In this post, I will be detailing the signs and symptoms of eczema, specifically atopic dermatitis. What is atopic dermatitis? It is one of several eczema conditions and is chronic and therefore more challenging to manage. After reading this article, it is my hope you will have a greater awareness of the eczema/atopic dermatitis. Also, make sure to complete the survey at the end of the article and then enter to win one of 10 $100 visa cards!
For today’s discussion, on eczema/atopic dermatitis, I am sponsored by Med-IQ. Med-IQ is an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.
What is Atopic Dermatitis (AD)?
Eczema is the general name for a group of dermatologic conditions that includes contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and others. More than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema with around 16.5 million adults in the US experiencing it–6.6 million adults report moderate-to-severe symptoms.
Here’s some AD hallmarks:
- It’s chronic and can come and go for years
- Can overlap with other forms of eczema
- Many who have the condition have very dry and infection-prone skin
- Often begins in childhood, and may or may not taper off with age
- Occurs often in conjunction with asthma and hay fever
- Affects all races
- Occurs any time during the year, particularly the winter
What are the symptoms and signs of Atopic Dermatitis?
- Itching! More than 85% of AD patients exhibit this symptom
- Sore or painful skin
- Poor sleep caused by itching
- Rashes anywhere on the body
- Rashes that ooze and bleed often leading to infection
- Dry and discolored skin
- Lichenification, skin can thicken and harden from repeated scratching
A Patient’s Mom Shares His Story
My blogger friend Maureen F., from Wisconsin Mommy, shares some details of her son struggles with eczema. You will note the similarity in her son Josh’s story to the signs and symptoms related above.
Josh was diagnosed with eczema officially when he was about 15 months old. He had what I thought was a rash all over his face and upper torso. I took him to the pediatrician and it was identified as eczema. He typically broke out with a pretty severe case on his face between Halloween and Christmas every year while he was a toddler. I remember this specifically because it was always around when he would go get Christmas photos taken. He would have outbreaks on his legs and arms throughout the year, but the change to cold weather and turning on the indoor heat always seemed to coincide with the face outbreak.
As Josh got older, we discovered that he had some other conditions that do often appear with eczema (his doctor referred to them as “the triangle”). He has some food allergies, asthma and seasonal allergies as well. While the outbreaks on his face seemed to stop after he reached preschool age, the ones on his legs and wrists worsened. He would scratch in his sleep and wake up to bloody sheets.
It didn’t really limit him too much when he was younger. He went through a period where he was self-conscious about wearing shorts because of the way his legs looked, but he is pretty self-confident and got over that.
Eczema Awareness Month
Did you know that October is Eczema Awareness Month? If you are experiencing these signs and symptoms I encourage you to make an appointment with your physician to seek answers and treatment.
To further help you, coupled with this article, I will publish a second article that further explores treatments for eczema and atopic dermatitis. Specifically, I hope to focus on easing the burden of moderate-to-severe eczema/atopic dermatitis. The transition to cooler months is often a trigger for AD, so the more awareness you have, the more you can help your loved ones with this condition and encourage them to schedule medical care.
Get more information:
- National Eczema Association: NationalEczema.org
- Specifically, Atopic Dermatitis: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/types-of-eczema/atopic-dermatitis/
Take a Survey, enter for a chance to win $100 (10 Winners)
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with atopic dermatitis, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.
All readers (whether you suffer from eczema/atopic dermatitis or not) can complete the survey, then enter to win one of 10 $100 Visa Gift Cards! (Ends October 15)
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I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to write about the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for eczema/atopic dermatitis. All opinions are my own.