Feature Article

Common skin problems in children. Part 1: managing atopic dermatitis

Feature Article

Common skin problems in children. Part 1: managing atopic dermatitis

Gayle Fischer

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Abstract

The first article in this series on common skin problems in children focuses on atopic dermatitis, the most prevalent chronic skin disease seen in children, particularly before puberty.

Key Points

  • Itch and sleep deprivation can significantly disrupt the lives of children with atopic dermatitis and their parents.
  • Simple environmental modification is an essential part of management, but measures such as removing carpets are usually unnecessary.
  • Topical therapy with emollients and corticosteroids is the mainstay of treatment.
  • Allergy testing is very popular with parents and often helpful in the more severe cases; however, it is probably carried out more than is necessary.
  • When a child fails to respond to treatment, consider noncompliance, infection, allergy or combination with another dermatosis, most often psoriasis.
  • The prognosis of this condition is good, with most children recovering by the end of primary school.