Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is the name under which it is known from a chronic rash that occurs in some people with sensitive skin. Under the heading of eczema or dermatitis includes all skin lesions that itch and are red, scaly and exudative.

Eczema Types

Examples of eczema include various types of skin diseases among eczema is allergic to various substances such as metals, cosmetics, gloves, etc.. Also eczema seborrhoeic eczema which appear in the greasy areas of the face and atopic eczema. Atopic eczema is explained in this article is different from previous disease and can be called eczema, constitutional eczema or atopic dermatitis.

The term atopy derived from Greek and means without or rare. This term encompasses a group of allergic diseases or related to them that often occur in family groups. It is common to find family members who suffer or have suffered from asthma, hay fever, dust allergy and eczema in the form of atopic dermatitis. But one in five patients with atopic dermatitis has no history of atopic dermatitis or other allergic diseases.

Atopic dermatitis is a common and occurs in all parts of the world, affecting more than 5% of the population, being more common in urban and industrialized countries. This disease can occur at any age from infancy to adulthood. The skin lesions are extremely pruritic (itch). Most patients improve with age, disappearing lesions in the prepubertal period, however there are times that can be more durable and harder to treat injuries.

Characteristics and Causes of Eczema

Features: When the disease appears in childhood, frequently called infantile eczema. Atopic dermatitis rarely develops in babies under 2 months of age. The face is the area that is affected initially and subsequently affect the folds (arms, knees and neck) hands and feet. Red patches sometimes appear around the seed coat.

Injuries cause much itching, exudation of fluid and crusting are usually on the face and scalp but can appear anywhere. In an attempt to decrease itching children often scratch the face and head with pillows and blankets. They are generally children who cry a lot, especially at night. Most children improve much of the disease within two years.

There are now treatments that can improve the disease before this is resolved spontaneously. In the years after the lesions tend to be drier and usually scaly, affecting mainly the front of the elbow creases, behind the knee, face, neck and upper chest. While these are the most common sites are found in many other locations. In adults, most often affecting the face and hands. The diagnosis of this entity is based on clinical features, distribution and evolution of eczema. On rare occasions it is warranted to evaluate diagnostic tests to patients.

For us it is already clear that the eczema do not have defined their real causes, but then as medical diagnostics know what are some possible causes of eczema of the skin:

  • What I mentioned above, the eczema caused by heredity.
  • When the skin comes into contact with an irritant such as soap or bleach.
  • When skin is exposed to water for a long time without applying any moisturizer.
  • When there are seasonal changes or the humidity.
  • Eczema can also trigger or worsen with stress.
  • Poor circulation in the elderly.
  • Constant scratching can also cause cracks anywhere in the body.

Treatment of Eczema

There is no treatment that results in a permanent cure, eczema usually heals over time. Most people can live comfortably with his eczema especially if they follow these recommendations. Treatment of atopic eczema include the use of emollients, corticosteroids, antibiotics and antihistamines. In addition to these treatments is important to avoid aggravating factors of eczema which are explained below.

Emollients: It is important to keep skin soft and hydrated and reduce itching. Emollient creams and lotions should be applied especially after bathing and whenever you notice dry skin, even if there is itching or red. Emollient should be applied after the bath, most often in the winter months and if they work in offices or places with air conditioning. There are many market emollients marketed, we must find the one that is most convenient. You should try to apply it several times a day. Avoid lotions or creams that contain emollients perfume. The bath oil (mineral oil or lanolin) are well tolerated and help keep skin hydrated. The urea-containing creams are usually well tolerated, but in some cases can cause itching or stain.


Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are useful as antiinflammatory agents when applied on eczema and are actually more topical medication used to control the lesions of atopic dermatitis. Corticosteroids may be applied in salves or ointments acids in very dry areas or in more liquid creams for skin folds or areas where lesions are exudative, lotions and hair areas. The power of steroids is very varied. The softer the corticosteroid hydrocortisone, which can be applied to the face or buttock without problem. It can be applied safely even if used for a long time, but in the face should be used intermittently.

The more potent corticosteroids should be used only for short periods of time. Generally more potent corticosteroids should be avoided in the face, underarms, English as they can produce a marked thinning of the skin and other problems. Usually prescribed different creams for different locations and situations. Corticosteroids should be applied twice a day on the shoot and when it comes to their control should try to space their application.

It is important to apply immediately after bathing when the skin is well hydrated. In cases of severe eczema is necessary to take steroids by mouth or intramuscular, but generally must be made in short periods and under the supervision of a physician. Do not take steroids by mouth or intramuscular if not prescribed specifically for the present outbreak.

Topical calcineurin inhibitors: Recently you can have a new class of topical medications, tacrolimus and pipecuroniums, which modify the response of lymphocytes involved in the lesions of atopic dermatitis, which have proved very useful in the treatment and control of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, being especially indicated in those patients without disease control after application of topical corticosteroids. These medications can be used for limited periods in patients over 2 years old and who have not responded to standard treatments.

Antibiotics: Atopic dermatitis is often superinfected with bacteria, especially staphylococcus aureus, which aggravates the eczema and results in areas of oozing and crusting. To prevent and control infection is useful to use antiseptics such as permanganate baths, soaps, chlorhexidine or povidone iodine, may also apply topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or fusidic acid in the most extensive oral antibiotics as cephalosporins, cloxacillin, amoxicillin or erythromycin.

Antihistamines: Oral antihistamines are helpful in controlling outbreaks of hives and itching may also lower in patients with atopy. Conventional antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (Atarax) are especially useful at night, but can cause drowsiness which may represent a beneficial effect for the affections of atopic dermatitis. The newer antihistamines such as cetirizine may also be useful and has fewer side effects.

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