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Atopic Dermatitis


Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin due to irritation or an allergic reaction. The condition is characterized by an itchy red rash that can be very uncomfortable.

People with atopic dermatitis tend to be more likely to develop contact dermatitis as well. Similar to Psoriasis, atopic dermatitis is also an itchy, red inflammation of the skin. This condition is chronic and is often accompanied by other chronic conditions like asthma or seasonal allergies. Rashes commonly occur on the face, hands and feet, inside the elbows and behind the knees.

Dermatitis is commonly called Eczema.

What Causes Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis may be caused by either allergens or irritants. Common allergens include:

  • Fragrances
  • Preservatives
  • Metals found on clothing, jewelry, or other accessories
  • Poisonous plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak
  • Rubber or latex found in gloves or shoes
  • Hair dyes

Common irritants that might lead to contact dermatitis include:

  • Chemicals in household cleansers and industrial solvents.
  • Soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics
  • Scratchy fabrics like wools
  • Dry winter air and frequent hand washing

In some cases, the rash might appear after a single contact with one of these substances. Other
times, it might take repeat exposure before the allergic reaction becomes evident.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that is likely caused by a combination of dry skin and a reaction by the immune system. Some scientists also think atopic dermatitis must have a genetic link, since the condition tends to run in families. Certain triggers, such as environmental irritants, dry weather, or certain fabrics may exacerbate the condition.

What are the Treatment Options for Contact and Atopic Dermatitis?

Treatment of contact dermatitis begins by thoroughly removing the irritant from the skin. Emollient and topical prescription creams may be applied to the affected area to reduce discomfort and promote healing. Severe cases of contact dermatitis may also require oral medication, such as an antihistamine, to reduce itching. In severe cases, corticosteroids may be given orally or by injection as well.

Atopic dermatitis may also be treated by the following:

Atopic dermatitis sufferers often have to use sensitive products. Emollients creams have to be used on frequent basis. Topical prescription formulas usually contain corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. There are also non steroidal formulations to use in sensitive areas or for ongoing maintenance. Oral medications might include antibiotics if the skin irritation has progressed to an infection. In severe cases, corticosteroids may be given orally or by injections.

T.R.U.E. TEST® is a highly effective and convenient patch test used to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis. Patch testing is a simple procedure for diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis and identify the any possible causes.


Center for Dermatology
721 Wellness Way, Suite 210
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone: 770-682-2500
Fax: 770-682-2014

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