Atopic skin

What is atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema?

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin characterised by intense itching, very dry and sensitive skin prone to superinfection.

It is a recurrent disease that goes through phases of exacerbation known as outbreaks and remissions. During the outbreak stage this eczema causes itching and produces small vesicles that can crust over and cause the skin to peel.

What is the cause?

Among other factors, in atopic dermatitis, there is a defect in the skin's barrier which is unstructured.

This effect enables external agents such as certain allergens and irritants to penetrate the skin. These agents have been identified as possible outbreak triggers in Atopic Dermatitis.

Is atopic skin hereditary?

Atopic skin is a multi-factorial disease that results from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors.  Hereditary factors are known to be a very important component. As such, parents with atopy or allergy are likely to have children with atopic skin.

Is it very frequent?

It mainly affects the children. Out of every 10 children born one or two have atopic skin problems. It is estimated that in 70% of cases the disease disappears during puberty.

Is atopic dermatitis contagious?

No, it is not contagious.