Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease, very common and of inflammatory origin. For reasons unknown, in the skin of people suffering from this disorder there are an excess of inflammatory cells (lymphocytes) which cause the skin to be permanently irritated and itchy. It is also characterized by a production defect in the amount and quality of the natural sebum of the skin. Which has important functions on the cutaneous epithelium, among which we emphasize maintain the hydration and the immune response against external infectious agents.

This disease usually affects the children (30% of the child population) who, for the reasons mentioned, have dry skin and eczema with a tendency to become infected. It manifests with roughness to the touch of the skin and red, scaly plaques that cause an intense itch (eczema) in different areas of the body. Usually it sprouts in shoots, with periods of greater stability and others in which very pruritic lesions appear.

Inflammatory disorders of the skin usually respond to the application of corticosteroids, but it is common for atopic dermatitis to affect a large part of the body or to have a chronic course, which contraindicates the use of these drugs because of their adverse effects. For this reason it is especially useful to treat it with phototherapy. Phototherapy is the application of ultraviolet radiation type A and/or B (such as those emitted by the Sun) inside a cabin. It is the treatment with the best profile of effectiveness/safety/cost to day of today, above the biological medicines. Ultraviolet radiation has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin if used at the right dose and for as long as necessary, medically controlled. It has the advantage of being a very fast treatment (the session lasts only a few minutes), which allows to treat large body areas simultaneously, without using any topical preparation and with an excellent improvement response in a little time. Initially it is used two or three times a week and once the desired response has been reached, it is passed to a maintenance schedule of one session per week or every two weeks.

The use of the phototherapy reduces the need to apply corticosteroids or to take oral drugs with potential adverse effects. It can be applied to children, and the parents can be with the child during the minutes that the treatment lasts. Due to its safety and efficacy it is currently the optimal option for the treatment of many inflammatory skin diseases.

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