An Overview Of Atopic Dermatitis 


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by patches of dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. The exact cause of this skin condition is still unknown and medical experts believe that overproduction of cells in our immune system promotes inflammation. Atopic dermatitis can start in childhood and can flare up periodically. During an AD flare-up, people can scratch the affected area, which can result in more inflammation and can make the symptoms worse. 


Presently, there is no known cure for Atopic Dermatitis and the current treatments involved avoiding triggers, taking medications to ease symptoms, and making lifestyle changes to avoid flare-ups. 


Types Of Atopic Dermatitis 

As per the medical experts in low income health clinics and affordable health clinics, all types of eczema will cause itchiness and redness, but atopic dermatitis is the most severe among all. The other types of eczema are: 


Hand Eczema

This type of eczema affects only the hands and can be often caused by contact with chemicals that can be irritating to your skin. 


Dyshidrotic Eczema

This is a variant of eczema that develops on the palms, fingers, and soles of your feet. 


Nummular Eczema

This is a chronic skin condition that can result in spots about the size of a coin. The spots can be often itchy. 


Contact Dermatitis

This is a skin irritation that is usually caused by contact with some type of irritant.


Stasis Dermatitis

This type of skin irritation develops in people with weak circulation. Stasis dermatitis usually develops in the lower legs. 



Neurodermatitis, also called lichenification, is characterized by thick patches of skin. The skin can be thickened due to repeated scratching or rubbing. 


Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis 

Dry and itchy skin that turns red during a flare-up is the main symptom of atopic dermatitis. Many internal and physical factors can trigger the flare-up of atopic dermatitis. It can result in inflammation, which leads to an increase in blood flow to the region and an urge to scratch. 


It is not easy to fight the psychological and physical elements driving the itch-scratch cycle. It may feel good to scratch the area but scratching can lead to more inflammation. The urge to scratch must be resisted at any cost. The symptoms of AD can vary with the age of the person. Some of the symptoms of AD in adults are rashes in the crooks of the elbows, back of the knees, back of the neck, and face.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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