According to Kenneth Pelletier, the former director of the alternative medicine program at Stanford University School of Medicine, both traditional Chinese remedies and Ayurvedic medicines benefit some people with atopic dermatitis.
People who immigrate to Europe or North America from under-developed countries have increased rates of atopic dermatitis, which suggests that environmental factors play a role in the development or triggering of the disorder.
Phototherapy with ultraviolet A or B light waves, or a combination of both, may be used to treat older children or adolescents with mild or moderate atopic dermatitis; it is not suitable for infants or younger children.
Allergic rhinitis, which is sometimes called atopic rhinitis, may be either seasonal (hay fever or rose fever) or nonseasonal (caused by dust, mold spores, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and other household allergens).
The doctor may also test tissue fluid or smears from the child's lesions to rule out skin parasites or infections that mimic atopic dermatitis, such as bacterial infections, scabies, or herpesvirus infections.
There are no laboratory tests that can confirm the diagnosis of AD; in some cases, the doctor may need to examine the child more than once in order to distinguish between atopic and seborrheic dermatitis.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is found in respiratory secretions and is directed toward invasion of the body by parasites and in allergic reactions such as hay fever, atopic dermatitis, and allergic asthma.
In the case of infants or very young children, the doctor will ask the parents for information about a family history of atopic disorders as well as information about the onset of the symptoms.
There are a number of different complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches that have been used to treat atopic dermatitis, in part because the disorder is so widespread among children.
Atopic dermatitis begins early in life; about 65 percent of patients with AD develop symptoms during the first 12 months of life, with 90 percent showing symptoms before five years of age.