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Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis services offered in Hamilton Square, Trenton, and Mercer County area, New Jersey

The irritating and unsightly skin condition called atopic dermatitis isn’t just a childhood problem — it can continue into adulthood. If you or your child has symptoms of atopic dermatitis, the team at Kessel Dermatology, servicing the Hamilton Square, Trenton, and Mercer County areas in New Jersey, can provide a range of effective solutions, including medications and lightbox treatments. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more.  

Atopic Dermatitis Q & A

What is atopic dermatitis?

Eczema is an umbrella term for a collection of skin conditions that cause irritation and inflammation. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. Atopic means that eczema is a symptom of a genetic tendency to have allergies and related conditions, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma.

Atopic dermatitis often develops during childhood. Most children outgrow the condition by the age of 10 or so, but some continue to have problems into adulthood. There’s no cure for atopic dermatitis, but you can manage the condition and limit flare-ups of symptoms with help from your provider at Kessel Dermatology. 

What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis nearly always causes itching, which can sometimes be intense. You’re also likely to have a rash, which most often appears on your:

  • Face
  • Back of the knees
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Feet

Atopic dermatitis can affect any part of your body, but these are the most common areas.

The areas where the rash appears might look reddish or brown if you’re light-skinned. If you have darker skin, your atopic dermatitis can alter the pigmentation and make your skin look even darker or sometimes lighter.

Patches of atopic dermatitis can appear anywhere on your body. The itchy rash can also cause oozing and crusting on your baby’s face and scalp.

What causes atopic dermatitis?

The exact cause of atopic dermatitis isn’t clear. Research indicates there’s likely to be a connection to a heightened immune system response in the presence of certain irritants. Atopic dermatitis is often a problem in families with a history of allergies or asthma, with conditions that are also linked to an overactive immune system.

You might find that you or your child experience flare-ups when there’s contact with specific substances or in certain environmental conditions. Some of the triggers for atopic dermatitis flare-ups include:

  • Rough or coarse materials
  • Being too hot or cold
  • Cleaning products
  • Animal dander
  • Colds and flu

Stress often makes atopic dermatitis worse as well.

How is atopic dermatitis treated?

Atopic dermatitis treatments aim first to prevent itching, then relieve any itching that arises. Your Kessel Dermatology provider can prescribe creams and lotions to cool and soothe your skin.

Atopic dermatitis can make your skin very dry, which worsens the itching. Applying moisturizers designed for atopic dermatitis helps prevent your skin from getting so dry and itchy.

Other treatments your Kessel Dermatology provider might recommend for your atopic dermatitis include:

  • Moisturizing creams 
  • Corticosteroid creams or ointments
  • Antihistamines
  • Lifestyle changes

One of the most effective treatments for atopic dermatitis is phototherapy or lightbox treatment. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet (UV) light to help reduce skin inflammation and itching. The Kessel Dermatology team finds lightbox treatment is very effective and has the advantage of being noninvasive and nonpharmaceutical.

If you or your child is having problems with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, call Kessel Dermatology or book an appointment online today.