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Health Promotion Board - Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

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Atopic dermatitis or Eczema is a skin condition that frequently occurs in young children, although it may start in young adults and can continue into adult life.

Itching of the skin can be caused by irritants, infections, allergies and stress.

Avoiding allergens such as animal dander, dust mites and cockroaches can improve atopic dermatitis. Eliminating foods to which a person is allergic will also result in the improvement of the eczema.

The rash of atopic dermatitis called eczema appears as a red rash with flaking skin or as small blisters/bumps.

The location of eczema is dependent on the area of the body that is scratched.

In infants and very young children this rash involves the face especially the cheeks, chest and trunk, back of the scalp and may involve the arms and legs.

In older children and adults, it involves the skin in front of the elbows and behind the knees. It may involve the eyelids and the palms of the hands and soles of the feet in certain people.

Irritants that cause itching through direct stimulation of the skin include:

  • harsh soaps
  • chemicals
  • wool fabrics
  • heat and sweating

Skin infections which can cause itching include:

  • Staphylococcus Aureus infections which can worsen the itching and eczema.
  • Herpes virus infections can cause severe skin infections in people with atopic dermatitis.

Allergies can be a significant trigger for itching and include:

  • Animal dander and dust mites,
  • Pollens and mold spores in the air
  • Food allergies include egg and milk allergy particularly in children.

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Guest Friday, 19 April 2019