Atopic Dermatitis – What parts of the body are most affected?

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Atopic dermatitis can appear anywhere on the body. This article identifies the areas most likely to be affected and outlines the causes and triggers and how to care for atopic skin.

What parts of the body are most commonly affected by eczema?

Some parts of the body are more exposed to environmental factors than others: our hard- working hands are washed regularly and are the most likely part of our body to be exposed to chemicals. This type of exposure makes skin susceptible to Atopic Dermatitis. Age is another factor that influences the location of the disease.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas most commonly affected:

Atopic Dermatitis often appears on the elbow folds

Face and neck: Facial Atopic Dermatitis is common in babies and children and appears on the cheeks, behind the ears, in the neck folds of babies and in the delicate area around the eyes.  You can find out more in Facial Atopic Dermatitis and Atopic Dermatitis on the eyelids.

Head and scalp: Seborrheic Dermatitis (often known as Cradle Cap) is common in babies but adults can also experience Atopic Dermatitis on the scalp. Read more in Atopic Dermatitis on the scalp.

Hands: More common in adults than in children, Atopic Dermatitis on the hands is often triggered by a reaction to the chemicals, frequent washing and or temperature changes that hands are exposed to. Find out more in Atopic Dermatitis on the hands.

Arms and legs: Babies and children are particularly effected by Atopic Dermatitis on the arms and legs. Find out more in Atopic Dermatitis in babies and children.

What causes or triggers eczema on the body?

Atopic Dermatitis is an inflammatory dry skin disease. It is largely genetic and is linked to a compromised skin barrier function and immune system. Once someone has the underlying disease, there are many different factors that can trigger symptoms.  Find out about them in Understanding Atopic Dermatitis
Environmental irritants and allergens can trigger a reaction in those already disposed to Atopic Dermatitis, and − in some instances − can cause a similar reaction in people who have not experienced atopic skin in the past. This is often the case in Contact Dermatitis on the hands and sometimes in the case of Atopic Dermatitis on the eyelids. Read more in Atopic Dermatitis on the hands and Atopic Dermatitis on the eyelids.

How should I treat atopic skin on different parts of the body?

Atopic Dermatitis on the arms is common

Because there is no known cure for Atopic Dermatitis, the best way to care for skin is to identify and avoid potential triggers so that you can delay and reduce symptoms. Read more about some to the steps you can take in Understanding Atopic Dermatitis.

Medical treatment and a regular and effective skincare routine can also help to manage symptoms. Atopic Dermatitis has two distinct phases:

The care you give your or your child’s skin should be adapted to each phase and to the part of the body it appears on. Find out how to care for atopic skin in How to care for young atopic skin and how to care for adult atopic skin. For advice on how to care for specific parts of the body read Facial Atopic DermatitisAtopic Dermatitis on the eyelidsAtopic Dermatitis on the head and scalp and Atopic Dermatitis on the hands.

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