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Atopic - Atopy - Definition

Atopy refers to an individual's susceptibility of showing clinical signs when in contact with allergens, usually harmless to the rest of the population. It is due to an excessive production of certain proteins called immunoglobulin E synthesized during the first contact with the allergen. It becomes atopic when an individual has a certain predisposition to atopy. It very often starts in childhood, usually with symptoms appearing on the skin like eczema, and can sometimes evolve into respiratory allergies such as asthma. Having close relatives with allergies in the family increases the risk of being allergic.


An atopic person is someone who suffers from atopy, which is a likelihood to develop common allergies more easily than the general population, in relation to a hypersensitivity to allergens. Beginning in early childhood, generally before the age of two, the atopic person will have skin reactions, like eczema, sometimes accompanied by a respiratory allergy, such as rhinitis or hay fever. Certain atopic people will heal spontaneously, but others will see their atopy progress into more annoying forms such as asthma.