Atopic dermatitis is a common skin
condition that affects 10% to 20% of children in industrialized countries and
urban Africa.1 It can occur in adults but occurs
mostly in young children.
- Of children with atopic dermatitis, approximately
50% first develop symptoms in their first year of life and 30% between ages 1
- Although older studies have
shown that most children outgrow the condition, more recent studies report
that many people continue to have relapses or to have the condition, although
not as severely, as teenagers and adults.2
People with a history of atopic dermatitis often have other
allergic conditions. For example:
- Many children with atopic dermatitis develop
allergic rhinitis or
asthma later in childhood.
- Some children
with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis also have some type of food
Atopic dermatitis affects people of all races.
The prevalence of atopic dermatitis has been increasing over the last few
decades, possibly due to environmental and lifestyle changes.1
Leung DYM, et al. (2008). Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema). In K Wolff et al., eds., Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th ed., vol. 1, pp. 146–158. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Boguniewicz M, Leung DYM (2009). Atopic dermatitis. In N Franklin Addison Jr et al., eds., Middleton's Allergy Principles and Practice, 7th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1083–1103. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier.