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Atopic Dermatitis 101

by Michelle-Adeline Y. Noche-Apacible, FPDS

Atopic Dermatitis is commonly known to many as “eczema”, “asthma of the skin” or “hika sa balat.” Atopic dermatitis comes from the root word atopy or allergy. These can manifest as follows:

Infants from 0-24 months old: around the cheeks and outside parts of extremities. Just imagine the skin parts used when a baby crawls.

For 24 months old and above these manifest in flexural areas such as the skin on the inside of the elbows and knees.

Atopic Dermatitis is diagnosed through the use of criterias. Major criteria includes family history of allergy and recurrent skin condition. Minor criteria includes dry skin, keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), Dennie morgan folds (creases along the lower eyelids) etc.

The condition which involves increased IgE is usually inherited. This can present  as allergic rhinitis (frequent sneezing in the morning), asthma or the same skin condition within the immediate or extended family members.

Patients often have dry skin since atopics lack the capability to retain moisture. Dryness causes pruritus (itch) can lead to severe scratching which damages the skin leading to infections. Atopics are also more prone to viral and fungal infections because their skin barrier is compromised. 

Treatment starts with seeking a board-certified dermatologist from the Philippine Dermatological Society. Your  Dermatologist will help you with finding the right moisturizer, maintaining a proper skin regimen, and avoiding bad habits.

Shorter baths periods with the proper moisturizer traps and retains the moisture preventing the escape of water from the skin. This prevents TEWL  or Transepidermal Water Loss. Other further treatments may include proper use of topical corticosteroids, intake of antihistamines and prevention of secondary bacterial infections. 

Although the journey in controlling your Atopic dermatitis may be frustrating, controlling and achieving a better daily life is definitely achievable. Most atopics are better by 17 years old. They then tend to get dry skin again when they approach their 40’s. An added fact: Did you know that most atopics have a high IQ? 

So seek for a board-certified dermatologist now from the Philippine Dermatological Society and your journey to a better skin and quality life is on its way. 

Sources (APA format):

American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Eczema types: Atopic dermatitis diagnosis and treatment. Retrieved April 5, 2021, from

Md, A. P. S., & Md, A. M. J. (2015). Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Allergic tendencies are associated with larger gray matter volumes

2018H Takeuchi, Y Taki, R Nouchi, R Yokoyama, Y Kotozaki, S Nakagawa, A Sekiguchi, K Iizuka, Y Yamamoto, S Hanawa, T Araki, CM Miyauchi, K Sakaki, T Nozawa, S Ikeda, S Yokota, M Daniele, Y Sassa, R Kawashima10.1038/s41598-018-21985-8Scientific Reports

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