What is atopic dermatitis?

December 15, 2019

atopic dermatitis

A dermatologist is a professional who can help patients with a wide variety of skin concerns, including medical and cosmetic issues. At Chevy Chase Dermatology, we are committed to helping Chevy Chase, MD area patients obtain the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that are impacting their skin’s health and appearance. One condition that is often seen in our practice is that of atopic dermatitis.

What is atopic dermatitis?

Dr. Margaret Summerville of Chevy Chase Dermatology describes atopic dermatitis as a chronic skin condition that is often accompanies by dry, itchy skin. It may also be referred to as eczema, which can flare-up and become problematic when patients have exposure to certain allergens or experience dry, dehydrated skin. Atopic dermatitis is also know n as the most severe and long-lasting type of eczema. Research continues to occur to find a cure for the condition, but this chronic problem has yet to offer full relief with one or more medications. However, the condition is often well-controlled by patients who avoid their known allergens and keep their skin hydrated and fully moisturized.

What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis?

In most situations of atopic dermatitis and eczema, the common sign is a rash that is often red, dry, and itching. Some patients may experience inflammation due to eczema flare-ups that can occur after contact with an allergen or dry skin. Symptoms may persist in infants, children, and adults, and can be frustrating for all. Patients need not worry about spreading the condition, as it is not contagious. Studies have shown that there appears to be a genetic component to eczema and atopic dermatitis, and those who are diagnosed with the condition often have a relative that also deals with it or cooccurring conditions such as asthma and allergies.

How is atopic dermatitis treated?

At the moment, there is no cure for atopic dermatitis and eczema. However, many patients find that over-the-counter moisturizers and prescription products can help reduce flare-ups and provide comfort and relief. Patients can also make certain lifestyle changes to address common occurrences of itching skin.

Learn more about atopic dermatitis with the team at Chevy Chase Dermatology

Call Dr. Margaret Summerville of Chevy Chase, MD today to discuss your skin care needs. Her practice can be reached at

Category: Medical Dermatology

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