Atopic dermatitis  – causes, symptoms, treatment

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic and recurrent inflammation of the skin that significantly impacts a patient's quality of life. By reading this article, you will gain insight into the causes, symptoms, treatments, and tips on how to effectively manage atopic dermatitis.

Causes of atopic dermatitis:

Atopic dermatitis is often inherited, and individuals with AD have a predisposition to allergies that is inherited. However, in some cases, AD can be a result of exposure to environmental factors, such as allergens or irritants. The causes of atopic dermatitis include:

  1. Genetic predisposition: People with a family history of allergies or asthma are at a higher risk of developing AD.

  2. Skin barrier deficiencies: Insufficient skin barrier function can lead to an increased susceptibility to allergens and irritants.

  3. Environmental factors: Atopic dermatitis can be triggered by contact with harmful substances or extreme environmental conditions, such as high temperatures or humidity.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis:

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can vary depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the disease. The most common symptoms include:

  • Dry skin

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Pimples

  • Skin cracks and erosions

In addition, atopic dermatitis can lead to other skin complications, such as bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. It can also have a negative impact on the patient’s quality of life, resulting in sleep disturbances or depressive symptoms.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis:

The treatment of AD involves both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. It is important to note that treatment should be tailored to each patient individually and done in consultation with a doctor. Topical treatment options for AD may include:

  • Emollients (moisturizing creams): These preparations are applied to the skin to moisturize and rebuild the skin barrier, helping to reduce itching and soothe irritation.

  • Topical corticosteroids: These are medications applied to the skin that inhibit inflammatory reactions and provide relief from symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching.

  • Calcineurin inhibitors: These immunomodulatory drugs can serve as an alternative to glucocorticosteroids. They work by suppressing the immune response, leading to a reduction in skin inflammation.

It is advisable to consult an experienced allergologist before initiating any treatments for atopic dermatitis.

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