Eczema - atopic dermatitis - beyond the scratching
Most people identify any persistent scratch that refuses to dissipate as Eczema. As such, this disease has become synonymous to the presence of any red scratchy skin. However, Dr. Mariusz Sapijaszko, of the Youthful Image Clinic in Edmonton, says the roots of eczema go back a lot deeper than mere itching and scratching. Eczema is an immunologic (i.e. involving our own immune system) disorder of the body in which the immune system’s skin cells react to perceived false threats and create unpleasant and persistent skin sensations.
Research for the root cause of eczema is still ongoing but some things are certain. Patients with eczema are much more likely to also suffer from allergies and asthma. These other conditions are also immune based.
The primary symptoms of eczema (in a person who is carrying the disease as a genetic abnormality) manifest themselves before the age of 5. Intense bouts of itching, deep red patches on the skin, small bumps and small flakes, all signal this common skin condition. At the Youthful Image Edmonton Clinic, Dr. Sapijaszko and other dermatologists say that some patients try to self-diagnose at home and apply whatever available gel or lotion they find to alleviate their symptoms. This can actually worsen the condition, as Eczema is aggravated by exposure to perfumes or irritants that are ingredients in many over-the-counter gels and lotions. It is advisable to contact a family doctor or a dermatologist so that the condition can be properly diagnosed and managed.
Eczema, atopic dermatitis, is common and it’s not just skin deep. It can be associated with other conditions. Because of that, it is important that patients seek medical help with their family doctor or a dermatologist.
The above information is publicly available from multiple library and scientific community sources and is intended for general information only. It does not replace a visit and a discussion with your family doctor or a dermatologist.
Dr. Sapijaszko and his team are conducting studies to help people with eczema (atopic dermatitis). If you are interested in participating, please contact us at 780-424-4440 ext. 3 or email us.
The information provided on this website is for Canadian patients only and is meant for information and education that is based on experience and research.