Atopic Dermatitis, a form of Eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that causes many different symptoms, which can take many forms and vary from person to person. Several symptoms may be present at the same time.
The most common indicators are:
- dry skin all over the body
- severe itching, especially at night
- skin inflammations that occur repeatedly
- Red patches
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
- Raw, sensitive, swollen or thick skin from scratching
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis are not constant. They can disappear for a while. However, even if nothing can be seen on the skin surface, inflammation is still present under the skin and will eventually reappear on the outside.
Other symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis include:
- Chronically itchy, scaly skin: itchy skin areas are usually scratched, which makes them even more itchy. However, these skin areas are often scratched out of habit, which causes the affected skin to become discolored, thick and leathery.
- Skin infections: Repeated scratching, can cause open sores and cracks. This is an open door for Bacteria and viruses.
- Hand dermatitis: people who clean or disinfect their hands often can develop hand dermatitis.
- Allergic contact dermatitis: it appears after direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it. Many substances can cause such reactions, including soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and plants.
- Asthma and hay fever: Atopic dermatitis is often a precursor to asthma and hay fever. Children who have suffered from atopic dermatitis symptoms in their early years are 50% likely to develop asthma and hay fever as teenagers.
- Sleep disturbances: Because of the perpetual itching, many people have trouble falling asleep and sleeping through the night. The sleep disturbances worsen the Atopic Dermatitis. This is a vicious cycle.
Atopic Dermatitis symptoms often appear on the following parts of the body:
The following skin areas are affected depending on age:
- Babies: The face – especially the cheeks. AD may spread to the upper body and limbs.
- Infants: The ankles, wrists, limbs, including fingers and toes.
- Older children and adolescents: Folds of the joints (elbows and knees), also the back of the hands, feet and fingers.
- Adults: in addition to the areas typical of older children and adolescents, there are also the neck, eyelids and face.