Atopic Dermatitis: Causes and Symptoms

Atopic Dermatitis: Causes and Symptoms

Atopic dermatitis is a familiar, often importunate skin disease that affects a huge proportion of the world’s population. Atopic is a particular type of allergic hypersensitivity that is connected with asthma, inhalant allergies (hay fever), and a chronic dermatitis.


The cause of atopic dermatitis isn’t recognized. But most people who have it have a personal or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis). The skin redness that causes the atopic dermatitis rash is considered a type of allergic response.

Things that may make atopic dermatitis worse include:

  • Dry, irritable skin, which reduces the skin’s ability to be an efficient blockade
  • A gene dissimilarity that affects the skin’s blockade function
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, on the skin that creates a film that blocks sweat glands
  • Environmental situation.


Types of Atopic Dermatitis

There are many diverse types of Atopic Dermatitis. Some variants include:

  • Allergic contact eczema (dermatitis) – a skin reaction following contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as foreign
  • Dyshidrotic eczema – irritation of skin on palms of hands and soles of feet characterized by blisters
  • Neurodermatitis – scaly patches of skin on head, forearms, wrists, and lower legs caused by a localized itch such as an insect bite
  • Seborrheic eczema – oily, scaly yellowish patches of skin, usually on scalp and face



Atopic dermatitis starts with dry skin that is frequently very irritated. Scratching causes the dry skin to become red and irritated (inflamed). Infection repeatedly occurs. Tiny bumps that look like little blisters may appear and ooze fluid or crust over. These symptoms-dryness, itchiness, scratching, and inflammation-may come and go. Over time, a recurring rash can lead to tough and thickened skin.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) signs and symptoms vary extensively from person to person and include:

  • Itching, which may be severe, particularly at night
  • Red to brownish-gray patches, specially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and, in infants, the face and scalp
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, dry, scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching


Atopic dermatitis can be constant. You may need to try various treatments over months or years to control it. And even if you respond to treatment, your signs and symptoms may return (flare).

It’s important to recognize the condition early so you can start treatment.



Atopic dermatitis can be principally stressful, frustrating or embarrassing for adolescents and young adults. It can interrupt their sleep and even lead to dejection. Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had it or another atopic disease. If both parents have an atopic disease, the chances increase further. And close family members of people with this situation may face financial, social and emotional problems.