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Irritated, Itchy, Atopic Skin

Irritated, Itchy, Atopic Skin
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Explore our experts’ opinions to learn more about irritated, itchy skin and atopic skin.

Atopy means you are prone to allergies (atopic profile) that can manifest themselves as skin problems (atopic eczema, still called atopic dermatitis), respiratory problems (allergic asthma), and problems in the ears, nose and throat (allergic rhinitis) or in the eyes (allergic conjunctivitis).
 
It’s important to remember that eczema is not always atopic. Contact eczema, for example, is due to sensitivity that develops upon contact with an allergy-inducing substance such as shoes, costume jewellery or jean buttons that contain nickel.

You need to use cleansing products that respect their skin barrier and moisturise their skin regularly (once or twice a day) with a suitable emollient product as a preventative measure for several months after they are born. You should also pay attention to their environment (avoid exposure to allergens such as dust that contains mites or animal hair; avoid dry or overheated environments; opt for cotton fabric over synthetic; and avoid exposure to sun and cold).

For people with an atopic profile, bathing and washing hair every other day is sufficient. This preserves the fragile skin barrier.
 
Hard water makes dry skin worse and therefore affects the skin barrier which allows allergens from the environment to penetrate the skin and trigger outbreaks of eczema.

Providing hydration to the child, once to twice a day, is crucial for treating atopic dermatitis. During flare-ups, stop using the hydrating treatment on areas that have become inflamed and instead apply a topical steroid treatment. Continue to use the emollient cream on the rest of the body.

Providing hydration to the child, once to twice a day, is crucial for treating atopic dermatitis. During flare-ups, stop using the hydrating treatment on areas that have become inflamed and instead apply a topical steroid treatment. Continue to use the emollient cream on the rest of the body.

The most immediate solution is to apply a sufficient quantity of topical steroids to the child’s skin every day. You can also use some anti-scratching techniques such as mittens (to eliminate scratches and bleeding for the smallest children), cold packs (to numb pain) and scratching wheels (to limit an adult’s desire to scratch). 

The most immediate solution is to apply a sufficient quantity of topical steroids to the child’s skin every day. You can also use some anti-scratching techniques such as mittens (to eliminate scratches and bleeding for the smallest children), cold packs (to numb pain) and scratching wheels (to limit an adult’s desire to scratch). 

Atopic dermatitis is strongly linked to family history and genetic predisposition. If one parent is atopic, there is a 50% chance of the child being atopic, too. This risk increases if both parents are atopic.

No, they are very effective. The duration of treatment should be sufficiently long to cause the complete disappearance of the lesions. Stopping the treatment too early could prove counter-productive. It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s prescription.

An atopic baby can twist, fuss and strip skin with its nails, which may trigger lesions. This makes the skin permeable to allergens, which aggravate the skin inflammation. Therefore, it’s important to check the child’s nails several times per week and cut them if necessary (careful, though, don’t cut them too short).  

This is a common misconception. Softeners don’t really cause allergies. In fact, studies show that the softening effect on textile fibres reduces skin irritation, which is beneficial for atopic skin. 

. In infants, it’s essentially appears on the face (checks, forehead and chin) and/or the outside of the arms and thighs.
. For children, affected areas include the neck folds, knees, wrists, soles of the feet, hands, torso and neck.
. Adults usually have eczema on their faces, necks or hands.