Childhood Eczema could persist in Adulthood as well

Childhood Eczema could persist in Adulthood as well

Childhood eczema could continue till adulthood for certain individuals and could even remain a life-long condition in certain cases contrary to common belief that it clears up by adolescence. Study lead Dr. David Margolis at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine said that 80 percent of the childhood eczema patients had the condition till age 26.

As per National Institutes of Health data, nearly 10-20 percent children suffer from itchy, red skin causing disorder. Patients have sensitive skin, prone to allergies and infections. The study team analyzed the data of 7,100 children aged two years to 17 years. The medical records for the study group were followed since 2004. Every six months, the children in the study group were asked if they had any symptoms of eczema.

During the five year follow up, 64 percent patients said that they had to apply skin cream at least once during the six month period under review. By age 20, at least 50 percent of the patients said that they did not suffer from eczema like condition in six months. So, compared to general belief that eczema could be treated with medication for short period, the study suggests new research to find out better treatment for the condition.

Health experts also suggest that stress could trigger the condition in certain individuals. Proper skin case is essential to keep eczema under control. The outbreaks at later stage can be minimized by paying special attention to skin and keeping it adequately hydrated.

Dr. Margolis added, "We are just saying it's going to be a persistent problem that's probably not going to go away when they turn 10 or 12."

"We now have a number of really promising therapies that are emerging that are really targeting eczema," said Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Silverberg was also part of the study team. He added that in some cases, the patients drop from doctor’s radar as they are not happy with the available treatment.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a company that makes medicine for eczema treatment, funded the current study. The study has been published in April 2 issue of JAMA Dermatology.

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