Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
The cause of atopic dermatitis isn't known. But most people who have it have a personal or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (Reference allergic rhinitis Opens New Window). The skin Reference inflammation Opens New Window that causes the atopic dermatitis rash is considered a type of Reference allergic Opens New Window response.
Itching and rash can be triggered by many things, including:
- Reference Allergens Opens New Window, such as dust mites, pollen, molds, or animal dander.
- Harsh soaps or detergents, rubbing the skin, and wearing wool.
- Workplace irritants, such as fumes and chemicals.
- Weather changes, especially dry and cold.
- Temperature changes, such as a suddenly higher temperature. This may bring on sweating, which can cause itching. Lying under blankets, entering a warm room, or going from a warm shower into colder air can all cause itching.
- Stress. Emotions such as frustration or embarrassment may lead to more itching and scratching.
- Certain foods, such as eggs, peanuts, milk, soy, or wheat products, if you are allergic to them. Up to 40% of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis also have some type of Reference food allergy Opens New Window.Reference 1 But experts don't agree on whether foods can cause atopic dermatitis.
- Excessive washing. Repeated washing dries out the top layer of skin. This can lead to drier skin and more itching, especially in the winter months when humidity is low.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 17, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology