Atopic Dermatitis in Children, Part 1: Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Complications
Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition, characterized by itch (pruritus) and dryness (xerosis). AD lesions appear as pruritic red plaques that ooze when scratched. Children with AD are excessively sensitive to irritants such as scented products and dust due to their impaired skin barrier and skin immune responses. AD is among the most common disorders of childhood and its incidence is increasing. AD is an all-encompassing disease that causes sleep disturbances in the affected child, disrupting the entire household. Patients with AD also are prone to bacterial overgrowth, impetigo, and extensive viral infections. Consequently, familiarity with the most recent literature is of utmost importance so that dermatologists and pediatricians can appropriately manage their patients.