Small children are very sensitive to all environmental factors. In the process of adapting to the world, the body of some of the babies responds with an atypical reaction. Especially often these manifestations can be observed on the skin. In this case, we are talking about allergies. One of its types - atopic dermatitis - in children under 5 years old occurs in 10-15% of cases.
What is atopic dermatitis?
Allergic (atopic) dermatitis is a manifestation of skin allergies caused by contact with allergens or toxins. Atopy (from the Greek "oddity") is a genetic predisposition to the appearance of skin rashes due to exposure to certain stimuli. When atopy in the human body is the production of immunoglobulin E in large quantities. Typically, atopic dermatitis occurs in children under one year. Over time, 60% of atopic symptoms do not appear, and the rest only periodically. Unfortunately, a complete cure for allergic dermatitis is impossible. Only acceleration of the period of remission is possible.
Causes of atopic dermatitis
There are several factors that determine a child's susceptibility to allergic dermatitis:
- heredity. This is the most common cause of the disease. If the mother or father suffers from atopy, then there is a 50% chance that the child will inherit the disease, and more likely from the mother than from the father;
- complication of rhinitis of allergic origin, bronchial asthma;
- excessive sweating;
- cosmetics for the care of baby (cosmetic milk, bath products).
- clothes (things from synthetics and wool often cause atopic dermatitis).
Types and symptoms of atopy
Manifestations of atopic dermatitis depend on how old the child is. In accordance with this, there are 3 types or stages of the disease.
- Infant atopic dermatitis. Skin reactions occur from 1 month to 2 years. Atopic dermatitis in infants appears as red spots on the forehead, cheeks, legs and is often accompanied by edema of the affected areas.
- Children's. Observed in children from 2 to 13 years. Red spots and tubercles (papules) appear behind the ears, under the knees, in skin folds, elbows. In addition, the skin around the eyes is pigmented. When the rash passes, the skin becomes dry and begins to peel off.
- Teen-adult. It is characterized by a rash on the shoulders, chest, neck and face, which is very itchy. Dry skin causes cracks, especially on the feet and hands.
Forms of atopy
Allergic dermatitis is classified according to the form of the course of the disease and the duration of remission:
- mild form (skin slightly red, single bubbles and papules, slight itching, prolonged remission - about 8 months);
- moderate (there are many affected areas on the body, they are compacted, rashes get wet, itching is strong, remission is about 3 months);
- severe (multiple moist eruptions, erosions, cracks, persistent itching, remission - about 1 month).
Complications of atopic dermatitis
If a child with atopic dermatitis does not receive the necessary treatment or care, one of the complications of the disease may develop:
- pyoderma (formation of pus in the skin due to scratching or lack of hygiene);
- fungus (in mouth, nose and other mucous membranes);
- infection of viral nature - herpes (in the foci of the appearance of a rash bubbles with fluid are found that are localized on the lips, cheeks, wings of the nose).
Treatment of atypical dermatitis in children depends on the stage of the disease and its form. Also an important role is played by the individual response of the small patient to therapy. As a rule, are appointed:
- antihistamines (Suprastin, Tavegil, Finistil, etc.), combating allergy symptoms;
- in case of infection in the skin, antibiotics are prescribed in the form of ointments (erythromycin, gentamicin, etc.);
- B vitamins (B6, B15) accelerate the healing of the skin and strengthen the immune system;
- membrane stabilizing drugs inhibit the development of allergic reactions.
Non-drug treatment of atopy is based on therapeutic baths. However, this approach must be approved by a doctor. As effective formulations, doctors recommend adding to the bath:
- an infusion of birch buds (1.5 tablespoons of kidney poured with a glass of hot water, infused for 3-4 hours);
- infusion of yarrow or nettle (120 g of grass steamed 1 liter of boiling water);
- starch for relieving itching (50 g of starch, previously mixed in hot water per bath).
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In case of a rash that is characteristic of atopic dermatitis, Komarovsky recommends wiping the affected areas with solutions with zinc or tar. Also as a lotion used aloe juice, raw potatoes (the skin is wiped with swabs moistened with juice). It helps to relieve the itch of a mixture of linseed oil and chamomile (100 ml of oil - 1 tablespoon of chamomile; boil and apply tampons every 2.5 hours on areas with a rash).
Atopic child nutrition
Atopy occurs as a reaction to an allergen. Therefore, it is important that the baby’s nutrition does not contain products that provoke an excessive production of immunoglobulin E. There are 2 approaches to the organization of nutrition of atopic-baby: exclude all foods that potentially cause allergies, or remove only atopy in this particular case from the diet. Dr. Komarovsky adheres to the second version of the diet, as there are a lot of potentially sensitizing products. And yet, as long as the tests do not show a specific allergen, infants should be better fed with no more than one item per week in the supplement and record the reaction to it. And for older children, it is recommended to exclude from the diet:
- poultry meat;
- canned fish;
- cheeses, etc.
Life of a sick child
To avoid the spread of rash and complications of atopy in a child, you need to follow certain rules:
- every day to lay clean bedding;
- clean the room twice a day;
- make sure that the water for hygiene is 36 degrees;
- after bathing do not wipe the skin with a towel, and get wet;
- do not use untested cosmetic products;
- try to avoid direct sunlight that dries the skin;
- Do not wear wool or synthetic items directly on the skin.
Psychological aspect of atopic dermatitis
The older the baby gets, the more it starts to suffer from the external manifestations of allergy. Since atopy is accompanied by itching, a teenage child in any stressful situation begins to scratch the skin to deep scratches. In addition, the manifestations of allergies can cause:
Therefore, it is important not to provoke negative psychoemotional states of a child, but to protect him from stress and negativity. This will help confidential conversations, walks in the fresh air and unselfish love of loved ones.
Atopic dermatitis in children is a serious problem that requires medical supervision. The task of parents is to seek help on time and strictly follow the instructions of specialists on how to combine drug and non-drug treatment at different stages of the disease, and how to organize the life of atopic child.