More recently, a theory involving the role of Epidermal Barrier Dysfunction has been proposed as an explanation on the physiopathology of atopic dermatitis. Changes in at least 3 groups of genes encoding structural proteins, epidermal proteases and protease inhibitors predispose to a defective epidermal barrier and increase the risk of developing atopic dermatitis.
Although it is an inherited disease, eczema is primarily aggravated by contact with or intake of allergens.
Exposure to microwave radiation from a cell phone can worsen existing allergies to house dust mite and Japanese Cryptomeria pollen.
While no cause of atopic dermatitis, food allergy is often present in atopic children, and children with food allergy often present with skin dermatitis indistinguishable from atopic dermatitis.
A subset of people afflicted with atopic dermatitis are affected by exogenous sources of histamine. About one-third (33%) of atopic eczematics significantly improve their symptoms after following a histamine-free diet.
Maintaining the skin barrier
The primary treatment involves prevention, includes avoiding or minimizing contact with (or intake of) known allergens. Once that has been established, topical treatments can be used. Topical treatments focus on reducing both the dryness and inflammation of the skin. Atopic dermatitis has also been linked to a ceramide deficiency. Ceramide is one of the three key lipids that comprise the skin barrier. There are various ceramide based creams available including the prescription drug Epiceram as well as other non-prescription options like Cerave and Aveeno for Eczema.
If moisturizers on their own don't help and the eczema is severe, a doctor may prescribe topical corticosteroid ointments, creams, or injections. Corticosteroids have traditionally been considered the most effective method of treating severe eczema. Disadvantages of using steroid creams include stretch marks and thinning of the skin.
A more novel form of treatment involves exposure to broad or narrow-band ultraviolet light. UV radiation exposure has been found to have a localized immunomodulatory effect on affected tissues and may be used to decrease the severity and frequency of flares.
XTRAC Lasers produce a highly effective, safe, and painless therapy by delivering a targeted, super-narrow UVB band to affected areas, resulting in effective and rapid improvement without the worry of harmful side effects of invasive, systemic agents.
The VTRAC 308nm wavelength of light in the ultraviolet B range has been shown to be particularly effective for many dermatoses. A light source, as opposed to a laser, VTRAC offers the targeted, therapeutic efficacy demonstrated by Excimer lasers, with the simplicity of design and reliability of a lamp system.
The UVB handpiece uses high-power, spectral irradiance in the UVB and UVA wavebands to target and treat dermatoses such as psoriasis, leukoderma, vitiligo, (striae distenase), atopic dermatitis (eczema) and seborrheic dermatitis.
Waldmann has decisively influenced the development of photodynamic diagnosis and therapy in cooperation with the most important clinical centers in Europe. Waldmann UV lamps have been setting the standard for successful therapy for more than 40 years. Their economic efficiency and excellent standard of quality are convincing.