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Atopic dermatitis in children

The skin is a very important organ both due to its extension and its location, and because it is in intimate contact with the environment, it has a barrier function and protection against environmental aggressions.

The atopic dermatitis is a genetic disease that usually occurs in children whose parents, siblings have had allergic diseases such as asthma , rhinoconjunctivitis, food allergy, urticaria . There is an increased susceptibility of the patient with atopic dermatitis to develop asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

One of the most important entities of skin involvement in allergic children is atopic dermatitis, which is characterized as a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It is a disease that affects approximately 1-3% of the population and has special characteristics, its onset can begin in early childhood, before 6 months (infant eczema), or it can remit spontaneously, between 2-3 years, or persist in 25-50% of cases, in adolescence.

Depending on the age of the patient, the location of the lesions is different. During infancy, the most commonly affected areas are the cheeks, chin, neck, trunk, and extremities. In childhood it is usually located in the retroauricular region, wrists, neck, hands and areas of flexion of the elbows and knees. In adolescence, its preferential location is in the hands and flexion areas.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis

The first warning signs are usually reddish spots with small blisters, often exudative, dry skin, and very intense itching. The child scratches permanently and especially, when not dressed or at night; severe scratches make the child irritable dressed and disturb sleep. Often times, the child can scratch himself, to the point where they bleed. Continuous scratching, even if the child is clothed, stops the skin from crusting, which in turn can lead to infection, thus causing resistance to treatment.

Patients often have outbreaks, even between eczema outbreaks the skin is often very dry and itchy. Overall, eczema flare-ups are most intense in childhood and in winter. Emotional or psychological factors do not cause dermatitis, but given the possible chronicity of the disease, these factors can be correlated with evolution.

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Children are frequently allergic to some foods, such as milk, eggs, nuts, fish, cereals, fruits. Once the food allergy has been identified, a therapeutic elimination diet is applied, in which only the foods responsible for the allergy are eliminated.

Here are some tips for children with atopic dermatitis:

  • Always keep fingernails short and clean to avoid scratching lesions and superinfections of the skin as much as possible.
  • Avoid using scented soaps and use only soap-free cleansing oils.
  • The bath softens and provides flexibility to the skin, calms irritation and reduces skin dryness. You must carefully dry the child.
  • Atopic after bathing, without rubbing.
  • Do not allow skin to come into contact with clothing that can cause irritation, such as wool and synthetic fibers such as nylon.
  • Clothing in contact with the child’s skin should be white cotton, always washed with non-irritating soaps.
  • Reduce the causes of sweating, such as excess clothing.
  • Hydrate your skin well, as dry skin itches more, with petroleum jelly creams.
  • Avoid, as much as possible, any cause of stress.
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature, overloaded environments or low temperatures.
  • Facilitate nighttime sleep and rest periods during the day.
  • Gradual exposure to the sun and sea water is usually beneficial for children with eczema. However, if the lesions ooze or there is a bacterial superinfection, the child should avoid contact with the sand.
  • Try to avoid tobacco at home.
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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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