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The allergic eczema or atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory allergy skin benign in nature but may annoy and affect the quality of life, including sleep, work or school performance.
It may affect up to 10 to 20% of all children, tapering off with time. It usually starts during the breast feeding or infancy periods, usually getting better in adolescence.
There is a strong hereditary component: most of the time it comes with other allergic diseases as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma or food allergy.
The dry skin is a main feature, with intense itch, irritation and inflammation. Scratching of the skin may lead to lesions that may later become infected (mainly in kids)
The main skin lesion is the eczema with reddening of the skin and intense itching.
It normally comes and goes in outbreaks with a variable length and gravity. There are free periods and outbreaks, although is a chronic disease.
The skin reacts very intensely to physical stimuli (cold, heat, pressure) and irritants (soaps and detergents). It is quite common to suffer skin infections (fungi or bacteria).
Stress and intense emotions may worsen atopic dermatitis and start a new outbreak. Rough clothes and some food may also deteriorate the disease.