Atopic dermatitis (AD) or infantile eczema or baby eczema is the most common cause of dermatitis in children.

Our body comes in contact with the environment through skin, nose, lungs and eyes. Therefore, children with atopic dermatitis might have family members with one of the following problems:

  • Skin – allergy, urticaria, dry skin, itching
  • Lung- asthma, allergic bronchitis
  • Nose- allergic rhinitis (that leads to frequent cold and sneezing)
  • Eyes as allergic conjunctivitis (with complaints of itching in eyes)

This is the reason, AD runs in family. If one parent is affected, then there are 50% chances that the child might develop AD, but this percentage increases to 80% if both the parents are affected.

Symptoms of Atopic dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis can present with the following symptoms:

  • Dryness and roughness of skin
  • Itching is usually severe and occurs in episodes triggered by heat, low humidity, woollen and synthetic clothes, and sudden change in temperature.
  • Rashes on body fold like eyelids, neck, at the bend of arms, wrist, and back of the knees. In severe cases, the whole body may be involved. The rash can be red and oozy initially, but with time skin becomes brown and thick, if proper treatment is not given.

The good news is that most children show remission during adolescence, but they might have eczema on hands, eyes, ears, etc. during adulthood.

Thus, professions that involve contact with chemicals like hairdressers, artisans, cookery, chemical industries, etc. should be avoided.


Watch this video to know about symptoms in detail especially, understand the reason why your child cannot stop itching voluntarily:

Prevention of flare 

Atopic dermatitis might get worse with change in season, using fragrances, wearing synthetic clothes, playing with furry toys, using fluffy blankets, eating junk….the list is endless

We have successfully minimized flares of Atopic Dermatitis in 100+ children at our clinic with the 3 step technique mentioned in the video below:


Atopic dermatitis needs constant care from a dermatologist. Self-medication should be avoided because overuse of steroids can cause side effects.

Your dermatologist might prescribe:

  • Most of the mild cases settle with the application of topical steroids only.
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-viral, if there are signs of infection.
  • Anti-histaminic syrup to reduce itching and help to put your irritated child to sleep.
  • Oral steroids can be used.
  • Recurrent cases may be put on tacrolimus and pimecrolimus.
  • In rare cases, immunomodulators like cyclosporine may be needed.
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