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Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, often known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition caused by inflammation. Itchy red rash that looks dry, bumpy, or scaly is the bane of anyone who’s ever managed it. People with eczema often develop asthma and allergies.

Usually, it develops in infancy and can progress into adulthood. Roughly, 10 percent of U.S. children are diagnosed with eczema. But no one is out of the woods. A person can have it at any age.

Rashes appear mostly on the back of the neck and knees and in elbow creases seemingly at any time. Babies often get it on their scalp and cheeks. It’s not contagious, but most people with eczema have one of their parents or siblings with the condition.

There’s still uncertainty what causes it. However, genes are considered to be the main culprit. Immune system problems, dry skin, allergies, stress, chemicals in soap and detergents, medications, some fabrics can all further aggravate the symptoms.

There is a lot you can do to alleviate symptoms:

  • Moisturize. The key to managing flare-ups is to keep your skin hydrated. Thick creams and ointment are the best options;

  • Use an oral antihistamine on a daily basis to relieve itching;

  • Use topical anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.

If you have environmental allergies and persistent eczema, talk to a specialist about immunotherapy and whether allergy shots are right for you.

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