We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

In Medicine, what is Atopy?

By J.M. Willhite
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In medicine, atopy is a genetic predisposition to allergen hypersensitivity that occurs in the presence of other related chronic conditions. Commonly associated with atopic dermatitis, individuals with atopic disease produce excessively high levels of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) when exposed to certain environmental allergens, often resulting in pronounced skin irritation and inflammation. Treatment for atopy-induced skin inflammation involves the administration of topical and oral medications to alleviate irritation. Proactive measures to reduce the presence of allergens in one’s environment are also recommended to lessen symptom severity and atopic dermatitis flare-ups.

The hereditary nature of atopy is such that individuals who exhibit allergic skin irritation may also experience respiratory issues in response to their exposure to certain allergens. Individuals with atopic dermatitis are often also diagnosed with allergies and asthma, both of which may be triggered by ingested or inhaled allergen-specific stimuli. These related conditions generally present in early childhood and may continue into adulthood. The combination of dermatitis, allergies, and asthma is commonly referred to as the atopic dermatitis triad, or atopic disease.

Individuals with atopic dermatitis may experience a variety of symptom manifestations on any part of their body. Skin rashes and irritation are considered to be trademark presentations of this form of atopy. Rashes often present with raised liquid-filled bumps and skin discoloration that cause intense itching, similar to that experienced with exposure to poison ivy or oak. Once blisters rupture, the affected skin may adopt a scaly appearance accentuated by the scabbing over of ulcerated tissue.

There is no definitive test utilized to confirm a diagnosis of atopy or atopic dermatitis other than a review of one’s medical history and visual evaluation of his or her skin. Those who are aware of their hypersensitivity to certain allergens are often encouraged to take proactive measures to reduce their chance for reaction by avoiding known allergens, or triggers. Some people may possess a heightened sensitivity to certain cleaning products, materials, or foods. Others may experience adverse reactions when in the presence of environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke or smog. The presence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria often plays a role in the severity of one’s symptom manifestation and may contribute to the development of impetigo.

Treatment for atopic dermatitis is centered on alleviating symptoms and usually involves the administration of steroidal, immunomodulator, and antihistamine medications to reduce inflammation, ease itching, and suppress the immune system's response to the existing inflammation. In the presence of infection an antibiotic may be administered to eliminate the existing bacterial presence and prevent reinfection. Topical medications may also be administered in moderation to prevent skin chafing and alleviate sensitivity. Complications associated with atopic dermatitis include conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the eye, and a thickening of the skin, known as neurodermatitis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.