Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis

Even as a parent of an atopic child, I sometimes still get confused between eczema and atopic dermatitis. They are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different. I have a child who suffers from atopic dermatitis.

Eczema is a general term used for a group of skin inflammations or “dermatitis”. Atopic dermatitis is a specific skin condition marked by dry, itchy, scaly rashes that generally appear on the face and scalp (especially among babies), elbows, back of the knees, neck, wrist, ankle, hands, and feet.

Atopic dermatitis is caused by several factors. The leading factor is heredity. As early as infancy, I myself suffered skin allergies. This carried on until I was in grade school. Up to now, I’d get itchy breakouts around my wrists and on my forearm once in a while.

So it’s not a wonder why my son suffers the same condition.

The environment also has got a lot to do with risks for atopic dermatitis. Living in an urban area with a lot of pollution increases the chances to develop the skin condition.

Atopic dermatitis can also occur, and is more likely to occur, with asthma, hay fever and other allergic conditions.

Living with an atopic child has led me to read up more about the condition so that I can better manage him. Right now, he is on relative remission, with sporadic breakouts only once in a while. (His scalp rashes are more recurrent and challenging though.)

The two tricks that has worked best with my son are: 1. Food trigger avoidance. 2. Skin moisturization.

Learn more about eczema and atopic dermatitis on

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