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Atopic eczema

Atopic eczema, also known as constitutional eczema or atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. Atopic eczema essentially affects young children, sometimes during their earliest months, and in high proportions: atopic eczema is the number one reason for consulting a pediatric dermatologist and affects 1 in 5 children.
 

Atopic eczema and topy

Atopic eczema is the result of a double anomaly. On the one hand, atopic skin has several flaws which prevent it from fulfilling its role as a protective barrier. It instead acts like a sieve, allowing too much water to escape and enabling allergens and irritants to penetrate the skin too easily. On the other hand, the immune system malfunctions, triggering excessive reactions to allergens and the appearance of eczema plaques.

The concept of atopic eczema is strongly tied to that of atopy. Atopy is the hereditary genetic predisposition to developing excessive reactions to common allergens in the environment. It can appear at different periods in life and in different forms: food allergy and eczema during early childhood, childhood asthma, rhinitis (hay fever) and conjunctivitis during adolescence and adulthood.

The factors behind flare-ups

The factors behind flare-ups are numerous but they vary from one person to another and from one flare-up to another: pollen, animal fur, dust mites, wool, chlorinated pool water, perfumes, stress, cold, wind, perspiration, etc. The role of certain elements of the skin flora (all the "microbes", essentially bacteria and viruses, living on the skin surface) in triggering these flare-ups is increasingly highlighted.

Atopic eczoma over time

The development of the disease is unpredictable. Generally, atopic eczema disappears before adolescence, but it could continue, appear or even reappear during adulthood. In the same way, it is impossible to predict whether other signs of atopy will develop with age.

Atopic eczema is a disease that affects the whole family due to its often hereditary nature and its impact on daily life.