Atopic dermatitis is characterized by chronic allergic skin reaction associated with inflammation of the skin in certain areas of the skin, accompanied by chronic itching. Atopic dermatitis tends to recur without any clear reasons. The largest number of children with atopic dermatitis have a good prognosis. In infants up to 1 year, the most common cause of atopic dermatitis is a food allergy, although in certain cases may not be reported any allergen especially in children who are breast-feed. The clinical picture may be of varying intensity at different ages. But, to find out more about this skin disease, read on.
Manifestation Of Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) in infants is manifested in two forms.
- Seborrhoeic type infantile eczema appears as scaling of the scalp already during the first few weeks of life. It also appears as dermatitis in the skin folds.
- The second types begins as patchy, often crusty dermatitis on the cheeks, buttocks and/or extremities, usually at the age of 2–6 months.
Eczema in infants the most likely disappear after the first or second year of life. In some of these children the symptoms continue to persist but in a change of location. In older children, eczema is often located in areas of skin folds. In school children atopic dermatitis can be located on the palms and dorsal side of foot. This form of eczema is more common in males and becomes worse in winter and disappears in summer. Eczema located on the buttocks and the inside of the thighs is more common in girls and disappears at the end of adolescence. Genetic predisposition plays a role in occurring eczema.
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Diagnosing Atopic Dermatitis
Diagnosis is based on clinical pictures. The most of the children do not need any investigations. Only in severe forms and forms with frequent exacerbations have an indication for skin prick allergy tests.Depending on age, can be made allergy prick tests by nutritional and inhaled allergens. For smaller children and infants often is used diagnostic RAST method to determine the concentration of specific IgE antibodies, by taking a blood sample. Elimination diet could be beneficial and food challenges to certain food could be useful to confirm the diagnosis of food allergy particularly to cereals and milk.
Message To Remember
Atopic dermatitis is very frequent disease in infants and small children but it can affect the pre-school and school children. The skin manifestations are different in different location of the skin body. Prognosis in the most of cases is well. Breast milk can be allergenic. Eczema is often associated with genetic predisposition and allergy to cereals and milk. Investigation in most of the cases is not needed. In complicated cases, performing of skin prick test and determination of specific IgE antibody can be performed. Elimination diet and food challenges could be useful. Children with atopic dermatitis are predisposed to another allergic disease as an asthma and allergic rhinitis.
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