Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a chronic inflammation of the skin that causes extreme itching and dry scaly patches on the scalp, forehead, cheeks, and face. Atopic dermatitis commonly occurs especially in non-Hispanic black children in the first year of life, and symptoms may last into adolescence or adulthood.
There are several types of atopic dermatitis, including contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema, and stasis dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis – This type of atopic dermatitis is caused by a skin reaction to something that is touched and can be either an allergic reaction (allergic contact dermatitis) to plants, such as poison ivy, or to nickel, makeup, jewelry, or latex gloves. Contact dermatitis can also occur from exposure to certain skin irritants and toxic substances (irritant contact dermatitis), such as diaper rash, acid burn, dry, cracked hands from too much water contact, soaps, or an irritated mouth, battery acid, bleach, and pepper spray.
Dyshidrotic eczema –This type of atopic dermatitis occurs when the skin barrier cannot protect the skin, causing very dry skin, itching, skin cracking, and blisters, usually on the hands or feet, and tends to have seasonal flares.
Hand eczema – This form of atopic dermatitis can be caused by skin irritants, such as too much exposure to water, chemicals, or solvents, or from an allergic reaction, such as to latex gloves.
Neurodermatitis – This form of atopic dermatitis is caused by scratching an intense itching on the skin caused by the body’s nerves.
Nummular dermatitis – This type of atopic dermatitis looks different than other dermatitis and is characterized by small coin-like lesions on the skin and is most often caused by chemical irritants, allergic reactions, reactions to medications, or poor blood flow.
Stasis dermatitis – This form of atopic dermatitis occurs from swelling in the lower extremities or irritants, such as perfumes, dyes, plants, grass, pet hair, or cleaning products.