Italian Journal of Pediatrics (2021-04-01)

Assessing patients’ characteristics and treatment patterns among children with atopic dermatitis

  • Davide Geat,
  • Mattia Giovannini,
  • Gabriele Barlocco,
  • Riccardo Pertile,
  • Manuela Pace,
  • Francesca Mori,
  • Elio Novembre,
  • Giampiero Girolomoni,
  • Mario Cristofolini,
  • Ermanno Baldo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 47, no. 1
pp. 1 – 6


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Abstract Background Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common immune-mediated skin disease in childhood. Several treatment options for pediatric AD, both topical and systemic, are currently available. We carried out a single-center observational study with the aim of describing characteristics and treatment patterns in pediatric AD patients. Methods The study included 867 patients aged ≤16 years (females 50.5%, mean patient’s age 5.9 years, standard deviation ±3.6 years) with a previous doctor-confirmed diagnosis of AD who underwent balneotherapy at the Comano Thermal Spring Water Center (Comano, Trentino, Italy) from April to October 2014. Results Among the patients included in the study, 41.2% had mild (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis, SCORAD 0-15), 43.6% moderate (SCORAD 16–40) and 15.2% severe AD (SCORAD > 40). A higher occurrence of reported food allergy was observed among children with more severe AD ( p < 0.0001), while no association was found between AD severity and reported inhalant allergy or passive smoking (p = 0.15 and 0.92, respectively). Emollients (55.1%) and topical corticosteroids (TCS; 45.7%) were the main treatment options used in the previous month. The use of oral steroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) was considerably less common (6.3 and 4.5%, respectively), while no patients were on systemic agents other than steroids. Among patients with severe AD, 9.8% had not used TCS, TCI or any systemic treatments. Moreover, 20.0% of the patients in the study population had followed elimination diets, although only 27.2% of them had a reported food allergy. Conclusions A significant difference in the prevalence of reported food allergy emerged across the different AD severity categories. Furthermore, although further data are necessary to confirm our findings, undertreatment in children with AD appeared to be very common, at least among those attending the Comano Thermal Spring Water Center. Moreover, many patients followed elimination diets in the absence of reported food allergy.