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Atopic Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis

Definition: Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, non-contagious skin disease where an individual develops an allergic reaction upon contact with environmental elements that are typically harmless to the rest of the population. It is partly caused by the interplay of two immunological and skin phenomena: an anomaly in the skin barrier that no longer plays its defensive role, coupled with an exaggerated response from the immune system. Indeed, the alteration of the skin barrier provides a pathway for allergenic molecules to penetrate the epidermis. These external agents come into contact with the skin's immune defense cells, thereby triggering an inappropriate immune response from the body. This stimulation then leads to skin dryness, areas of redness and flaking, and itching. Atopic dermatitis manifests in the form of acute episodes of varying duration, primarily affecting infants and children, but can persist into adolescence and adulthood.
Internal and external causes: Genetic predisposition with a mutation in the gene coding for filaggrin and other proteins essential to the integrity of the stratum corneum; exaggerated reaction of the immune system with abnormally high production of immunoglobulin E (IgE).
How to reduce or eliminate: Consult a dermatologist for the prescription of a symptomatic treatment (dermocorticoids, antihistamines, antiseptics, antibiotics, immunomodulators, phototherapy, etc.).
Preventative steps to take: Consistently hydrating the skin with the daily and continuous use of emollient and protective creams or lotions (aloe vera, vegetable oils, glyceride derivatives, shea butter, fatty alcohols, squalane, fatty acids, glycerol derivatives, etc.); drying the skin by dabbing with a soft towel; avoiding hot baths (above 96.8°F); using soap-free superfatted soaps; wearing cotton or linen clothes instead of synthetic fabrics; using fragrance-free cosmetic products; refraining from scratching; wearing gloves when hands are exposed to various aggressions (chemicals, cold, etc.).