Atopic dermatitis, which is the other name for eczema, is a chronic, itchy, inflammatory skin disease that occurs most frequently in children, but also affects many adults. Clinical features of atopic dermatitis include skin dryness, redness, oozing and crusting. Itching is a hallmark of the condition and is responsible for much of the disease burden for patients and their families.
The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms (itching and redness), prevent flare-ups, and minimize therapeutic risks. Standard treatment modalities for the management of these patients are centered around the use of topical anti-inflammatory preparations and moisturization of the skin, but patients with severe disease may require phototherapy or medications by mouth.
Usual therapy for atopic dermatitis is corticosteroid creams or newer versions of ointments without corticosteroids. Warm soaking baths or showers using mild or soap-free cleansers should be part of the routine skin care for patients with atopic dermatitis.
Patient education is an important component of the management of atopic dermatitis. Chinese herbal medications for atopic dermatitis have been used for many years, but their efficacy and safety have not been adequately evaluated in clinical trials.
If you or someone you know suffers from atopic dermatitis the best course of action would be to schedule an appointment with your doctor or health professional. They will evaluate your condition and guide you towards the best treatment option for you.