Atopic Dermatitis

Help for a Chronic Condition in Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and the Main Line

There are many things that can trigger a rash, so the cause of red and itchy skin can be difficult to determine on your own. Working with an experienced dermatologist is important, because a skin-focused physician can make a correct diagnosis and create an appropriate treatment plan. This is especially critical for chronic conditions, such as atopic dermatitis. Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute routinely works with patients of all ages who have this dermatological condition.

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, a condition that can present in multiple different ways. There is no cure, but working with a dermatologist can help to calm the uncomfortable symptoms, identify potential triggers of flare-ups, and improve overall quality of life.

Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute can advise you about identifying and managing symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us to schedule an appointment.

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What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?

The exact underlying cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown. There seems to be a genetic component. It is also associated with allergies and asthma.

Flare-ups can be triggered by common stressors, which may push the immune system into action and lead to the development of itchy red patches. Typical triggers include exposure to certain metals (such as nickel), smoke, cleaning products, soaps and fragrances, wool and other materials, temperature extremes, sickness, and mental or physical stress.

What Are the Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis?

Since a red and itchy rash could be a sign of any of a number of conditions, a close examination of the skin, as well as a patient’s detailed medical history, may be required to make a correct diagnosis. Atopic dermatitis tends to present first on the arms and on the backs of the knees, as well as the face and neck, scalp, and hands. The rashy skin may be dry, flaky, bumpy, red, itchy, and may peel.

Patients dealing with atopic dermatitis should take great care not to repeatedly scratch the affected skin, as doing so can increase the risk of breaking the surface, thereby predisposing to an infection.

Who Is at Risk for Developing Irritant and Contact Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis can be a problem for people of all ages, but typically presents in young children. The condition is more common in people who have family members that have developed eczema. Having asthma or allergies such as hay fever can also increase a person’s risk, as can having a family member with any of these conditions.

Treatment Options for Atopic Dermatitis

The ideal approach to caring for this condition is avoiding environmental triggers that are known to cause flare-ups.

An emolliating eczema-specific moisturizer can relieve the more unpleasant symptoms of atopic dermatitis, including dryness, scaling, and itching. Other home remedies to help manage the rash include cool oatmeal baths and antihistamines.

For atopic dermatitis patients who have severe rashes, prescription topical steroids, calcineurin inhibitors (e.g., Protopic ointment), phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors (e.g., Crisaborole) and antihistamines can help. Injectable prescription medications have also been extremely helpful (e.g. Dupixent®) in managing more advanced atopic dermatitis.

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Meet Our Dermatologists &Certified Physician Assistants

Our board-certified dermatologists & PA-Cs are dedicated to detecting and treating skin cancers. We treat the full spectrum of skin diseases. Our Mohs and Plastic Surgery practices are integrated, and offer patients the most advanced skin cancer treatment, delivering superior outcomes.

Help for More Rashes

Other common skin rashes treated at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute are irritant and contact dermatitis, which start as a reaction in the skin after exposure to an offending irritant or allergen. Patients can also seek treatment for hives, ringworm, and similar conditions. The first step to an effective treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis.

Learn more about how to manage signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis from Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute serving Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia. To schedule an appointment, Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us.

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