Atopic eczema, which is also called eczema dermatitis, is a skin condition that is more and more frequent. During outbreaks, the skin becomes itchy, and then starts to ooze before blisters form. In order to reduce the number of outbreaks, it is essential to avoid contact with allergens and regularly apply emollient creams.
A frequent skin disorder
Atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common skin disorder, which often appears at around the age of three months, but can also develop at an earlier age. In newborns, atopic dermatitis is most frequently found on the face, particularly the cheeks and chin. As the child gets older, the lesions become located mainly on the neck, skin folds around the elbows, wrist and behind the knees. After each outbreak, there is a remission phase. These outbreaks often begin with a simple red patch on the skin that starts to itch. The skin becomes dry and rough in certain areas then starts to ooze before blisters form.
The cause: severely dry skin
Many individuals have a genetic predisposition to atopic dermatitis. Those who are affected by this disorder have a highly reactive immune system. Moreover, atopic skin shows severe constitutional dryness. Because the skin barrier has become modified, the allergens in our environment are able to deeply penetrate into the lower epidermal layers. They then stimulate the immune system, which overreacts. This causes clinical signs of atopic eczema to appear: itchiness, inflammation and oozing. Environmental factors may also explain the significant increase in atopic dermatitis over the past few years: pollution, passive smoking, etc.
Treatment : dermocorticoids and emollient creams
During outbreaks: dermatologists prescribe creams or ointments that contain corticoids, called dermocorticoids. These help treat lesions as soon as they appear. Once the lesions have disappeared, emollient creams restore moisture to extremely dry skin. This will also help prevent outbreaks. Creams for atopic skin should be applied to the entire body once or twice a day. To reduce the number of outbreaks, we recommend that you :
- take showers rather than baths
- use gentle gel cleansers that are soap and fragrance-free
- wear cotton clothing rather than wool or synthetic garments
- maintain a low temperature in the room
For more information, please contact your dermatologist.