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  • Atopic dermatitis

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    Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as atopic eczema, is a type of inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). It results in itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin. Clear fluid may come from the affected areas, which often thicken over time. While the condition may occur at any age, it typically starts in childhood with changing severity over the years. In children under one year of age much of the body may be affected. As children get older, the back of the knees and front of the elbows are the most common areas affected. In adults the hands and feet are the most commonly affected areas. Scratching worsens symptoms and affected people have an increased risk of skin infections. Many people with atopic dermatitis develop hay fever or asthma. The cause is unknown but believed to involve genetics, immune system dysfunction, environmental exposures, and difficulties with the permeability of the skin. If one identical twin is affected, there is an 85% chance the other also has the condition. Those who live in cities and dry climates are more commonly affected. Exposure to certain chemicals or frequent hand washing makes symptoms worse. While emotional stress may make the symptoms worse it is not a cause. The disorder is not contagious. The diagnosis is typically based on the signs and symptoms. Other diseases that must be excluded before making a diagnosis include contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Treatment involves avoiding things that make the condition worse, daily bathing with application of a moisturising cream afterwards, applying steroid creams when flares occur, and medications to help with itchiness. Things that commonly make it worse include wool clothing, soaps, perfumes, chlorine, dust, and cigarette smoke. Phototherapy may be useful in some people. Steroid pills or creams based on calcineurin inhibitors may occasionally be used if other measures are not effective. Antibiotics (either by mouth or topically) may be needed if a bacterial infection develops. Dietary changes are only needed if food allergies are suspected. Atopic dermatitis affects about 20% of people at some point in their lives. It is more common in younger children. Males and females are equally affected. Many people outgrow the condition. Atopic dermatitis is sometimes called eczema, a term that also refers to a larger group of skin conditions. Other names include "infantile eczema", "flexural eczema", "prurigo Besnier", "allergic eczema", and "neurodermatitis".

  • Rash

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    A rash is a change of the human skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell, and may be painful. The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely. Diagnosis must take into account such things as the appearance of the rash, other symptoms, what the patient may have been exposed to, occupation, and occurrence in family members. A rash can last 5 to 20 days, the diagnosis may confirm any number of conditions. The presence of a rash may aid diagnosis; associated signs and symptoms are diagnostic of certain diseases. For example, the rash in measles is an erythematous, morbilliform, maculopapular rash that begins a few days after the fever starts. It classically starts at the head, and spreads downwards.

  • Latch (breastfeeding)

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    Latching illustrationLatch refers to how the baby fastens onto the breast while breastfeeding. How the baby latches is more important than how the baby is held during nursing. A good latch means that the bottom of the areola (the area around the nipple) is in the baby's mouth and the nipple is back inside his or her mouth, where it's soft and flexible. A shallow, or poor, latch happens when the baby does not have enough of the breast in his/her mouth or is too close to the tip. A shallow latch causes the sensitive nipple skin to press against the bones in the top of the baby's mouth. That can cause the development of cracked nipples. The nipples are sore, and bleed.

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