Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (or atopic eczema) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterised by eczema, skin dryness, itching and burning sensations.- The disease alternates between inflammatory and remission episodes. This disease occurs generally in children genetically predisposed to atopy and its manifestations (e.g.: asthma, rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis). External factors such as diet, pets, pollen or stress may act as triggering factors..


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Some figures

Atopic dermatitis concerns everyone; approximately 1% of adults and 5% of children (aged 2 to 15 years), i.e. some 1 million individuals, including approximately 500,000 children.50 to 70% of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis have a close relation suffering from atopic dermatitis, asthma or allergic rhinitis. 85% of cases of atopic dermatitis appear before the age of 5 yearsBy the age of approximately 7 years, 2 out of every 3 children are cured..

What symptoms?

Atopic dermatitis manifests itself on skin areas that are very dry, red (caused by inflammation), with more or less itchy skin rashes. Atopic persons are frequently agitated by this itching. Though scratching provides temporary relief, this only further irritates the skin, creating inflammation and enhancing the itching.

This is the vicious circle of atopy.

Complications may arise, in particular bacterial or viral infections.

What areas are affected?
Les zones les plus touchés par la dermatite atopique

Areas most frequently affected by atopic dermatitis according to age

What impact on daily life?

Atopic dermatitis has a strong impact, both for children and for adults. In particular because atopic individuals do not have much respite. For example, one third of children continue to suffer from intermittent lesions after the age of 2 years.

Repercussions are varied, concerning not only affected children and adults, but also the parents of affected children :

  • Loss of sleep
  • Stigmatization by other children
  • Limitation of contacts with animals or of certain activities such as swimming
  • Dietary surveillance...

Parents looking after an atopic child spend on average between 2 and 3 hours per day on healthcare. They lose, in particular during inflammatory episodes, 2h30 of sleep on average per night.