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What Is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) causes chronic skin irritation. This disease is often genetic (runs in families). It is linked with allergies, such as hay fever. Patches of skin become dry, red, itchy, and scaly. Symptoms may get worse. Or, they may improve on their own. Often, atopic dermatitis goes away by itself. But you can help control its symptoms. Start by seeking medical treatment and avoiding anything that causes flare-ups.

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Where Do You Have Symptoms?

Atopic dermatitis symptoms can appear anywhere on the body. But, in most cases, they vary based on the patient’s age. In infants, irritation appears mainly on the cheeks, near the mouth, and under the eyelids. In children aged 2 through 10, skin folds, such as the backs of the knees, are most often affected. In children 11 and older and in adults, symptoms usually affect the hands and skin folds.

What Triggers Symptoms?

Atopic dermatitis symptoms flare because of many factors. These include dryness, sweating, stress, and allergens, such as dust or wool. Try to avoid anything that causes flare-ups.

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Recognizing What Causes Flare-Ups

To pinpoint what causes atopic dermatitis to flare, keep a list of factors that seem to affect your skin. Start by filling in the spaces below. Then, keep writing them down in a notebook or diary. The factors that affect each person vary. So, keep your own list and try to avoid your triggers.

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