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Atopic dermatitis (AD)—also known as atopic eczema—is the most common form of eczema. This non-contagious chronic skin condition results in patches of dry and inflamed skin. AD causes very itchy rashes that appear and disappear. It typically develops by the age of five. Seeking the right treatment for atopic dermatitis in Boston can help mitigate long-term reactions.
Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis
The symptoms of AD range from tolerable dry, itchy skin to unbearable rashes that can cause lack of sleep and soon affect one’s quality of life.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, adults are more prone to getting extremely dry and scaly skin in different places than children. This includes:
- Backs of the knees
- Crooks of the elbows
- Back of the neck
- Around the eyes
Causes of Atopic Dermatitis
The exact cause of AD is unknown. However, research shows that it may be from an overproduction of cells in the immune system. This could lead to a misdirected immune reaction, which results in inflammation and triggers many of AD’s symptoms.
As such, it’s not always the best approach to avoid certain foods, especially for children, since this can lead to other health problems. There is no proof that foods such as eggs and milk are causing AD, and children need the nutrients from them.
Diagnosing Atopic Dermatitis
During an AD consultation, your skin will be carefully evaluated for classic signs of eczema such as redness and dryness. Your healthcare provider will also ask about any symptoms you’re experiencing.
When a patient has deeply pigmented skin, AD can be difficult to determine. For African American and Asian American children, it’s easy to miss the condition altogether because it’s less noticeable. As such, the following procedures may be conducted as well:
- An allergy skin test
- Blood tests
- A skin biopsy
Since the exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, there is also no distinguished cure for it. There are treatments, however, that can help ease the symptoms of AD, including avoiding triggers, making lifestyle changes, and taking medications.
To provide relief from AD symptoms, a treatment plan that uses the following techniques may be recommended:
- Trigger management
- Medication or light therapy
Taking a short lukewarm bath or shower every day may also help in terms of reducing skin infections. This can be followed by the application of a fragrance-free moisturizer.
The Cost of Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Suffering from atopic dermatitis means going to an annual checkup with a dermatologist. A bad flare-up may also require an individual to come in for extra visits to soothe the symptoms. This could cost a few hundred dollars.
There are private health insurance plans that cover dermatologist visits and AD treatments if they are declared medically necessary by your dermatologist. If they are not deemed medically necessary, you may incur out-of-pocket prices for treatments.
Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that, while not deadly or contagious, should not be taken lightly. By taking note of your triggers and taking good care of your skin, you can reduce the frequency and severity of your AD reactions. Get proper treatment for atopic dermatitis in Boston—get in touch with Westford Dermatology & Cosmetic Center today.
Your procedure will be performed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Franks in Boston, MS.