Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a highly frequent, chronic and recurring skin disease, which is characterized by inflammation. What causes atopic dermatitis? A genetic predisposition to allergic reactions to environmental factors. It may be associated with asthma or allergic rhinitis.
What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in your young patients?
In newborns, eczema is most frequently found on the face.
In young children, it is most often located in the skin folds around the knees and elbows. During an outbreak, the skin appears red and dry and sometimes even oozes.
It also tends to be very itchy and becomes thicker in the infected areas. This itchiness can even disturb sleep patterns. Overall, the skin is dry. This severe dryness, which is caused by a genetic modification of the skin barrier, leads to itchiness.
What treatments do you recommend?
I prescribe creams with dermocorticoids,
which are indispensable for treating eczema. It is essential to provide relief to these children who suffer from this chronic disease. These highly effective creams must be applied until all of the symptoms disappear (a few days).
I then recommend that emollient creams be used to regularly moisturise the skin, which helps reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
What advice do you give to the parents of your young patients?
I explain the mechanism behind atopic dermatitis, which makes daily life quite difficult for both the children and their families.
The treatments used are effective in inhibiting outbreaks by decreasing their frequency. However, these treatments cannot definitively cure the disease, which may disappear by itself after a few years.
I recommend that my patients use gentle cleansers and regularly moisturise their skin with emollients that are specifically adapted to atopic skin in children.