Alex is 13 years old, Alesia is nearly 7, and the baby is 6 weeks old. They all developed atopic dermatitis as soon as I first brought them home, and since I have received many questions on this topic – and also because I am dealing with this issue myself – I decided to interview Dr Adriana Diaconeasa to find out more about what causes atopic dermatitis in children, and how it can be treated.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease that is genetic in nature. This means we have a genetic predisposition to it, but its manifestation is linked to environmental conditions, and its symptoms appear during childhood.

Bioderma - skin expert

Statistically speaking – both in terms of the studies published in the last 10 years, and in my experience – atopic dermatitis occurs more often in urban areas and in well-endowed social and economic environments. One of the theories about why atopic dermatitis is seen as the “disease of well-cared-for children” is the fact that we no longer come into contact with natural allergens that the human species has become used to, and, as a consequence, we become more sensitive.

Bioderma - skin expert

No. What happens to each particular individual is very significant here. The pattern of genetic transmission is not very clear. It involves a mutation of certain skin proteins. We are talking about complex processes involving the point mutation of certain genes. Therefore, the case of one individual will differ from that of another, even though we talk of genetic predisposition. One of the children may have it, while the other may not, even when there is a genetic predisposition. The events that happen in one’s life are very important, as well as one’s environmental conditions.

Bioderma - skin expert

Key elements to remember:

You should absolutely use special bathing products and emollients, as recommended by doctors. The Atoderm range of products from Bioderma includes various products suitable for the disease, depending on the severity level. If your only problem is dryness, you can use Atoderm PP Baume, a product that prevents aggravation of skin dryness, even in newborns. If we are dealing with a mild outbreak, with a rash – whether or not this is treated with medication – combined with skin inflammation (therefore skin inflammation causing more serious problems) we can use Atoderm Intensive Baume. Bathing products are available in two forms: gel or shower oil (Atoderm Intensive Gel Moussant or Atoderm Huile de douche). Daily bathing is recommended for babies under one year old. However, if the baby does not sweat, and is not staying in a dense, polluted environment, bathing time may be scheduled less frequently: bathing a child too often can cause further skin dryness. Wash the baby with a special product, and apply emollients after the bath.

In the long term, and as a precaution, you can also use Atoderm Intensive Baume, when you have problems, and an outbreak of atopic dermatitis occurs. If such treatment is not enough, shift to treating the outbreak with medication, while maintaining cosmetic skin care as an additional treatment measure. The treatment should be administered as recommended by the doctor.