Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema caused by the skin’s sensitivities to allergens in the environment like mold, pollen, dust, animal hair, and foods. Children with eczema may have family members who experience asthma, hay fever, and other allergic reactions. While eczema is not an allergy, it can be triggered by allergies. Emotional stress and extreme weather conditions can also trigger its development.
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Most children develop eczema before they turn five years old. Children who have atopic dermatitis are likely to carry the condition well into adulthood.
Even with advanced medical technologies, there is no single, uniform test that can diagnose the condition. Doctors will have to check on a patient several times before landing an appropriate diagnosis, since people with eczema experience different symptoms. While doctors take symptoms into account, they also check the patient’s medical history as it can give hints as to how the eczema formed.
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There is no cure for eczema yet, and treatments (e.g. antibiotics, fungal medications, antihistamines) are usually aimed at healing skin sores and irritation. A lot of patients suffer from eczema even as they grow older, but for some, it goes away as they become adults.