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One of the most common skin disorders seen in infants and children is atopic dermatitis, a very frustrating disease for the children it affects as well as the parents. Atopic dermatitis affects 10-15% of the pediatric population. Children with atopic dermatitis are also more susceptible to acquiring asthma, and allergic rhinitis. There is no known cause of atropic dermatitis. It begins as dry skin that becomes very itchy and inflamed, and the skin can then start to weep, crack, and peel. Infants and children are the most commonly affected, as children age the disorder does usually improve however some patients continue to have problems into adulthood.

Most children go through periods of “flares” and “remission” during these times the skin disorder inflames and gets worse then calms down and clears up. There are many triggers for the flares; a few examples are changes in weather, stress, changes in laundry detergent or body lotions/soaps, and an upper respiratory infection. Sixty-five percent of patients develop symptoms of atopic dermatitis in their first year of life, with 90% developing symptoms by age five.

The most common areas of the body affected by atopic dermatitis in infants are the face, arms, and legs. In older children the neck and folds of the elbows and knees are the most common areas. The itch-scratch cycle is the hardest to control in atopic dermatitis patients. This cycle starts with an itching sensation then the child scratches the area, once the scratching starts the child has more aggressive sensation of itching and this cycle continues until the cycle is broken. A secondary problem with this cycle is the increase chance of a secondary infection from the scratching. A secondary bacterial infection is the most common complication seen in children with atopic dermatitis.

What are the treatment options for atopic dermatitis?

The treatment of atopic dermatitis is dependent on the management of dry and itching skin. The rash is usually worse during the winter with a combination of cooler weather, low humidity, and by using heat in the house all exacerbates the rash. All patients should avoid prolonged bath time and use luke warm water. Directly after bathing the patient should immediately apply a moisturizer head to toe while the skin is still a little moist, this helps lock in the moisture. In more extensive disease or in times of flares a topical steroid ointment may be needed to calm the exacerbated area. Topical steroids should be used under the direction of a physician since there are side effects that can be associated with them.

The newest products on the market are prescription strength moisturizers, which are safe to use on a daily basis and on any part of the body. They are used to prolong the time in which steroid topical are used. Oral antihistamines are also a great treatment option to decrease the itching that is associated with the rash. The better control we have over the scratching we are decreasing the chances of secondary bacterial infection as well as making the child more comfortable. Oral steroids are also a treatment option in very severe situations; however they should be avoided if possible secondary to potential side effects and complications.

If your child has a problem with scratching and needs relief, call Dr. John Kayal a board certified dermatologist who specializes in skin care for all ages. 770-426-7177

Posted on behalf of Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists

141 Lacy Street, Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060

Phone: (770) 426-7177

FAX: (770) 426-7745


Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

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Our Patient Reviews

Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists

4.9 / 5.0

Based on 183 reviews

Jennifer M.

First time ever at a dermatology office! So I was a little nervous... But they have a very friendly staff and it was nice meeting PA Joel! Felt comfortable and he was informative & made me feel like I wasn’t the only person dealing with my issue. I can’t wait to see some results and get some relief!!

Eve L.

Love this place! Everyone is so caring, and very helpful in each way possible. Highly recommend this place for skin care and even skin cancer!

Detlef K.

I’ve been going here awhile. I’ve got a few pesky issues, some due to my not allowing areas to completely heal, sins that prolongs my already glacier like speed healing! I really appreciate Dr. Kayal and Joel who combine to take of me and my family.

Michael V.

Was greeted upon my arrival, very nice waiting room, was taken back immediately. Very professional, caring and friendly staff. They want to help you. The PA Joel was very knowledgeable and knew exactly how to help me. I was given a prescription to address the problem. Will be back with other issues, keep up the good work.

Lisa W.

PA Brown is very attentive to my son's needs. I have not had any difficulty getting appointments when needed. I think this practice provides excellent service. I definitely recommend Kayal Dermatology for all of your skin needs.

Kevin S.

The nurse was great made me completely comfortable before biopsy’s and Dr Kayak was great explaining what’s going on, recommend very highly

Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists

141 Lacy Street, Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060

Phone: (770) 426-7177

Fax: (770) 426-7745


Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm