The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, although the primary defect involves the skin barrier function. The disease tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component, and is associated with environmental allergies, food allergies, and asthma. It is often the first sign of allergy in children.
Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry, cracked, and irritated skin that can be associated with intense, difficult to control itching. The itching can interfere with daily activities, including sleep, and significantly impacts quality of life.
Scratching can irritate the skin, further disrupt the skin barrier, and thus predispose patients to skin infections. When severe, atopic dermatitis can interfere with a child’s normal growth and development. Therefore, breaking the chronic itch-scratch cycle is integral to successfully treating atopic dermatitis.
The management of atopic dermatitis can be difficult and often requires intensive education and treatment to successfully control the disease. The Eczema Clinic at San Tan Allergy is dedicated to addressing the individual needs of each patient and providing patient and their families with the resources and education necessary to control this complex disease.