Monday, Dec 05, 2022

Atopic dermatitis: Know all about the ‘itch that rashes’

The main triggers of AD are dry skin, irritants, stress, allergies, infection, and heat/sweating

atopic dermatitis (AD), what is atopic dermatitis, causes of atopic dermatitis, symptoms and treatment of atopic dermatitis, skin disease, skin infection, atopic dermatitis medicines, indian express newsAD is characterised by dry, itchy skin that oozes or can weep clear fluid when scratched. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Eczema is a general term that describes a common skin irritation that may cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust or flake off. Similarly, atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common form of eczema, which affects at least 2-3 per cent of adults and 25 per cent of children, said Prof Dr Kiran Godse, D Y Patil Hospital, Navi Mumbai.

“It is also known that about 10-15 per cent of Indian population has some form of atopy and manifestation of AD since the first year of their life. Although AD is most often diagnosed in childhood, an estimated 1 in 4 adults with the disease experience the onset of initial symptoms after the age of 18,” the expert added.

AD is a chronic inflammatory long-lasting disease characterised by dry, itchy skin that oozes or can weep clear fluid when scratched, flaring up periodically. Of those affected, one-third of children and 40 per cent of adults have moderate to severe disease, which is known to negatively impact quality of life (QoL), increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

Whether AD is mild, moderate, or severe, itch appears to be the most burdensome symptom overall. Even in severe cases, with widespread skin involvement and extensive oozing and crusting, pruritus or itch is still the major concern and a significant burden of the disease. Some researchers have also called atopic dermatitis as “the itch that rashes”.

Subscriber Only Stories
Pension bill exceeded salary & wages  spending for Centre, 3 states: ...Premium
Digital lending: No clarity, awaiting RBI response, say bank & fintechsPremium
Delhi Confidential: In BJP’s list of campaigning CMs in Gujarat, an...Premium
India is a leader in energy transition and nobody has done as much as we ...Premium

“In the absence of biological markers for AD, the frequency and severity of itch is assessed with questionnaires that use a numeric rating scale (NRS), visual analogue scale, verbal rating scale (VRS), and other measures. According to Indian researchers, only 40 per cent of AD cases are diagnosed and most patients end up using OTC products until they turn severe,” the expert said.

What triggers AD?

The main triggers of AD are dry skin, irritants, stress, allergies, infection, and heat/sweating. Along with family history, past allergies are one of the key reasons, with the primary risk factor for atopic dermatitis is having hay fever or asthma.


In adults, there are factors like polluted environment, food poisoning, low humidity, long showers, and stress that might trigger AD. The impact can be controlled by getting in touch with your dermatologist as soon as you recognise the symptoms.

Preventive measures 

Finding the right treatment is important. Calming the skin by OTC products may reduce stress for short period, but never helps prevent excessive scratching that leads to skin infections and severity of AD, which is up to 10 per cent of total cases. Furthermore, it is a known fact that atopic dermatitis aggravates and impacts not just physical and mental health, but it also leads to development of other diseases.

There is lack of awareness and hence, treatment options vary from over-the-counter skin care, prescription medication, and lifestyle changes. Proper consultation with dermatologist can help the patient lead a better quality of life.


📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!

First published on: 26-09-2021 at 08:50:47 pm
Next Story

Bombay HC commutes life term of man accused of killing wife

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments