Atopic dermatitis is a common disease of childhood that remits with age. Its pathogenesis is still uncertain; histamine seems important but the role of IgE is uncertain. The condition presents with several clinical features, none of which alone is pathognomonic. In some patients, particularly infants, several observations may be needed to discover the chronic nature of the disease. Most patients with atopic dermatitis have excessive skin dryness and hand dermatitis; many have superficial pustular staphylococcal infection. Management focuses on measures that reduce, emotional stress, and infection. Therapeutic agents include emollient creams, corticosteroid creams and ointments, and oral antihistamines. Exposure to summer sunshine is important in control.
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