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Can asthma be the cause for atopic dermatitis?

Q: My 13 months old daughter is suffering from atopic dermatitis for the last 6 months. The doctor told us that the disease might take 6-18 years to cure. My father is suffering from asthma and the doctor said that the cause of atopic dermatitis, which my daughter has, is due to my father’s asthma problem. What are the causes and treatment for this disease?

A:Atopic dermatitis and asthma belong to a group of disorders with an inborn tendency for allergy. Such an individual can have both of them simultaneously or at different points of time. This has given rise to a wrong notion that if atopic dermatitis is suppressed then asthma will occur and vice-a-versa. Atopic dermatitis usually occurs in phases. There is an infant phase, childhood phase and an adult phase. In the last phase, the disease is usually limited to a small area. It is not necessary that each and every individual will pass through all the phases. One has to recognise the precipitating and aggravating factors and avoid them so that the disease is mild. Medicines are kept to a minimum. There are a number of forums (for atopic dermatitis) on the net from where you can get a lot of information.

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