Everything you need to know about Atopic Dermatitis

Dr. Amparo Rodríguez. dermatologist

Dr. Rodríguez Álvarez is a recognized specialist in Dermatology with extensive experience in skin health and the treatment of sensitive skin. His exhaustive training has numerous specialization degrees in different fields of Dermatology, such as the Master in facial filler techniques or in botulinum toxin, among others. In addition, he has combined clinical practice with teaching, teaching courses in the Dermoexpert Master of the College of Pharmacists.

Throughout her excellent career, she has held positions of responsibility and is currently the Medical Director of the Dra. Amparo Rodríguez Dermatological Center, where she cares for her patients with the latest medical technology and all the comforts so that they feel in the best hands.

One of the most common causes in my practice, They are patients who arrive worried about skin conditions. Many times it is what dermatologists know as atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema of the skin and that is inherited in most cases, from parents to children. Did you know that in Spain, Atopic Dermatitis in the adult population is 7.2%, that is, it affects 3,400,000 peopleas

In addition, the prevalence of atopy is experiencing a notable increase. In 1960, atopy affected 5-10% of the population, while today the figure is closer to 10-20%.

Below I want to share with you the most frequently asked questions about this pathology which, despite being very common in the population, can be treated effectively and improve the quality of life of the person who suffers from it.

¿Why does atopic dermatitis occur??

The skin of an atopic person does not perform its barrier function correctly and allows certain allergens to penetrate the skin and cause inflammation. The result is a constant feeling of itchiness and irritability that undoubtedly affects sleep, stress, lack of confidence and quality of life in general.l.

Atopic dermatitis has no known cure and requires a good skin care routine to relieve symptoms. If you suffer from this pathology, it is very important to follow these basic dermatological tips:

  • Gently cleanse the skin with soap-free cleansers, called syndet
  • Apply to the skin twice a day an effective emollient
  • wear cotton clothes
  • Maintain a low ambient temperature, to avoid sweat
  • At the end of sports practice, shower immediately
  • How to detect Atopic Dermatitis

If you think you may suffer from atopic dermatitis, you should know that the most visible signs on your skin are scaling and rough, red patches, additionally the skin is dry, tight and itchy. Atopic dermatitis most often manifests on the face, especially the cheeks and chin. Over time, red patches caused by eczema also appear on the neck and on the skin that folds around the elbows. Over time, the skin can become thick and leathery through a process called "lichenification."

Scarring from scratching, the so-called itch-scratch-itch atopic skin cycle, is often seen. This constant sensation of itching negatively affects the quality of life of people who suffer from it (insomnia, stress, low self-esteem) and even the people around them.no.

¿What causes atopic dermatitis?

Although the cause of atopic dermatitis has not yet been discovered, we can observe some common factors in people who have this skin condition:

  1.  Genetics. It has been shown that if the parents usually suffer from allergies, such as asthma, rhinitis or hay fever, the children are more likely to suffer from atopic dermatitis
  2. Climate . In cold climates and in the most polluted cities, a higher risk of suffering from atopic dermatitis is detected.
  3. Age . It is appreciated that when the age of the mother at the time of delivery increases, the children are at greater risk of suffering from the condition.
  4. Gender . It is observed that women have a slightly higher propensity than men to suffer from atopic dermatitis.

Skin with atopic dermatitis is dry and itchy, so sufferers have a tendency to scratch their skin, further weakening the skin's barrier function. Consequently, allergens from the environment penetrate more easily and bacteria cause more irritation and increase the sensation of itching. This negative circle is called the atopic skin cycle.a”

¿What factors can trigger Atopic Dermatitis?

There are some factors that trigger or aggravate the symptoms of atopic eczema, they are the contributing factors

  • Foods such as: milk, cheese, shellfish or nuts
  • Alcohol
  • House mites, dust, pollen
  • Poorly breathable fabrics such as nylon or wool
  • some detergents
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Sweat
  • smoking
  • Nickel, present in watches or jewelry
  • Formaldehyde

¿When does atopic dermatitis appear??

Atopic dermatitis in 50% of cases of children with atopic eczema manifested during the first months of life and the disease disappears on its own by the age of 5 years.

¿Can atopic dermatitis be cured??

Atopic dermatitis does not have a definitive cure, but its symptoms can be kept under control by adopting some measures such as the use of cleansers without soap (called Syndet), avoiding hot baths and applying an emollient twice a day.

How to treat an outbreak of Atopic Ezcema

When the symptoms are severe (red dry patches, scratch marks, different imperfections...), dermatologists usually prescribe corticosteroid treatments. These eczema treatments have an anti-inflammatory action and should therefore be applied to inflamed areas of the skin to relieve and reduce damage caused by scratching as quickly as possible, although they should be used for limited periods of time, as can cause side effects such as thinning of the skin.

Some people with atopic dermatitis are usually well, but from time to time they have flare-ups or flare-ups of atopic dermatitis. There is no common rule for how long these outbreaks last. In some people they can appear once a year, or once a month or a week. Some people have symptoms that last a few days, and other people have symptoms for several weeks or months.

The dermatologist, specialist in the care of Atopy

If you notice on the skin of the face, neck or joint areas, red patches, dry skin and constant itching that is never relieved by scratching, you should go to your trusted dermatologist, since we are the right specialists to deal with the pathology . Corticosteroids are safe in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis Corticosteroids administered orally can have some side effect in certain cases, such as fluid retention, sleep disorders, a slower growth rate, etc..

But corticosteroid creams stay on the skin's surface and don't cause serious side effects. However, it is recommended to use them with caution, because their excessive use can lead to skin thinning and weakening.

Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Daily care for atopic eczema has two phases, the outbreak and the maintenance phase.

During the outbreak, dermatologists normally recommend applying corticosteroid creams and once the lesions caused by atopic eczema disappear, the maintenance phase begins.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition, so the key to successful treatment is regularity and applying a good emollient twice a day during the maintenance phase. Emollient creams restore the skin barrier that protects the skin's surface and limits the penetration of irritating elements, thus reducing itching caused by dryness and preventing further breakouts from occurring or limiting their duration.

Atopic eczema and the microbiome

Healthy skin is home to billions of beneficial bacteria that ensure the skin's barrier function works properly. This collection of microorganisms is known as the microbiome. Those people who suffer from atopic dermatitis have an altered microbiome Difference between Xerosis and Atopic Dermatitis

Although they are closely related, they are not the same. Xerosis is the medical term for dry skin, we could say that xerosis can be considered a previous and necessary step for eczema to appear and therefore treating xerosis properly, in addition to relieving discomfort, on many occasions we also prevent it from appearing the eczema Eczema involves an alteration of the skin barrier which leads to dryness due to the loss of water through the skin and inflammation and consequently redness will appear in addition to flaking. What is the difference between Eczea and Atopiaa?

Eczema is a general term for any type of dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis is hereditary and is the most severe and chronic type of eczema, that is, the one that lasts the longest COVID19 causes a significant increase in cases of Atopic Dermatitis in Spain According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the masks used to protect us from the spread of the coronavirus could present allergens that cause contact dermatitis. And therefore, we can say that scientifically it is being shown that the prevention of this disease can cause an increase in cases of atopic dermatitis.ca

¿How does Atopic Dermatitis affect my life??

The main symptom of atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis is "pruritus" or itching, which affects the well-being of children and adults.

Common problems include sleep disturbance, mood swings, and ongoing discomfort.

Up to 84% of people with atopic dermatitis have sleep disturbances. When a child or adult has atopic skin, the whole family suffers from the effects:

6 Tips to avoid itchiness

Scratching can temporarily relieve itchiness, but this only makes eczema last, as scratching further damages the skin barrier, making it easier for bacteria to enter which can cause infection and in turn more itchiness. In other words, a very frustrating vicious circle that we can avoid with the combination of the treatments recommended by dermatologists and some lifestyle advice. Here are these tips:

  1. Gently cleanses the skin. Take a shower with lukewarm water, avoiding hot and prolonged baths. Opt for soap-free cleansers like syndets, which cleanse skin without causing irritation.
  2. Apply a good emollient. To help your skin restore its barrier function, apply an emollient twice a day. This way you avoid the frustrating cycle of itch-scratch-more itch. A good product to treat your skin is Masderm's Firming Body Cream, which, thanks to its ingredients and rapid absorption, hydrates and firms your skin effectively, naturally and quickly.
  3. Avoid allergens. Your skin is more permeable to pollen, mites, dust, which triggers the symptoms of atopic eczema. Vacuum regularly and ventilate the rooms of your house daily, especially the bedrooms.s.
  4. Maintain temperature and humidity overnight. To achieve a good quality of sleep, it is important that the environment is not dry because it can trigger itchy skin and the itch-scratch cycle. Make sure the room is at 18-20 degrees and that you have applied the emollient before to go to bed If necessary, get a humidifier.
  5. Avoid sweat. It is highly recommended to play sports, but avoiding staying with sweaty skin for a long time. Wear loose clothing, made of breathable material that absorbs sweat and most importantly, shower immediately afterwards and apply a good emollient
  6. Avoid clothing that favors eczema. For skin with atopic dermatitis, cotton is the right textile. Avoid materials such as wool or nylon

¿Which foods should I avoid and which should I not??

Avoid eating these foods

  • Acids. Citrus fruits, tomato, vinegar.
  • Histamine-rich foods. Strawberries, seafood, cured cheese, fish…
  • Very spicy or salty foods.
  • Fatty foods.
  • Cow's milk proteins are the most allergenic
  • recommended foods

Experts recommend eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, vegetable oils) and vitamin A (carrots, pumpkin, tangerines, melon or watermelon) that help improve the condition of the skin.

¿what to remember?

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition, so there is no cure

The key to success is regularity, you should apply twice a day an emollient such asMasderm RF Body Firming

If you notice on the skin of the face, neck or joint areas, red patches, dry skin and constant itching, go to the dermatologist

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