Atopic dermatitis in young children: cons-attack!
Itchy, dry patches, redness … Atopic dermatitis affects 15 to 20% of infants and young children. In addition to medical treatment, hydration of the skin is an essential care.
We do not know with certainty the origin of atopic dermatitis. However, we know that this eczema skin usually appears between the ages of 3 months and 2 years in children from families with a history of asthma, allergies, hay fever or eczema. These children have very dry skin that promotes the penetration of environmental allergens (dust, pet dander, pollen …), responsible for excessive skin reaction.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the first manifestations of allergic side of the child. Inflammation of the skin disappears in the vast majority of cases (80-90%) up to 10 years; other allergic reactions can then take over.
FIRST RED PATCHES
Infants appear, at first, ill-defined red patches on the cheeks, arms, thighs and abdomen. Then, the skin thickens, becomes dry. The red patches, very itchy, are covered with scabs and blisters due to scratching. The older the child gets, the more the plates are limited to flexural (elbows, legs …). We note that crises often accompany teething or episodes of nasopharyngitis.
CORTICOSTEROIDS AS A SOLUTION AGAINST ATOPIC DERMATITIS IN CHILDREN
There are treatments, but it is true that they do not cure the bottom of atopic dermatitis. Corticosteroids, in the form of cream, are most commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and prevent secondary bacterial infection. In recent years, a new drug, tacrolimus, arrived on the market. It is designed for people resistant to corticosteroids. This local immunosuppressive aims on reducing the recurrence of seizures. However we do not know its long-term side effects. The prescription must be strictly controlled and is not suitable for children under 2 years. In case of strong pruritus, contact is made with antihistamines.
MOISTURIZE THE SKIN, A GESTURE OF ESSENTIAL PREVENTION
Most importantly, to prevent crises, is to restore the hydro-lipid film that covers the skin and is insufficient in atopic dermatitis. Moisturize the skin, it is “close” the entrance to allergens and reduce the reactivity of the skin door. A lotion or a cream should be used, at least in the morning and evening, with high fat content. Baths oils can also be effective in addition.
Furthermore, the use of regular soap is harmful because it tends to strip the protective lipid coat. Prefer superfatted soaps and soap plant unleavened. Another recommendation not to aggravate the dry skin: do not give baths too hot and too long (over 10 minutes).
HELPFUL TIPS ATOPIC DERMATITIS
– Do not cover your kids too so they do not sweat.
– Beware of wool clothing. Prefer cotton.
– Keep a temperature below 19 ° C, especially in the baby’s room.
– Use a humidifier to avoid too dry atmospheres.
– Be sure to keep the nails short of the child, not to promote scratching and local infection.
– Remove the maximum allergens (pillows, carpets, old mattresses).
– Ventilate your living.
– Do not use softeners: rinse the cloth thoroughly with clean water to remove the detergent residue irritants.
– Do not dry your clothes outside during pollen.