Last Updated : 1/5/2011
Ira Shah
What is

atopic dermatitis


Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, recurrent, itchy skin condition that is due to skin inflammation. It is seen more commonly in individuals with a personal or a family history of allergy such as those having asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis or other allergies. It is commonly considered as eczema though eczema is a dermatitis that can represent variety of skin conditions.

How common is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis affects almost 1-2 out of every 10 children worldwide.

What is the

age when atopic dermatitis commonly occurs


Atopic dermatitis commonly begins in infancy or early childhood. Approximately 60 % of patients with this condition develop it before their 1st birthday and around 30 % present between 1-5 years of age. The disease is characterised by intermittent acute flares.

What are the

causes for atopic dermatitis


There is a strong genetic tendency in atopic dermatitis with 30 - 70 % of patients having a family history of allergies. In addition, exposure to certain environmental factors can provoke atopic dermatitis.

What are the

provoking factors of atopic dermatitis


Excessive drying of the skin, excessive sweating, irritants (soaps, detergents, perfumes, woollen clothing), certain types of food, inhalant allergens, dust mites can all exacerbate itching in predisposed individuals

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai, India

First Created : 1/17/2001


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