Skin Diseases 2022

Dermatitis atópica: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Dermatitis atópica: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Dermatitis atópica: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the skin, causing dryness, plaques and blisters that are very itchy, and which can lead to the formation of wounds. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema, can happen to anyone, but are most common in babies and children under 5 years of age.

This skin inflammation has a multifactorial origin, that is, it can be triggered by a combination of factors, and it is not contagious. The most affected sites vary according to age, being more common in the folds of the arms and knees, and may also appear on the cheeks and next to the ears of babies, or on the neck, hands and feet of adults.

Although there is no cure, atopic dermatitis can be treated with anti-inflammatory remedies in ointment or tablets, according to the dermatologist's guidance, and with skin hydration, it is also important to identify the factor responsible for stimulate symptoms.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of atopic dermatitis are dry skin and itchiness, especially on the hands, elbows, neck, back of the knee and/or ankles.

However, other symptoms may appear such as:

  • Swelling of the skin;
  • Redness;
  • Skin peeling due to dryness;
  • Appearance of small balls;
  • Formation of sores, due to constant scratching;
  • Change in the color of an area of ​​the skin, which may be lighter or darker than normal.

These lesions can appear at any age and tend to appear in "flare up" periods, disappearing after a few days.

When lesions are left untreated or remain on the skin for a long time (chronic form), they can develop a darker color and look like a crust, a situation called lichenification. Know how to recognize the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

Due to dry skin, itching and formation of sores, there is a greater risk of developing a skin infection caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, which can worsen inflammation, worsen symptoms and make treatment more difficult.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is made by the dermatologist mainly through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person. In addition, the doctor must take into account the person's medical history, that is, the frequency with which symptoms appear and in which situations they appear, that is, if it arises in times of stress or as a consequence of allergic rhinitis, for example.

It is important that the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is made as soon as the first symptoms appear so that the treatment can be started right away and complications, especially skin infections, are prevented.

Causes of atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a disease with a multifactorial cause, that is, changes in the skin can be triggered by several factors, however the way these factors promote the appearance of symptoms is still discussed. It is believed that the symptoms of atopic dermatitis arise due to a change in the skin barrier and/or are a consequence of a change in the immune system, which results in a more intense inflammatory response.

Some factors may be responsible for stimulating skin inflammation and leading to the appearance of atopic dermatitis symptoms, such as climate change, smoke, pollution, highly concentrated detergents and washing soap and contact with synthetic fabrics, for example.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for atopic dermatitis can be done with the use of corticosteroid creams or ointments prescribed by the dermatologist, such as Dexchlorpheniramine or Dexamethasone, twice a day. It is also important to adopt some habits to reduce inflammation and treat crises, such as:

  • Use urea-based moisturizers, avoiding products such as color and smell;
  • Do not bathe with hot water;
  • Avoid taking more than one bath a day;
  • Avoid foods most likely to cause allergies, such as shrimp, peanuts, or milk.

In addition, medication in pill form, such as anti-allergy or corticosteroids, prescribed by a dermatologist, may be necessary to reduce itching crises and severe inflammation. Understand more about treatment for atopic dermatitis.

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