Atopic Dermatitis- What is it and how to treat it
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is the most common skin condition, effecting about 1 million of the population in Australia! About 1 in 3 children will have atopic dermatitis. It can be present anywhere on on the body but is most common on the arms, legs and behind the knees. It makes the skin red and itchy and can also be accompanied by asthma and hay fever.
Normally heathy skin can retain moisture and protect from bacteria and allergens, however people who suffer from atopic dermatitis have a gene variation that affects the skins ability to protect from this bad bacteria and allergens in the air.
Atopic dermatitis is usually passed down in genes, or have a family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever.
- Extremely dry skin
- Red to brownish patches especially found behind the knees, on the ankles, forearm, wrists, hands, chest and neck
- Severe itching
- Weeping or pus (usually sign of infection)
- Cracked or scaly skin
It is most common in babies under the age of 5 and may persist into adolescence years and adulthood.
Unfortunately atopic dermatitis is not an overnight fix and requires various treatment options to find what is best for you. First thing is to find a cream that will control the itch and repair the skin. For controlling the itch we recommended using a natural body & bath oil. Bath oils are good for soaking the skin as it allows the oil to seep deep into the skin layers, reducing the urge to itch. Applying an oil topically throughout the day is also recommended to create that protective barrier on the skin.
Depending on how severe your eczema is and what you doctor recommends will depend on what creams to look for. Steroid creams may be an option for you in the short term, however long term they can have some serious effects on your body. An option too sticking to an all natural emollient cream will also protect and repair the skin without the nasty side effects!
Another great way to relieve the itch is by wrapping the skin in glad wrap. This allows the skin to sweat and for your cream or ointment to seep into your pores. Read our full how to guide here.
Atopic dermatitis actually stems from the inside so by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is super important in managing it. Most people with a skin condition will lack essential fatty acids and omegas in their diet, so taking an internal oil supplement may help to boost up your immunity.
Knowing what triggers your eczema can also help prevent constant flare ups!