Atopic dermatitis is a long-lasting (chronic) skin condition that causes intense itching and then a red, raised rash. It usually develops in early childhood and continues into the teen years. Adults also may have it or have milder symptoms than they did as children, along with sensitive-skin problems. Skin affected by atopic dermatitis (atopic skin) must be kept well hydrated. Although researchers have yet to fully understand the causes of atopic dermatitis, it is known that skin dryness plays a big part in worsening symptoms.