Atopic dermatitis (also known as ‘eczema’) is an inflammatory, pruritic, chronic skin disease.
It is not contagious. This skin condition tends to run in families so there is no need to worry about catching it from someone. The skin of a patient with atopic dermatitis becomes dry, itchy, irritated, and may require special daily care.
The first symptoms of the disease are red, inflamed, very itching patches. Small, painful bumps may be also present on the skin. If scratched, they may be crusting or oozing. The skin becomes more sensitive. It cracks or scales. Without proper treatment, it may thicken to protect itself from further damage caused by the constant scratching. The symptoms may be aggravated by a Staphylococcus aureus infection, stress, low humidity, dry skin, too low or too high temperatures, some food, dust, cigarette smoke, detergents, some cosmetics and clothes. Most patients develop the symptoms within the first 5 years of life. Women are slightly more likely than men to develop the disease.
Atopic dermatitis may affect any part of the body, but the fact is that it tends to be more frequent on the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, neck, upper chest or even face, including eyelids.
There are quite a few theories about the causes of this chronic disease. One of them suggests that the main cause of atopic dermatitis is epidermal barrier dysfunction (breakdown of the outermost layer of the skin). Among other possible causes are allergies (also food allergies), which cause chronic inflammation, microwave radiation, histamine intolerance, and many others.
The primary treatment of atopic dermatitis involves maintaining good condition of the skin barrier by moisturizing and greasing it. Patients are supposed to use only the products approved by the dermatologist in order to avoid substances that aggravate the symptoms of the disease. In case of severe egzema, corticosteroid ointments, creams, or injections may be desirable. Their usage should be under control of the dermatologist as they may cause white marks on the skin as well as skin thinning. One should also remember not to put high-potency corticosteroid ointments or creams on the face, where the skin is naturally thin. In some cases of severe atopic dermatitis immunosuppressants, such as tacrolimus, may be relevant.
EXERCISE. CHOOSE TRUE OR FALSE.
1. Atopic dermatitis causes pruritus.
2. Scratched bumps may “weep” clear fluid.
3. Men are more vulnerable to eczema than women.
4. Cell phones may aggravate the symptoms of eczema.
5. Corticosteroids are the first line drugs for atopic dermatitis.
• atopic dermatitis [eɪˈtɒpɪk dɜrməˈtaɪtɪs] – atopowe zapalenie skóry
• eczema [ˈɛksɪmə] – egzema
• pruritic [prʊˈrɪtɪk] – swędzący
• inflamed [ɪnˈfleɪmd] – zaogniony, w stanie zapalnym
• patch [pætʃ] – łatka, płat
• bump [bʌmp] – guzek
• to crust [tə krʌst] – pokrywać się skorupą, zaskorupiać się
• to ooze [tə uz] – sączyć się
• to scale [tə skeɪl] – łuszczyć się
• to aggravate [tə ˈægrəveɪt] – pogarszać się, zaostrzać
• humidity [hyuˈmɪdɪti] – wilgotność
• primary [ˈpraɪmɛri] – główny, podstawowy
• to grease [tə gris] – natłuszczać
• high-potency [haɪ ˈpoʊtnsi] – o wysokim potencjale (tu: o dużej sile działania)
• relevant [ˈrɛləvənt] – odpowiedni, zasadny, stosowny
Correct answers: true, true, false, true, false