Atopic Dermatitis (Allergic Dermatitis)
Atopic dermatitis is a skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scaling, and loss of the surface of the skin (excoriation). When the eruption (rash) has been present for a prolonged time, chronic changes occur due to the constant scratching and rubbing known as lichenification (thickening of the skin with accentuation of the skin lines to form a crisscross pattern). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. This disorder usually affects young children on the face and extensor surfaces of the arms and legs (elbow and knee sides). Older children and adults are usually affected on the sides of the neck and on the inside of the elbow and knee. Atopic dermatitis is frequently associated with other atopic (allergic) disorders, especially asthma and allergic rhinitis (hayfever). A defect of the immune system within the skin has been shown, but the reason for this is unknown. I suspect dysregulation of the immune system by toxic heavy metals, primarily mercury and lead.