What are the activity recommendations for the treatment of pediatric atopic dermatitis (AD)?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Prohibit smoking in the home and in other areas that are frequented by children with allergies.

Implement dust mite control measures for children with documented sensitivity to dust mites. Counsel parents to use dust mite–proof plastic cases around pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Wash bedding in hot water weekly to remove dust mites. Remove carpets and drapes from the bedroom or vacuum carpets and drapes weekly to remove dust mites.

In the subgroup of children with atopic dermatitis who also experience respiratory allergies to animal allergens, parents should consider removing animals from the home or confining them to areas of the house where susceptible children do not come into contact with their dander or saliva.

Avoid irritants that trigger the itch-scratch-itch cycle (eg, soaps, detergents, chemicals, abrasive clothing, extremes of temperature and humidity).

Use pH-neutral minimally defatting soaps (eg, Dove). Avoid excessive drying of the skin with alcohol-containing astringents. Launder new clothes before wearing to remove manufacturing chemicals. Use liquid detergent rather than powder detergent and add a second rinse cycle to remove all residual detergent.

Wear loose fitting open-weave cotton or cotton-blend clothing; avoid wool.

Use a humidifier in the winter to prevent excessive skin dryness and an air conditioner in the summer to prevent sweating and associated macerative effects on the skin. Decreased humidity indoors helps prevent the growth of mold.

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