What is Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?
Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema in which the skin is fundamentally too dry. This overly dry skin is quite itchy, and patients with this condition tend to scratch. The scratched areas then become more red and inflamed. Hence, atopic dermatitis is sometimes called the "itch that rashes."
Atopic dermatitis can occur anywhere on the body, and in fact the skin is usually too dry everywhere. In older children ad adults, the inflamed areas most commonly involve the inner creases of the knees and elbows, the tops of the hands and feet, the neck, and the trunk. Babies have more prominent involvement of the face, forearms, and legs.
Atopic dermatitis is much more common in patients with a family history of allergies for two reasons: 1) the genes that cause skin dryness are very closely linked to the genes that cause allergy, and 2) some cases of atopic dermatitis are actually caused by, or at least aggravated by, an allergic reaction to some foods. Atopic dermatitis usually develops in the first year or two of lie. Most often, but not always, the condition will gradually improve with age. Because of strong association with allergy, many patients may "outgrow" their atopic dermatitis, only to develop nasal allergies or asthma later in childhood. Some will develop all three, the so so-called "allergic triad".
We take a careful history to identify all possible aggravating factors and to assess for any related conditions, such as allergies or asthma. We perform a thorough exam of the skin to determine the extent and severity of the eczema. In many case we will perform allergy testing to determine if anything in the diet or environment should be avoided.
Park Cities Allergy & Asthma
4119 Lomo Alto Drive
Highland Park, TX 75219
Monday: 9: 00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am- 5: 00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday: 7:15 am -2:30 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 11:30, 1:00 - 5:15 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am- 2:45 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 11:15, 1:00 - 4:45 pm