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Atopic eczema – treatments and symptoms

Between two and ten percent of Sweden’s adults have Atopic Eczema, a skin disease that leads to dry and scaly skin. Here we list symptoms and treatments for Atopic eczema.

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Do you suffer from dry and scaly skin, itchy rashes and cracks in the skin? Then you may be one of the many Swedes who have Atopic Eczema.

What is Atopic Eczema?

Atopic eczema is a common type of eczema that affects both children and adults. This inflammatory skin disease, which is caused by a defect in the skin barrier, is becoming increasingly common in Sweden. Between 15 and 30 percent of Swedish children suffer from the disease, while 2-10 percent of all adults are affected.

Atopic eczema: symptoms

The care guide lists the following symptoms of atopic eczema:

  • The skin is dry and scaly.
  • You get a rash that itches.
  • On fair skin, the rash will be red. On dark skin, areas with eczema may become darker than the rest of the skin.
  • You get cracks in the skin that hurt.
  • The skin gets small blisters with fluid. The blisters may rupture so that the fluid flows out. Then small wounds and scabs form.

In addition, eczema with wounds can become infected, resulting in the wound fluid becoming cloudy and the scabs becoming thick and yellowish. In areas where you have had eczema for a long time and which you have scratched, the skin can become thick and wrinkled.

Atopic eczema in adults

Although Atopic eczema is more common in children, it is something that also affects adults. It is then often seen as hand eczema, but you can also get eczema on the neck, face, around the eyes and in the creases.

Atopic eczema: treatments and tips

There are several things you can do to ease the discomfort:

  • Try not to scratch the skin. Scratching not only causes more itching, it also increases the risk of infection in the eczema. If you find it hard to stop scratching, try keeping your nails short and gently patting or massaging the skin with lotion instead of tearing it.
  • Lubricate regularly. Use emollient creams that prevent evaporation and bind moisture. If you have mild problems, treatment with emollient creams in combination with over-the-counter cortisone creams are enough for the discomfort, but there are also prescription treatments. A tip is to lubricate the skin even during the periods when you don’t have problems – this can lead to longer periods when you don’t have problems.
  • Protect the skin from drying out. Water – especially hot water – dries out the skin, so don’t shower or bathe every day unless absolutely necessary. Use a mild, unscented soap specially designed for dry and sensitive skin and don’t forget to lubricate the skin with an emollient skin cream after showering and bathing.

Sources: Asthma and Allergy Association, The care guide

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