Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms and Causes

Atopic dermatitis causes

Atopic dermatitis is an itchy rash that comes and goes with with redness, scaling, and swelling.

Incidence: Very Common
○ Affects 15-20% of children worldwide and 1-2% of adults
○ Treatable by a medical professional
○ Lab tests or imaging not usually required
○ Medium-term: 66% of children will resolve by age 13, the rest may have excema long into adulthood.

Atopic dermatitis is a form of excema which usually develops in early childhood and is more common in people who have a family history of the condition. Lesions are most common on the sun exposed areas like the face, lips, ears, back of hands, forearms, scalp, and neck. The rough, scaly skin patch enlarges slowly. In the early stages, the scale may come off and the lesion may look like it has gone only to recur again later. Often, the lesions are slightly tender. Over time, the lesions can turn into a skin cancer, usually squamous cell carcinoma. Because they are precancerous they are usually removed as a precaution.

Cause of atopic dermatitis: Known triggers include exposure to allergens such as pollen, pet dander or peanuts, or by stress, dry skin and infection. Skin irritants such as some fabrics, soaps and household cleaners may also trigger an atopic dermatitis flare.

What does atopic dermatitis look like?

Atopic Dermatitis requires a medical diagnosis: The main symptom is an itchy rash that typically appears on the arms and behind the knees, but can also appear anywhere. People may experience itching, rashes, dryness, flakiness, fissures, peeling, or redness on their skin.

Atopic dermatitis symptomsBefore / After
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Treating Atopic Dermatitis:

Self-care for atopic dermatitis: Treatment depends on severity but as a general guide, treatment includes avoiding soap and other irritants. Certain moisturizing and anti-itch creams or ointments also may provide relief from the itching. Medications can be prescribed by a dermatologist including topical or systemic steroid, antihistamines for itching and topical antiseptics or cleansers.

Clinical Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis:

Our board certified dermatologists will accurately assess your condition to make the right diagnosis-there are 13 kinds of excema. Recommendations will be made for prescription creams, ultraviolet light therapy, barrier/moisturizer cream, urea, coal tar extract or whatever else is appropriate given your individual needs. [ Learn More }


Dermatology Associates of Seattle is a clinic facility, research center, testing laboratory, and pharmacy. Each of our patients receives individualized care to their specific needs with a complete and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment process. Connect with us today and start a conversation about how we can make both you and your skin happier and healthier.