Talking about.. Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis (AD) or constitutional eczema is a common chronic recurrent inflammatory skin disease that manifests with very itchy skin lesions, dryness, desquamation and, in the most severe cases, with actual pustules. Atopic Dermatitis affects 15-25% of children and 3% of adults, but the incidence is steadily rising, particularly in industrialised countries. AD is a typical disease in early childhood. Moreover, children with AD present a greater probability of developing asthma and/or allergic rhinitis as adults: the concept commonly used to indicate this process is “atopic march”.
The itchy lesions are mainly located on the face, neck, trunk and scalp of the infant, while in the adult they are found on wrists, ankles and flexor regions of the limbs. An exacerbation of symptoms is prevalently observed in winter. There are two principal underlying factors to the disease, namely cutaneous barrier deficiencies and inflammation, which mutually aggravate each other. Atopic skin presents a chronic reduction in the content of ceramides, the “cement” lipids of the corneous layer of the epidermis, and increased transepidermal water loss. The related consequences are easy penetration of pathogens and irritating agents through the skin and a condition of dry skin.
Topical administration of cortisone is the frontline drug treatment for acute phases, but it is indicated for intermittent use due to the side effects associated with prolonged use.