The Mommy Stories Margaret, 31, shared that her daughter, Jaime, had just been diagnosed by her new pedia- derma with skin asthma at 4 years old. Jaime was around 8 months when the lesions started to appear. Some medications they previously applied made the rashes go away, but only for a while and sometimes “she did not respond at all.” Margaret almost gave up, she recalled, “because you can’t seem to help your child, especially when the rashes become so itchy and quite painful and she starts crying.”
Anna, 34, explains that her son Jerome, 7, was diagnosed with skin asthma, too. She would find him waking up in the middle of the night scratching uncomfortably, and would have lesions on his elbows, knees and ears. Asthma runs in her family, too.
What is skin asthma? Dr. Kristine Legaspi, a dermatologist from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, explains that atopic dermatitis is the medical term for the disease more popularly known as skin asthma. Atopic means a predisposition to be overly sensitive to allergens (like in asthma) and dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. Skin asthma typically presents in infancy/childhood and may persist in adult life, with hyper-reactivity of the person’s immune system resulting to exacerbations or flares. If exposed to trigger factors, such as irritants (e.g. soaps, detergents), skin infections and contact or inhalant allergens, the condition may worsen and require medication.
Although atopic dermatitis can affect any part of the body, it usually involves the face and the limbs. Symptoms may vary, but more often present as red, flaky and itchy rashes which can later develop into scaly, crusty or leathery patches.
Click here to learn more about the treatment for and triggers of skin asthma.