Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, relapsing eczematous itchy skin condition characterized by itchy rash and dry skin in children. It begins a few weeks or months after birth and can continue through entire childhood, up to early adulthood.
Why it happens?
Atopic Dermatitis is caused by combination of Genetic susceptibility, Immune dysregulation, Microbial colonization and various environmental triggers.
- Changes in temperature/ climate
- Decrease in humidity
- Contact with allergens: wool, soaps, cosmetics, smoke etc
- Aeroallergens: pollen, mould, pets, plants, dust etc
- Food allergens: artificial colorants and flavours, nuts, milk etc
- Emotional stress
- Hormonal changes
- voidance of aggravating factors or allergens
- Extensive use of moisturizers and emollients
- Ointments and creams depending on the severity of disease
- Treatment of infections if any
- Oral anti-histamine drugs
- Immunomodulator drugs
- Rash and itching over face and body and dry flaky skin in infants
- Itching and rash in folds of body or generalised itching in children and teenagers.
- Recurrences when season changes/ peak of season.
What to avoid?
- Long baths with hot water
- Excessive use of fragrant soaps, bubble baths
- Woollen or synthetic clothing
- Packaged/ preserved foods
- Carpets, rugs, soft toys.
- Pets/ gardens with flowering plants
- Insect bites
What to encourage?
- Mild soaps, syndets for bathing
- Moisturizers/emollient frequently applied
- Wet dusting, frequent mopping of floor and surfaces in child’s environment
- Light drapes, blankets, upholstery: frequently washed
- Natural fibres like cotton for clothes
- Probiotics in diet
- Immediate consultation and treatment to avoid increase in symptoms
- Counselling of parents and children to understand the disease and avoid frequent flare-ups.
Dr. Alpna Thakur is a trained dermatologist and aesthetician with over a decade of experience in handling dermatological patients. She is expert in dealing with cases concerning dermatology, pediatric dermatology, trichology and aesthetics. With both national and international publications, she believes in personalized treatment for every patient and is an ardent advocate of patient education.