Atrophic Dermatitis: Triggers and Treatments

Atrophic dermatitis is a common form of eczema. It is rather severe and is usually chronic. Our skin’s ability to maintain moisture is disrupted by this condition which results in very dry, inflamed skin. Atrophic dermatitis usually occurs in skin folds and creases, like the insides of elbows, the backs of knees and hands and many different parts of the face and head. Due to constant scratching and contact with clothes, the sores often ooze or may crust and become painful skin lesions.

Atrophic dermatitis usually occurs more commonly during early childhood up to early adulthood but there are cases of older adults having this skin condition. Adults that do retain Atrophic dermatitis do not usually manifest the inflamed skin and flakes but only suffer extremely dry, sensitive skin which can be easily irritated.

Atrophic Dermatitis Triggers

There are three classifications of atrophic dermatitis triggers that are very common. These are the allergens, irritants and infections. Allergens are either ingested in the form of food, beverages or medications. Other types of allergens in the environment are animal dander and pollen. Medication that may cause an allergic reaction in an individual include but are not limited to antibiotics, anesthetics, sleeping pills, aspirin, laxatives, anti-depressants and many more.

Irritants of atrophic dermatitis are smoke, fumes, solvents, chemicals, soaps and detergents, alcohol based products and many others. Dust can also make the rash worse and so can stress and climate changes. Infections of bacterial, fungal or viral, can cause flare ups although not as common as the other triggers.

Treating Atrophic Dermatitis

The only way to treat atrophic dermatitis is to prevent scratching since this can lead to further skin complications and result to infections and, although rarely, life threatening conditions. The key is to keep the individual’s skin moist. This can be efficiently done by applying emollients several times a day even if there are no flare-ups. Vigilance is needed in monitoring the environment of the person who suffers from atrophic dermatitis.

The clothes and beddings need to be washed with special detergents that are hypoallergenic to prevent flare-ups. The soaps and shampoos that the individual uses must have little or no allergens to avoid allergic reactions. The bath water must not be too warm as this can dry skin and provoke flare-ups. We can only hope to control and manage atrophic dermatitis since there is no apparent cure or prevention as of yet.

Leave a Comment