Fast Five Quiz: Atopic Dermatitis Management

William D. James, MD


February 22, 2021

Atopic dermatitis usually starts in early infancy but also affects a substantial number of adults. It can be a lifelong condition, and there is no way to know whether a child's eczema will go away or remain. Dermatologists recommend treating atopic dermatitis to prevent it from worsening and to relieve symptoms.

Consulting an allergist may be necessary, particularly if the patient develops asthma and/or hay fever or an acute reaction to a food. If a patient has positive allergy tests but no history of symptomatic food allergy, review with an allergist regarding the issue of true-positive vs false-positive tests (allergy vs only sensitization) is warranted, along with discussion of the benefits and downsides of formal food challenge.

Swimming in an outdoor pool (or use of a wading pool for babies) in summer provides therapeutic benefit by exposing the person to the sun but avoiding the heat.

Moisturizers should be an integral part of the maintenance treatment plan, given their low risk and ability to improve skin hydration; they also address the negative effects of epidermal barrier dysfunction.

Learn more about atopic dermatitis treatment and management.

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