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Treatment of atopic dermatitis in children

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disorder that causes rashes and peeling and is also known as eczema. This disease is caused by an irritation very similar to an allergy that results from swelling and persistent redness. This condition is more common in children than in adults, to the point that it is estimated that approximately 20% of children worldwide suffer from atopic dermatitis.

Because it is a chronic disorder, the symptoms of atopic dermatitis are prolonged in time; however, with the correct treatment, it is expected that most infants with this disease will overcome it at the beginning of their adult life. Children with this pathology usually have a family history of asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis and have much more sensitive skin than the rest. The Treatment of atopic dermatitis in children must be very rigorous and suggests complete care of the dermis; for this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain how you should treat this condition.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in children

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis are commonly manifested on the scalp, body, and face. However, the appearance of the rashes can vary if it is a baby or a child; let’s see:

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in babies

The disease can manifest itself when the baby is only two months old. It usually appears through a sudden rash that makes the skin itchy, dry, and flaky. When outbreaks of dermatitis occur, the skin may begin to ooze. The rash is located on the scalp, cheeks, knees, and elbow.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in children

When the disease manifests between two and adolescence, it usually appears as a rash on different parts of the body, scaly skin, and itching. Among the most affected areas are the folds of the elbows and knees, neck, wrists, and ankles. Unlike the symptoms that occur in babies, when dermatitis affects a child, the skin tends to increase its thickness, so some areas may appear lumpy and red. In adults, atopic dermatitis occurs on the face and the rest of the body, and the skin appears dry and flaky.

The skin rash can be accompanied by:

  • Raw skin from scratching.
  • Discharge or bleeding from the ear
  • Blisters that ooze.
  • Scabs on the skin.
  • Inflammation of the skin.

Phases of atopic dermatitis

This disease has two phases: the inactive phase is when the skin is dry and flaky, and constant hydration is necessary. The active step, or flare, is when there is the presence of itching, blisters, inflammation and the skin oozes or bleeds. In this case, medication is necessary to calm the symptoms.

On a day-to-day basis, the child with atopic dermatitis is exposed to factors that can trigger him to go suddenly from the active to the inactive phase. What can cause an outbreak of atopic dermatitis in children ?:

  • Garments stimulate the skin when in contact with it—for example, nylon, woven, or woolen clothing, three fabrics that cause heat and sweating.
  • The consumption of dairy, nuts, and shellfish.
  • Allergy to pollen, animal hair, or household dust.
  • Snuff smoke.
  • Cleaning detergents.
  • Inadequate rest.
  • Emotional stress

Treatment of topical dermatitis in children: emollients

Atopic dermatitis is a disease that has no cure. Therefore the Treatment consists of hydrating the skin to reduce dryness and using medicines to treat symptoms and avoid flare-ups. Thus, the Treatment is divided into two parts, the use of emollients, which is constant, and the use of medication prescribed by the dermatologist, which is used when outbreaks occur.

Emollients for atopic dermatitis in children

It is any moisturizing cream, lotion, or ointment for the body and the face complemented with special bath gels. It mainly seeks to keep the skin hydrated and nourished to avoid extreme dryness and flaking and, therefore, save it as neat and healthy as possible.

However, not all the moisturizing or emollient creams that we find on the market are helpful for the Treatment of topical dermatitis in children; it is of the utmost importance that when choosing these cosmetic products, we are guided by the recommendation of the doctor, or we prefer those containing the following active ingredients that are specifically for improving and treating eczema skin:

  • Omega 6 fatty acids: among these types of fatty acids, you can find evening primrose oil and grape seed oil, which in addition to softening the skin, help regenerate its protective barrier.
  • Licochalcón A: it is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that is derived from the licorice plant and is very useful in reducing redness and swelling.

Dermatological treatments for atopic dermatitis in children

When outbreaks occur, it is necessary to help the child with topical medications that calm the itching and complement the function of emollients. In general, most medications for atopic dermatitis are corticosteroids, a variety of hormones from the group of steroids that are very effective and quickly absorbed that offer immediate relief at home from the itchiness of the reaction. However, the excessive use of these medications is not recommended; for this reason, it is essential to apply them strictly following the recommendations of the pediatric dermatologist.

When the flare is horrible, your doctor may consider using hydrocortisone to calm the symptoms. Likewise, topical immunomodulatory drugs may be prescribed in children older than two years. However, it is essential to consult well with the doctor about this decision and know the relationship of this type of drug with a greater risk of developing cancer.

When the skin is thickened, tar or alkaline creams may be prescribed. Likewise, when an infection occurs, it may be necessary to apply antibiotic creams, use oral steroids for a short time, take drugs to suppress the immune system, or use phototherapy, a medical Treatment through which the skin is gradually exposed ultraviolet light.

Tips for treating atopic dermatitis in children

  • Baths should be short, between 5 and 10 minutes, and with warm water; a child with dermatitis should never be bathed with hot water.
  • Bubble baths are not allowed.
  • When the bath is finished, the child should be dried by making several touches with a towel; the skin should not be rubbed with the towel.
  • After bathing, the prescribed emollients should be applied immediately.
  • Trimming your child’s nails is essential to prevent scratching or hurt the skin.
  • When the child goes to sleep, it is recommended to put on cotton gloves so that they do not damage the skin with their hands while sleeping.
  • The child’s room should be warm and free of moisture.
  • Emollients should be applied twice a day.
  • Keeping a diary of all the factors that trigger flare-ups in the child is very useful to have a guide of elements to avoid.

In addition, we recommend that you discover other suitable treatments in the article Home remedies for atopic dermatitis.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Treatment of atopic dermatitis in children , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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