Early treatment of atopic dermatitis may reduce occurrence of food allergies in children

| September 12, 2023 – 10:45 am

Early skin treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants can reduce food allergies. That’s the conclusion of a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

For the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Pediatric Asthma (SEICAP), the results of this study are encouraging as it celebrates World Atopic Dermatitis Day on 14 September.

Egg and milk are the most common food allergies in the first few years of life. Egg allergy symptoms usually appear immediately, ranging from a few minutes to the first two hours after ingestion. “The most common are skin symptoms such as perioral erythema, facial or generalized urticaria, but symptoms of asthma (bronchospasm, wheezing, cough), rhinitis, conjunctivitis or digestive symptoms with diarrhea, vomiting may also occur , nausea. Yes, if more than two organs are affected, it is considered an allergic reaction,” warns Dr. Mercedes Escarrer, coordinator of the SEICAP Atopic Dermatitis and Skin Allergy Working Group.

This study highlights the potential for well-controlled treatment of atopic dermatitis as part of an egg allergy prevention strategy. 650 infants aged 7 to 13 weeks with atopic dermatitis participated and were randomly assigned to receive early skin treatment to improve skin barrier function and conventional responsive treatment with topical corticosteroids (TCS). At 28 weeks, an oral egg challenge was performed.

The researchers observed that early treatment to improve skin barrier function significantly reduced egg allergy compared with patients who received traditional treatment: 31.4% versus 41.9%.

SEICAP recommendations

Pediatric allergy experts agree that children with atopic dermatitis must follow these recommendations to care for their skin and prevent outbreaks:

  1. Use an appropriate lotion or cream to stay hydrated and avoid itching. Moisturizing products retain internal moisture and regenerate protective fat layers. Children with atopy should apply a generous amount of moisturizer several times a day, especially after washing or bathing.
  2. Clothing must be made of natural fabrics such as 100% cotton or linen. Avoid synthetic fibers and wool. Avoid tight clothing and try not to cover your child too much.
  3. Bathing time should be short and use warm water. It is recommended that you use a mild soap designed for atopic skin. It is recommended not to use a sponge, it is best to clean it directly with your hands.
  4. Clothes should be washed with soap and rinsed thoroughly after washing to remove detergent residue. Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
  5. Nails should always be short and very clean to avoid scratching.

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