Atopic Dermatitis

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

November 27, 2018

March 06, 2020

Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis

What is atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a common skin condition characterised by itchiness and scaly skin. It is more common in children than adults and has a tendency to recur. It is an early onset condition, occurring as early as the first 6 months of life.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

  • The clinical picture of eczema varies from person to person but is typically characterised by skin that becomes dry and red with increased itchiness.
  • Scratching the skin results in a burning sensation, and even bleeding.
  • Often the condition presents as pus-filled eruptions, indicative of an infection. If infected, it can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Other symptoms include fluid-filled rashes and dark and creased skin. The area around the eyes and lips darkens in this condition.
  • The itchiness is maximum at night and can affect the sleep cycle.
  • Eczema is a chronic condition that can be accompanied by asthma, hay fever or other allergies.

What are its main causes?

  • Though there is no single cause, there are risk factors that trigger eczema.
  • Researchers also believe that it has a genetic link, with multiple members of the same family suffering from the condition.
  • Living in an environment with excessive pollution, or extremely dry and cold conditions also makes one susceptible to this condition.
  • Other factors which can trigger eczema are food allergens, pollen, woollen clothes, dust, skin products and even tobacco smoke.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

  • A dermatologist clinically examines the skin for eczema. The red, dry and itchy skin is typical of this condition.
  • Since it is a topical condition with an obvious clinical picture, no blood test or imaging is required.
  • If you or your child have a persistent accompanying fever or other systemic symptoms, your physician will advise a basic blood test.
  • Though the problem cannot be completely eliminated, medicines like anti-histamines, antibiotics and steroid creams can be used for relief.
  • Other ways to prevent the condition from recurring include identifying and avoiding the triggers, keeping a check on harsh soaps or skin products and maintaining good hygiene at all times.
  • Dry your child’s skin after a shower, and moisturise it at least twice a day.


  1. David Boothe W, Tarbox JA, Tarbox MB. Atopic Dermatitis: Pathophysiology. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1027:21-37. PMID: 29063428
  2. Journal of Clinical Investigation. New insights into atopic dermatitis. American Society for Clinical Investigation. [internet].
  3. National institute of allergy and infectious diseases. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis). National Institutes of Health. [internet].
  4. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Atopic Dermatitis. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Atopic Dermatitis

Medicines for Atopic Dermatitis

Medicines listed below are available for Atopic Dermatitis. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.