ATOPIC DERMATITIS (AD), sometimes called atopic eczema, in Western Europe eczema, and formerly Besnier’s pruritus. Other names for AD are allergic eczema or allergic dermatitis.

Dermatologists and allergists define AD as an inflammatory and chronic dermatosis (skin disease) that alternates with periods of exacerbation and remission. AD symptoms are accompanied by very persistent and recurrent itching and lichenification of the skin. AD is classified as atopic diseases, caused genetically and conditioned by an abnormal immune reaction (in this particular case, we are dealing with overreactivity of Langerhans cells, as a result of which, through an abnormal immune response, excessive production of IgE antibodies occurs). Without delving into the details of the processes taking place in the body of a sick person – ultimately, pro-inflammatory cytokines are secreted, which significantly worsen the clinical condition of the skin.

According to the latest research, almost 15% of children in Poland are currently affected by atopic dermatitis. Each year, almost 20% of newborn children are diagnosed with AD. AD usually begins between 3 and 6 months of age. In about 40% of children, the symptoms of the disease completely disappear with age. Relapses occur in adulthood in the remaining patients.

Due to the congenital nature of the disease, it can last for many years or even a lifetime. The main symptoms of atopic dermatitis include redness and dryness of the skin, itching, scaling and a tendency to recurrent bacterial infections. In 100% of cases AD is coupled with lichenization (thickening) of the epidermis. Lesions are most often located on the elbows and knees, on the face and neck, but can cover the whole body (erythroderma). Atopic dermatitis is often accompanied by other atopic diseases: bronchial asthma, seasonal or chronic hay fever, and allergic conjunctivitis. Dennie-Morgan’s symptom is also a characteristic symptom.

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