Atopic dermatitis (AD), also referred to as eczema, is a highly pruritic, chronic, relapsing and inflammatory skin disorder.1 It is the most common inflammatory skin disease in children and affects up to 20% of children worldwide.2 AD is most prevalent in early childhood and usually appears from six months to five years of age.3
The symptoms of AD in infants include patches of skin that are red or brownish, dry, cracked, scaly or itchy skin, especially at night.4 AD can appear almost anywhere on the body; however, in infants, AD usually appears as tiny bumps on the cheeks and primarily involves the face, the scalp and the extensor surfaces of the limbs.5 It is typically an episodic disease of exacerbation, consisting of flares, which may occur two or three times per month, with remissions, but AD can be continuous in some children.6
What causes Atopic Dermititis in infants?
Around 50–70% of children with an early onset of AD are sensitised to one or more allergens.4 These are mainly food allergens, e.g. cows' milk protein7, which is responsible for AD in 20–80% cases.4
Atopic Dermatitis as a symptom of Cows' Milk Allergy
Atopic dermatitis in infants is one of the most common cutaneous symptoms of Cows' Milk Allergy (CMA).8 Approximately one third of children with AD have a diagnosis of CMA.7
The majority of infants affected with CMA have at least two symptoms affecting at least two different organ systems.10,11 If, you suspect non-IgE mediated CMA, you can use the CoMiSS® tool16 to score the combination of their symptoms and assess the likelihood of CMA.
Other signs and symptoms related to CMA13,14,15
· Gastrointestinal/Digestive: Vomiting, reflux, regurgitation, anorexia, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, blood in stools
· Respiratory: Chronic cough, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose
· Skin: Rash, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema
· General: Failure to thrive, anaphylaxis, insomnia, inconsolable crying, pallor and tiredness