What is Atopic eczema?
‘Atopy’ is the term used for the tendency to develop eczema, asthma and/or hayfever. Atopic eczema, therefore, is the same thing as atopic dermatitis. It is most common in children, affecting at least 10% of infants, although it can carry on into adult life or come back in the teenage or early adult years.
It is still not fully understood what causes atopic eczema. Atopy runs in families and is part of your genetic make-up. Atopic people have an overactive immune system and their skin easily becomes inflamed (red and sore). Their skin ‘barrier’ does not work well, so that their skin may become dry and prone to infection.
Atopic eczema cannot be cured, but there are many ways of controlling it. Most children with atopic eczema improve as they get older (75% clear by their teens).
Atopic eczema has a tendency to flare intermittently and management involves the regular use of emollients (moisturisers). For flares, your doctor will prescribe an additional cream: steroid cream.
Where can I read more on Atopic Eczema?British Association of Dermatologists
What is Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Allergic Contact Eczema)?
Allergic Contact Dermatitis is the development of dermatitis (eczema) is caused by an allergy to a chemical ingredient (allergen) that has come in contact with the skin and results in redness, dryness, irritation and itch. Allergens can be preservatives, fragrance, metals, plant extracts, etc… They are common ingredients in creams, shampoos, make-up, wet wipes, shower-gels, cheap jewellery, perfumes, body lotions, just to mention a few.
Allergic contact dermatitis can develop on any part of the body but it is particularly common in areas such as the face, neck, hands and genital skin. Anybody can become sensitised to a product, even if it has been used for many years without a problem.
Allergic contact dermatitis usually improves or clears up completely if the substance causing the problem is identified and avoided. To identify the cause of your dermatitis we use a type of allergy testing known as Patch testing, read more…
Aside from arranging patch testing, your dermatologist will recommend treatments to calm down your skin and improve the symptoms promptly.
Where can I read more on Contact dermatitis?British Association of Dermatologists
I have patches of dry, itchy skin, is it eczema?
Many skin conditions can present with itchy skin. Eczema is one of them and the most common one. It can present in many different ways such as classic Atopic eczema in children or as patches of dry, scaly skin on adulthood. The quickest way to get the diagnosis and start treatment promptly is to see a Dermatologist. Our Consultant Dermatologists have all years’ of experience and are experts in managing eczema in all age groups.
Do I need a GP referral for me or my child?
If you are self-funding, no GP referral is required. For patients using private medical insurance, please check with your insurer.