Understanding the Causes
Eczema that occurs chronically may be more than just a skin condition. It could be a disease called atopic dermatitis.
The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a chronic disease. If you struggle with frequent flare-ups that just keep coming back, there may be a bigger story happening inside your body.
With atopic dermatitis, even when your skin looks clear, the inflammation may still be active under the surface, and your next flare-up is just waiting to return. Some people always show signs of the disease.
The most obvious sign of atopic dermatitis is dry, itchy skin. Flare-ups are different for every person and can appear all over the body.
Click below to see some other common external symptoms.
But the rashes on the surface are only part of the story. The impact can go deeper than the skin. In fact, the majority of people with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis report that itch can delay falling asleep and occasionally or frequently
wakes them up at night. To really understand atopic dermatitis, you have to look at the deeper cause within your body.
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Scratching the Surface
Atopic dermatitis is an immunological disease, which means it involves the immune system.
With atopic dermatitis, your immune system is highly sensitive and can react to even the smallest allergens or irritants. This reaction can cause excess inflammation underneath your skin, which may lead to your frequent flare-ups. So those rashes
you see on the surface are just the visible signs of a deeper inflammatory disease.
In people with atopic dermatitis, immune cells in the deeper layers of your skin send inflammatory signals to the surface, causing the itchy rash you’re all too familiar with.
When you scratch, you can break down the outer layer of skin, which allows germs, viruses and allergens to get in.
3. DAMAGED SKIN
In response to these invaders, your immune system continues to send signals to the surface, causing even more redness and itching.
4. RELEASE OF INFLAMMATORY SIGNALS
The more you scratch, the more your skin barrier breaks down, and the itch-scratch cycle continues.