There are factors that make certain people more likely to suffer from atopic dermatitis – risk factors of atopic dermatitis. In other words, these factors increase the risk of a person developing this skin disease.
The factors include:
- Childhood – It can affect people of any age but affects children more commonly. Sometimes it goes on from childhood till adulthood; or it may even start in adulthood.
- People who have asthma.
- Those that have hay fever.
- Place of residence – it has been found that there is an increased risk of developing dermatitis if one lives in a region with cold climate. Developed countries (especially areas where the pollution is high) also raises the risk of having this disease. People who live in urban areas are at an increased risk.
- Persons with family member(s) who have atopic dermatitis, asthma and/or hay fever – If the parent(s) of the individual or child has asthma, atopic dermatitis or hay fever, then there is a high chance of the person developing the disease.
- Social class – it seems to occur more commonly in persons from high social class.
- Age of mother at the time the child was born – It has been found that when a woman give birth late (at an older age), the child is more likely to have this skin condition.
The role food allergies play in atopic dermatitis is controversial – some researchers believe that food allergies are associated with atopic dermatitis, and some researcher do not believe so. It is important to know that food does not cause this disease. But it has been discovered (based on the results of some studies) that food allergies can worsen this condition. Usually children who suffer from this disease have allergies to certain foods including nuts, fish, eggs, yogurt, shellfish, wheat, soy products, cheese, milk and other foods that contain milk.
It is not advisable for individuals who have this disease to receive small pox vaccination, as it may cause serious complications.
Although the exact cause of this disease has not yet been discovered, it has been found (from research) that certain things contribute to the occurrence of atopic dermatitis. They are – the way the body’s immune system works, the environment in which an individual lives, and the person’s genes.