Dermatology Specialists of Gainesville
Dermatologists located in Newberry, FL & Chiefland, FL
Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that commonly occurs in children, but can also affect adults. Dr. Christina Mitchell of Dermatology Specialists of Gainesville in Newberry, Florida, is experienced in treating atopic dermatitis and can help you or your child find relief. To learn more book an appointment today using the easy online scheduling tool or by calling to speak with a member of the administrative staff.
Atopic Dermatitis Q & A
What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease that increases skin sensitivity and reduces your threshold for skin irritation. It usually begins during childhood but can also present for the first time in adulthood. Even infants can be afflicted.
The term atopic dermatitis stems from the Greek word for “strange” and the term dermatitis, which means skin inflammation.
What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Symptoms vary from one person to the next and can change over time. Some possible symptoms include:
- Small, raised bumps that sometimes leak fluid and crust over
- Thick, scaly, or cracked skin
- Dry skin
- Patches of red or brownish-gray skin
- Skin that is sensitive, raw, or swollen from persistent scratching
These symptoms can persist over time or can flare up periodically before calming and clearing for a period of time.
How can I prevent atopic dermatitis?
There are steps you can take to prevent flare-ups or lessen their severity. These steps include:
- Moisturizing at least twice a day using high-quality skin products
- Bathing in a tub with diluted household bleach
- Limiting baths and showers to less than 15 minutes
- Bathing or showering in warm, not hot, water
- Using mild soaps and other body care products
- Drying your skin thoroughly after bathing
You also can learn to identify triggers that lead to flare-ups. Examples include seasonal allergies and low humidity.
What are the options for treating atopic dermatitis?
There are numerous ways to soothe inflamed and irritated skin. Things to try at home include hydrocortisone creams, oral allergy or anti-itch medications, bandaging, and choosing clothing that doesn’t irritate your skin. Stress and anxiety also appear to worsen atopic dermatitis, so counseling can help reduce flare-ups.
Topical creams can control your skin reaction, and some alter the way your immune system responds to triggers. Antibiotic cream or pills can reduce the risk of infection. This is a good option if your skin has developed cracks or open sores.
Oral corticosteroids can control inflammation but aren’t a good long-term solution because they can cause serious side effects. New biologic treatments show promise in treating cases that haven’t responded well to other efforts.
To learn more about your options in addressing atopic dermatitis, book an appointment online or by phone.