Minimal remission of atopic dermatitis (eczema) as children grow

Trends in the prevalence of eczema in the course of childhood and adolescence are not clear although often a remission during childhood is assumed.

Information regarding eczema was collected at ages 1, 2, 4, 10 and 18 years from the 1989 Isle of Wight birth cohort (n=1456). Skin prick testing was performed at 4, 10 and 18 years of age.

The prevalence of eczema from birth to 18 years of age remained relatively constant (12-14%) with minimal remission.

Up to 10 years of age, gender did not influence prevalence. From 10 to 18 years, eczema became more prevalent among girls (16% for girls vs. 8% for boys).

There was only a minimal reduction in the prevalence of eczema during childhood and adolescence. During adolescence, more girls develop eczema and more boys outgrow it.

References:
Trends in eczema in the first 18 years of life: results from the Isle of Wight 1989 birth cohort study. Ziyab AH, Raza A, Karmaus W, Tongue N, Zhang H, Matthews S, Arshad SH, Roberts G. Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Dec;40(12):1776-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03633.x.
Image source: Skin layers. Wikipedia, public domain.

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