Atopic dermatitis, eczema, skin asthma, asthma, and allergic rhinitis are related. Atopic dermatitis often occurs together with other atopic diseases like hay fever, asthma, and conjunctivitis. It is a familial and chronic disease and its symptoms can increase or disappear over time.
An allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Skin allergies are, thankfully, rather well managed with the knowledge and technology available today.
“Eczema” is actually a very general term that could mean several possible conditions. A specific diagnosis usually also comes with an identification of the possible triggers for an individual’s flare-ups. A patch test is normally indicated. For “babies and very young children, as a patch test cannot yet be performed, the alternative is frequent and controlled observation of what seems to cause eruptions (this is why it is so important to use few products…so that it is easier to observe what the trigger/s might be) and strict prevention.
For the many conditions that can fall under the mantle “eczema”, they all benefit from the same ultra-safety, i.e. ZERO of all known allergens, etc., plus the inclusion of a very safe antibacterial-antiviral-antifungal in all formulations. Why? With eczema, when the skin develops fissures or cracks, this becomes welcoming to opportunistic microorganisms to enter the skin, which can lead to or exacerbate itching and further dryness… which can lead to more cracks (which can lead to more infection) and more scratching (which can spread infection)… more risk of microorganisms, etc., in a vicious cycle.
Eczema is actually atopic dermatitis. It is a more generalized term for any skin eruption characterized by edema within the epidermis and dermis clinically seen as tiny itchy bubbles that ooze and become little bubbles or vesicles, even blisters. Then, exposed to the air, they dry up and become crusts. With chronicity this wet phase may not be as obvious, and becomes replaced more by dry, thickened, very itchy patches and plaques. Atopic dermatitis is the prototype example of this process but it may be seen in other conditions such as allergic and irritant contact orphotocontact dermatitis, eczematous drug eruption and secondary reactions to a primary diagnosis.
Options: Simple prevention can be extremely helpful in the management of these conditions. If you suspect you have atopic dermatitis or very allergic skin, we suggest asking your dermatologist to give you a patch test. This painless procedure helps you identify which particular ingredients or allergens you need to avoid. While a patch test is a bit of an investment, it can save you the expense, frustration and physical discomfort from random trial and error. For more information on patch tests click here.
If you are in the USA, ask your doctor if s/he is a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS). If so, s/he may have access to CAMP, the Contact Allergen Management Program. With CAMP, your doctor can input your patch test results and give you a list of specific brands and products that you can use, instead of just a list of ingredients to avoid. For more information, ask your doctor to visit the official website of the American Contact Dermatitis Society: contactderm.org. For member doctors who offer patch tests in your area, click here.
If youve already had a patch test, check out VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products online (which are formulated based on allergen omission) to see which you can use (or use your CAMP list as a guide). If you’d like to be extra safe, share your patch test results with us via an Ask VMV support ticket and well tell you which of our products you should be able to use based on your results. If you’ve already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, unless your CAMP list/patch test results tell you otherwise, you should be able to use most of our products.
Most VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products contain zero of all allergens published by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies, both independent, elite groups of the American Contact Dermatitis Society and European Contact Dermatitis Society that concentrate on contact allergies and conduct thousands of patch tests in multiple countries. Most VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products are also 100% All-Types-Of-Fragrance-Free, Dye, Preservative, Paraban, Phthalate, and PABA-Free.* Most importantly, VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products are VH-Rated to show the total number of allergens omitted. And if there is a common allergen in the formulation, a quick look at the ingredients list (the allergen will be underlined and identified by an asterisk) can tell you if you can still use the product or if you need to choose another.
For more about VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, our hypoallergenicity, allergens, and our skintegrity, we invite you to view About VMV.
* Please read each product’s detailed information on individual product labels or in VMV’s online catalog.
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