Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that makes the skin red and itchy (eczema). In children, it is common, but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long term (chronic) and occasionally continues to flare. Asthma or hay fever may accompany it. Atopic Dermatitis has no cure, although treatments and proper care can lessen the skin troubles, making life more comfortable. Atopic dermatitis in children can be quite a headache as children need more care and attentiveness than adults. Doctors generally give treatments for atopic dermatitis, that help to ease the symptoms, skin irritation and dryness. 

Common medications include:

  • steroid creams and ointments/ Topical medications to help decrease skin inflammation such as examples are hydrocortisone, mometasone or triamcinolone
  • antibiotics
  • Antihistamines that help decrease itching such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydroxyzine (Atarax)
  • Oral immunomodulators are a last resort treatment that may reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis, but they are used sparingly since they may also affect the immune system or cause cancer.
  • oral corticosteroids are to only be used as a short term solution, as there are potential serious side effects like: 
      • cataracts
      • osteoporosis
      • muscle weakness
      • high blood pressure
      • thinning of skin

Taking care of your child’s skin is important. Here are some of ways that may be alleviate the symptoms and provide care:

  1. Bathe your child regularly, baths are favoured over showers, and use moisturisers.
  2. Limit the use of soap by using gentle soaps.
  3. Make sure the fingernails of your child are short, as scratching can aggravate atopic dermatitis.
  4. To avoid sweating, dress your child in lightweight clothing.
  5. In the affected areas, add cool wet bandages or dressings.
  6. Let your child play outside in the sun, but not for too long, as the risk of skin cancer can be increased by prolonged exposure to the sun.
  7. As decided by your child’s physician, have your child avoid contact with irritants.
  8. To help keep the skin of your child moist but keep the humidity less than 40 percent, use a humidifier in your home. High humidity fosters the growth of dust mites.
  9. To help stop sweating, use a fan or air conditioner in your child’s room to keep the room cool.

How to stop scratching

It is hard and impossible to keep your child from doing any scratching entirely, so it is helpful to trim the nails of your child so that she does not dig into the skin. In fact, her fingernails may be dirty, so removing them eliminates bacteria that may invade the region of atopic dermatitis affected. It can be beneficial to build a plan to avoid the itch-scratch cycle. Using long sleeves, long pants, or tights to cover the skin of your child so that they can’t get to the lesions. Nice distractions may be for hands on things such as games or toys or cool compresses. Relaxation tapes or songs work well for older children.

Managing Food Allergies

Once the food allergen is detected, at the same time as your child seeks medication for skin irritation, it is eliminated from your child’s diet. Around 25 percent of children with atopic dermatitis have food allergies. It can be a frustrating experience to eat out at restaurants for families of children with food allergies, rather than an enjoyable time outside the home. Learn how mandatory steps are taken by restaurants to support children and families with food allergies.

Mental Problems 

Your child can feel the effects of her condition socially and mentally, as well as physically, since atopic dermatitis is typically a noticeable condition affecting the skin of a child). In addition to the anxiety of battling the urge to itch, if they are teased, children with facial atopic dermatitis may develop school avoidance, and they may not want to go to school. If a patient has a more severe psychiatric disorder, they may be referred to a special facility, where pediatric psychologists, therapists and other mental health professionals will be given.

By following such measures, parents can eliminate any major risks and provide care for their children who are suffering from atopic dermatitis.