“Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease of the skin, with a chronic evolution and with outbreaks. Generally, these poorly defined eczema (reddish reactions of the skin), range from moist states to clearly dry, crusty and thick lesions. Children who suffer from it require the attention of a specialist, so that they receive timely treatment”, indicates Dr. María Luisa Téllez, a dermatologist at our clinic.
What symptoms does atopic dermatitis cause and in which parts of the body does it manifest?
The most common symptoms are: abundant itching and dry skin, however, they can vary depending on whether it occurs in a baby, infant or adolescent. In babies it occurs most often on the cheeks; in infants in the folds, flexures, back of the hands and feet; and in adolescents around the face, eyelids, and neck.
What type of products are usually indicated in the treatment of atopic dermatitis?
- The main problem of atopic dermatitis is dryness, which is why emollient-type moisturizing emulsions are usually indicated in its treatment to keep the skin hydrated, especially after bathing, thus helping to restore the skin barrier. If the itching is abundant, the specialist will prescribe sedating antihistamines.
- To reduce the inflammation, corticosteroids are usually used (mild to moderate potency, depending on the areas of the lesions).
- Calcineurin inhibitors complement treatment and, above all, help in the maintenance stage and prevent relapses.
- Cut the child’s nails as usual, in this way we will avoid damaging the skin when scratching, reducing the possibility of infections that are usually common in these cases.
- The child must wear cotton garments. Synthetic fibers, especially polar ones, should be avoided.
- Clothing should be loose, allowing the child to maintain a moderate temperature. Excessive heat or cold, dryness or humidity can trigger new outbreaks.
- Rule out other types of diseases such as asthma, food allergies, among others, in order to give them the respective treatment.
- Reduce stress as it induces immunological changes and can exacerbate the condition.
- Avoid the use of irritating products (skin cleansers, alkaline soaps, lotions, dyes, detergents), high-temperature water when bathing, as well as climates with extreme temperatures (humidity or excessive dryness).
- Use bath oils, neutral pH cleansers and baths with colloidal oatmeal.
- Ensure that the child does not catch infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and if so, treat them immediately.
Dr. María Luisa Téllez
Dermatologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma