Atopic Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease of young children. Almost 45% have onset during first 6 months of life and 85% have onset before 5 years of age. A complete clearing at puberty or shortly after puberty is noted in 40-60% of children however, it can continue to bother in adulthood.
Understanding causes and risks
Four main causes for Atopic Dermatitis include
- Genetic predisposition
- Defect in skin barrier system
- Increased immune response to allergens (eg. pollen, dust mite, animal dander, food,etc.)
- Defects in immune defense against infection
Huge impact of uncontrolled Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema can range from being an annoyance to a severe, debilitating condition. Atopic eczema has a greater mental health impact than some other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. More than 1 billion dollars are spent as direct and indirect costs in the U.S. On average, patients take 2.5 days off school or work per year. Inspite of that, only 24% of patients and caregivers feel confident they can manage flares adequately.
A board-certified allergist can help
A board certified allergist has a specialized training in managing atopic dermatitis. They can help and educate you on how to treat atopic dermatitis and manage flares adequately. An allergist will take detailed history, do thorough physical examination and do skin scratch allergy test to identify the “triggers” causing atopic dermatitis. A personalized atopic dermatitis action plan is then generated for your special needs.
Various modalities of treatment are available with continued research in this field
Management of atopic dermatitis has changed in the last few years. A recently trained allergist can develop a plan to make you or your child completely symptom-free. Preventative management is stressed including good skin care, decreased exposure to “triggers,” decreased itching, and keeping skin hydrated. Medications including topical corticosteroids, oral antibiotics, topical calcineurin inhibitors or oral corticosteroids are used for acute atopic eczema flares, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Long term management includes barrier restoration, flare prevention by allergen avoidance and allergen immunotherapy, only if its correct for you.
The Allergy Group – Friendly, capable and experienced
Our team of physicians and healthcare professionals at The Allergy Group in Boise are highly experienced and trained to provide you with the best care and keep you symptom-free. We are committed to your personal healthcare.