Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema refers to any condition that causes the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. Although atopic dermatitis affects people of all ages, it is most common in babies and young children.

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Dry skin
  • Red or irritated rashes on the face, hands, feet, outside or inside the elbows, and behind the knees or in front of the knees
  • Skin inflammation

Symptoms are also characterized by chronic ups and downs. Most cases feature periods when the condition is severe, called flare-ups, followed by periods when the condition eases or clears, called remissions. Luckily, most children with atopic dermatitis go into permanent remission as they age. However, there are some instances in which the condition continues into adulthood.

During flare-ups, atopic dermatitis rashes are incredibly itchy. Scratching the rashes or affected skin can lead to compounded symptoms like:

  • Cracked skin
  • Weeping clear fluid
  • Bubbling rashes
  • Crusting
  • Scaling
  • Thick skin
  • Skin creasing around the eyes or on the palms
  • Skin darkening, especially around the eyes

Do You or Your Child Have Atopic Dermatitis?

It’s important to see a doctor right away if you notice these symptoms in yourself or your child. If left untreated, chronic atopic dermatitis can leave skin thickened, dark and scaly. If scratched, atopic dermatitis rashes can become infected and cause painful, pus-filled red bumps, or rarely permanent scarring.

You should see a doctor for a precise diagnosis (i.e., atopic dermatitis vs. other types of eczema). Knowledge is power and will leave you better equipped to treat and manage it in the future.

Treating Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis causes are mostly unknown; therefore, treatment revolves around healing the skin and preventing flare-ups rather than permanent cures. The most consistent and effective treatments are daily use of gentle, moisturizing cleanser for eczema, twice daily use of irritant-free moisturizing creams or ointments (many times referred to as emollients), and avoiding triggers between flare-ups.

Triggers are any variable that usually causes a flare-up. Common triggers include stress, harsh soaps and detergents, dry skin, and extreme temperatures. Determining and avoiding personal triggers goes a long way towards reducing flare-ups and their severity.

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash for atopic dermatitis is the pediatrician’s solution for soothing dry, itchy, or irritated skin. This non-soap cleanser is gentle. It is free of fragrances, dyes, sulfates, and preservatives to keep skin moisturized and to help prevent irritation. It is formulated with a low pH to mimic the pH of healthy skin to help bolster the skin’s barrier function and antimicrobial activity. Cruelty-free and vegan, it is made with Oatmeal Extract and Licorice to help soothe discomfort, calm redness, and encourage happy, healthy baby skin. Your pediatrician, dermatologist, or family doctor can help in giving additional tips on reducing eczema and atopic dermatitis flare-ups.

Additional Resources:

Medicine Net, What is Atopic Dermatitis?

WebMD, What is Atopic Dermatitis?


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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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What are the four most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis?

The four most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis in babies are:
Itchy skin
Red rashes
Flaky skin

How is atopic dermatitis diagnosed in babies?

The doctor will diagnose the baby's atopic dermatitis by examining the affected areas; they will inquire about the baby's medical history and family history of atopic dermatitis. Rarely would a doctor suggest a skin biopsy to diagnose eczema.

Is atopic dermatitis dangerous for babies?

Atopic dermatitis is not dangerous. About 50% of children with eczema naturally outgrow the condition by puberty. But for some people, it may persist throughout their lifetime.

Is atopic dermatitis genetic?

Atopic dermatitis is not solely caused by genetics, but yes, it has a very strong genetic component. People with a family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, hay fever, or other allergic conditions are more likely to develop eczema.

What are other names for atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is also known as atopy, eczema, and dermatitis.

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