what is atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis in children: What is it and what is its most effective treatment?

If you have a little one at home and you have seen that some red eczema has started to appear on their skin, chances are that the doctor has told you that they suffer from atopic dermatitis. But what is atopic dermatitis? At Medvisit, our English-speaking doctors, we will try to clarify all aspects of a disease closely related to childhood.

What is atopic dermatitis

Cases of children with atopic dermatitis are more frequent than you might think. According to data collected by medical institutions, it is estimated that around 60% of newborns will have an outbreak before completing their first year of life.

Dermatitis is a mild skin disease that presents itself in the form of plaques or eczema that can be recognized by their intense red color, a noticeable inflammation and dryness of the skin in the area where they appear.

Children will feel an intense itching that will make them want to scratch and will cause them to be uncomfortable, which will result in crying and problems falling asleep due to the lack of comfort caused by dermatitis.

Fortunately, it is not a serious disease. Its symptoms can be alleviated and, as we will see later, it is also possible to anticipate outbreaks by changing some of the living conditions of the little ones. However, we must first ask ourselves why dermatitis appears.

Main causes of atopic dermatitis in children

When you go to a pediatrician’s office in Barcelona with a child with dermatitis, the doctor will usually ask you a series of questions to find out where the outbreak is coming from.

The main causes of this disease are the ones you can see here:

  • Keep in mind that atopic dermatitis has a high genetic component, so it is very likely that parents who have suffered from it in childhood will have children with the same problem.
  • It is possible that behind the dermatitis may be hidden problems of allergy to eggs or dairy products, so pediatricians often send allergen tests to children with outbreaks of this disease.
  • Hot weather, when the child will sweat more, is a trigger for dermatitis.
  • Dusty environments where dust mites accumulate are also a risk factor for dermatitis to appear.
  • Some soaps, colognes or synthetic fabrics can irritate children’s skin and cause the appearance of dermatitis in children.

As you have seen in this list, the causes of dermatitis outbreaks in children are many and varied. From genetic inheritance to allergies to environmental conditions, children are exposed to many problems that can end up affecting the surface of their skin and seriously damage it.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis in children

Fortunately, pediatricians have a perfect knowledge of this disease and know the treatment to be applied to eliminate the main problems of its appearance, which are none other than itching and skin discomfort.

In moderate cases, the pediatrician will recommend taking antihistamines in a dose appropriate for the age and weight of the child suffering from the problem. In many occasions, these medications against allergic processes are enough, so the child will quickly recover the quality of life.

If the outbreak is very strong, then the use of corticosteroid creams will be necessary. These are the most advisable medications to get children to get better from the problems of a severe outbreak of atopic dermatitis and, under medical supervision, they are completely safe.

Prevention is better than cure

The truth is that pediatricians agree on one thing: prevention of dermatitis is the best way to treat it. The reason is that an outbreak of this disease, although curable, is very uncomfortable for children, so parents are always given advice that they should put into practice when the outbreak passes to prevent a new one from appearing.

These recommendations include the following:

  • Deeply moisturize children’s skin;
  • Opt for short showers rather than long baths;
  • Use lukewarm water in the shower;
  • Use cotton clothing and avoid synthetic fabrics.

However, at the first sign of an outbreak, the best advice is always to call an English-speaking doctors, as, without treatment, the dermatitis will seriously worsen.

In short, now that you know what atopic dermatitis is and how it affects children, you can anticipate outbreaks or act appropriately when one appears so that children do not suffer more than necessary.