In an acute flare-up sufferers experience: light to intense itching and skin that is red to deep red, flaky, uneven to swollen, sore and even mildly bleeding.
During a non flare-up phase, symptoms are dry to very dry, slightly flaky, irritable skin (a condition - not a disease - also known as Xerosis) and the affected area may have small, healed cracks.
As well as the problems caused by the skin irritation itself, Atopic Dermatitis can lead to further physical and psychological issues such as lack of sleep, discrimination, stress and a general lack of self-confidence – particularly in the case of facial Atopic Dermatitis. As a result, sufferers often restrict their daily lives by changing what they wear, what they eat, the make-up they choose and the activities they take part in. Relationships can even be affected if the sufferer feels his or her attractiveness is diminished by their symptoms.
Dry and scaly skin appears in other skin conditions, such as hypersensitive skin, where the compromised skin barrier leads to increased trans-epidermal water-loss. where skin might show subjective and objective symtoms as a reaction to external aggressors.
Read more about hypersensitive skin.