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What is Atopic Eczema?

Eczema is a medical term that refers to the presence on the affected skin of: redness, chapping and scaling, swelling, red bumps, fluid blisters, discharge, scabs, warmth and itching. These described symptoms can be present next to and one after the other. There are many forms of eczema, so atopic eczema is just one of them.

Is atopic eczema common?

In industrialized countries, 1-3% of adults have to deal with some form of eczema. About 400,000 people in the Netherlands suffer from this skin condition. Atopic eczema usually starts during the first 6 months of life. The eczema can be present for a short time but can also become a chronic complaint.

What could be a cause?

The exact cause is unknown. Much research has been done into the cause of this immune response, which causes inflammation in the skin. Genetic factors can play a role, diet and lifestyle are of influence and relationships are made with other underlying health complaints such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune diseases.

What do people with atopic eczema experience?

In addition to social barriers due to feelings of shame but also physical discomfort, people with atopic eczema often experience more stress, have emotional complaints and often sleep worse. The deterioration in quality of life as a result of insomnia and emotional disturbances can lead to social isolation and serious psychological complaints.

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