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Eczema/atopic Dermatitis

Eczema/atopic Dermatitis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Atopic dermatitis is the most common cause of eczema and the terms are often used synonymously.
    • Associated with allergic diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis
  • Eczema literally means “out boil” and refers to spongiosis, the process where microvesicles form and rupture, leaving erythema, edema, crusting, and oozing
  • Pruritus is highly characteristic
    • Patient rub and scratch skin breakdown with oozing and crusting
    • Chronically this causes epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis
  • 90% of patients colonize with Staphylococcus aureus, and are prone to episodes of superinfection

Risk Factors

  • Family history of atopy (asthma, allergic rhinitis) typical
  • Mutation of the filaggrin protein, part of the epidermal barrier, is strongly associated


Atopic dermatitis is caused by a deficit in epidermal integrity that allows foreign substances to enter and trigger immune responses.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Eczema/atopic Dermatitis." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307679/all/Eczema_atopic_Dermatitis.
Eczema/atopic Dermatitis. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307679/all/Eczema_atopic_Dermatitis. Accessed April 26, 2019.
Eczema/atopic Dermatitis. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307679/all/Eczema_atopic_Dermatitis
Eczema/atopic Dermatitis [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 26]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307679/all/Eczema_atopic_Dermatitis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Eczema/atopic Dermatitis ID - 307679 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307679/all/Eczema_atopic_Dermatitis PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -