McMaster University assistant professor Derek Chu is offering five handy tips to combat eczema (atopic dermatitis) in babies, an often-stressful condition for new parents.

Chu recommends:

  • using any type of moisturizer twice daily to manage the eczema
  • using the lowest possible dose of topical steroids to control flare-ups either once or twice a day
  • avoiding the routine use of antibiotics to treat secondary local infections
  • recognizing that avoiding certain foods may not improve symptoms and even increase the risk of food allergies
  • Recognizing babies often have flare-ups on their cheeks, outer limbs and trunk, instead of their knee or elbow creases.

The allergy physician’s advice for parents in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Nov. 7.

“Atopic dermatitis affects 10 to 20 per cent of Canadian infants. Recognizing atopic dermatitis, getting it into remission, then keeping control can be challenging for both clinicians and caregivers,” said Chu

He is co-chair of the upcoming American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology eczema guidelines.

“We hope these five key messages for general and specialist care providers, as well as caregivers, promote best practices for managing atopic dermatitis in infants.

“Atopic dermatitis affects more than just the skin and it impacts on the whole family, so optimally managing atopic dermatitis at this critical stage in an infant's development is important.”



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