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Atopic dermatitis in infants and children: symptoms and treatment

Atopic dermatitis in children

Atopic dermatitis affects approximately 15% of children and up to 5% of adults in developed countries. Atopy is a general medical term for allergic reactions, such as hay fever, asthma or a given type of eczema. Thus, atopic means – prone to allergic manifestation. Atopic dermatitis in children is diagnosed before reaching 12 months of life.

The immune system of people with atopic dermatitis is active in a special form. It produces a large amount of protein called IgE.

IgE is one of a variety of proteins called immunoglobulins or antibodies whose purpose is to act as catalysts for the protective cells of the immune system, to recognize and block the protein components of foreign invaders. IgE is present in small amounts in all. However, in atopic eczema, it is produced in large quantities due to increased sensitivity to substances that enter the body during respiration, along with food or in contact with the skin. These can be animal dander, food, house dust mites, bacteria or yeast that live on everyone’s skin, and usually do not cause any problems. Most people with atopic eczema respond to all these things with varying degrees of intensity.

The difference between atopic dermatitis in children, allergic contact dermatitis and irritating contact eczema is that in the first two the immune reaction already sits inside and determines if a person will react.


Outbreaks of atopic dermatitis in children are often caused by infection and need antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics in the form of creams are of limited value, because they are poorly digested, but they can be useful in the short term against light forms of eczema in combination with steroid creams.

The acute form of eczema will require oral administration of antibiotics from one week to 10 days.

Atopic dermatitis in infants and how to reduce inflammation

Atopic dermatitis in infants is often accompanied by an inflammatory process. To stabilize them, you can use a variety of ointments. Steroid creams are the main anti-inflammatory treatment, they are available in different forms and with varying degrees of activity.

The use of steroids can cause skin problems, such as thinning and permanent redness, it is important, however, not to release this problem from the hands.

Caution in circulation and low activity of the active substance can be a guarantee of safety in the long term. The problem of untreated eczema, with all the consequences that arise from this, is much worse than from the use of steroid creams. This is especially true for children, where the reluctance to use steroids is understandable, but can be harmful.

Calcineurin inhibitors are increasingly being used as an alternative to steroid creams and can reduce the need for powerful steroids for a long time, especially on the face. They should only be used intermittently and should be used only on sites affected by eczema. It is necessary to limit the exposure of the sun to reduce the possible risk of skin cancer.

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