Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay

Dry, red itchy skin that occurs inside of the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet is often called eczema, which is a term also used to describe many other skin problems, as well.

Technically, topic dermatitis is a long-term skin disease. “Atopic” refers to a tendency to develop allergy conditions. “Dermatitis” means swelling of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is most common in babies and children. However, these red patches can occur on the skin of anyone at any age.

The condition runs its course as the dryness and itchiness of the skin tempts the sufferer to scratch. This result is redness, swelling, crusting, thick skin, scaling, and sores that weep clear fluid.

Often, the skin gets worse for a couple of days and then clears up until it is triggered by an allergen or sensitivity.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis

It is likely caused by a few factors including genetic (meaning that the condition runs in the family), allergies, and environmental sensitivities. People with this disease often have other atopic conditions, like hay fever and asthma. 

Common irritants that can trigger an episode of atopic dermatitis or make it worse are wool, soaps, cleaners, perfumes, chlorine, mineral oil, dust, sand, dryer sheets, cigarette smoke, and solvents.

Allergens are allergy-causing substances from foods, plants, animals, or the air. Common allergens are eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, soy products, wheat, dust mites, mold, pollen, and dog or cat dander.

Other things that can lead to flare-ups are:

  • Skin infections from a bug bite
  • A hot temperature
  • Not using enough moisturizer after a bath 
  • Low humidity in winter 
  • Dry weather
  • Long or hot baths and showers 
  • Going from sweating to being chilled too quickly
  • Bacterial infections from cuts
  • Viral skin infections such as Herpes

Natural Care and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

There isn’t one treatment for this skin condition. A doctor will more than likely prescribe any of the following

  • Skin creams or ointments that control swelling and lower allergic reactions 
  • Corticosteroids 
  • Antibiotics to treat infections caused by bacteria 
  • Antihistamines to help stop scratching at night
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system (which is overactive as a result of the irritant.

Many of these treatments may come with their own side effects such as dependency, yeast infections, drowsiness, and an increased vulnerability to catching viruses and colds

Natural treatments that can help you cope with atopic dermatitis include light therapy and a regimen of skincare. Your doctor may also suggest you get rid of all known allergens in your life and to avoid suspected allergens. Scratch allergy testing as well as homeopathic testing may reveal your vulnerability to an allergen or irritant.

Once you have contracted atopic dermatitis you are prone to developing it for the rest of your life. It is crucial that you make attempts to avoid the food, lifestyle or enviromental triggers that cause breakouts.

If you suffer from atopic dermatitis we can help you find the allergen or irritant provoking outbreaks as well help you optimize your general health. Services provided here at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare center include naturopathic testing, dietary counseling, homeopathy,and herbal remedies. You can find out more about us on our website or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. Email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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