a year ago
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic eczematous skin disease that usually begins in childhood. A predisposition to atopic dermatitis is inherited. Patients with atopic dermatitis have "super sensitive" skin and a decreased threshold for irritation. Acute atopic dermatitis produces weeping, oozing plaques of very itchy skin. Itching is a characteristic symptom. Chronic atopic dermatitis appears as thickened, elevated plaques of scaling skin. Patients with atopic dermatitis seem to have a misguided immune response. Treatment of atopic dermatitis is centered around rehydrating the skin with emollients like petroleum jelly and the cautious use of topical steroids to reduce inflammation and itching. Oral antihistamines may be helpful in breaking the "itch-scratch" cycle. Since secondary infections can aggravate the rash, oral antibiotics may also be occasionally indicated.