rare and, normally, diet doesn’t affect the condition. For a typical healthy person, atopic dermatitis / eczema is a harmless condition that is unrelated to cancer. Also, it doesn’t involve the internal organs, with few very severe cases calling for hospitalization.

Treatment of Eczema / Dermatitis

Treatment of Eczema / Dermatitis can help to prevent or control further spreading. The program of treatment can help control or clear the disorder. However, there is no cure. Most cases tend to clear up by age 3 or 4. Then again some people could continue to have problems even as adults. Even if the condition clears up completely, you can still be inclined to having repeat episodes. For this reason, repeat treatments could be necessary and some folks might even require continuous therapy.