Eczema, also known by the name of dermatitis is a skin condition that results in swelling or inflammation. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease and the most common form of endogenous eczema. It is characterized by dryness and itchiness. Sometimes, due to a history of asthma or other allergies in the family, a person can inherit atopic dermatitis genetically. 

Sites involved

  • In infants: usually occurs as dry, itchy and scaly skin on scalp and cheeks
  • In children: Usually occurs as rash in the creases of elbows, knees or both. It can also occur as rashes on neck and face, usually around the eyes and lips. Lastly, can be identified as a thick, leather skin
  • In adults: Can occur as dry, itchy and scaly bruises in skin folds or on the face.


Atopic dermatitis is a disease the exact cause of which is still not known. However, patients with atopic dermatitis usually have an altered skin barrier as compared to a person with normal skin, which is one of the causes of the disease. Due to this, their skin becomes prone to water loss and entry of irritants. Apart from this, they have a skin type which is characterized by the presence of too many inflammatory cells.

These causes either individually or as a whole affects the skin of the patient in a way that leads to redness and itchy rashes.

Some known triggers for atopic dermatitis are as follow-

  • Long hot showers or baths
  • Heat
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Soaps, detergents, and cleansers
  • Wool and synthetic fabrics
  • Physical irritants (dirt, sand, and smoke)
  • Allergens (pollen, dust, dander)
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Sweat
  • Stress

How to take care of yourself when suffering from atopic dermatitis

  1. Moisturize your skin at least twice a day: An ointment is greasy and stings less and also a good way to take care of children suffering from AD. It can be inherited in their routine as a twice-a-day regimen as 1) In the morning after taking a bath, apply the ointment on the affected areas, and, 2) End your day by applying the ointment before bed to treat AD.
  2. Apply an anti-itch cream to the affected areas: If the affected area is causing itching, an anti-inflammatory cream may be used to relieve the itch.
  3. Take an oral allergy or anti-itch medication: Some oral non- prescription allergy medicines like cetirizine or fexofenadine can be used to relieve the itch.
  4. Don’t scratch: Scratching on the affected area can worsen the itch and redness. Rather than scratching, opt for a light press on the skin to get relief.
  5. Apply Bandages: If you are someone who cannot resist scratching when your skin itches, try covering the affected area with bandages. This will not only protect the skin from irritants but also help you avoid unnecessary scratching.
  6. Take a warm bath instead of hot showers.
  7. Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes: rinsing the soap off completely is as important as choosing which soap to use.
  8. Use a humidifier: Usually, irritation on the skin worsens when your skin is exposed to hot, dry indoor air. In order to prevent this, using a humidifier is a great option.
  9. Wear cool, smooth textured clothing: Reduce irritation by avoiding clothing that is rough, tight or scratchy. Since sweating can increase the redness and irritation, wearing appropriate clothing while doing any physical exercise is also very important.
  10. Treat stress and anxiety: As much as the external factors affect your skin, internal factors cause harm too. Too much stress and anxiety are few of the internal factors which worsen the side effects of atopic dermatitis.
  11. Adequate water should be used to rinse the clothes to remove the excess detergent from the clothes as this can irritate the skin.
  12. Avoid dusting and brooming in presence of the person with sensitive skin.
  13. Use of perfumes, air fresheners, and other volatile fragrances should be avoided
  14. The skin care should be continued even after the eczema is cleared.