Attenuation of Atopic Dermatitis in Newborns, Infants, and Children With Prescription Treatment and Ceramide-Containing Skin Care: A Systematic Literature Review and Consensus

Lawrence A. Schachner, Anneke Andriessen, Latanya Benjamin, Mercedes E. Gonzalez, Leon Kircik, Peter Lio, Giuseppe Micali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) typically starts in infancy and early childhood. The chronic skin disorder is associated with recurrent flares, pruritus, and genetic predisposition. Daily use of moisturizers that contain lipids, such as ceramides, reduces the rate of AD flares and the need for topical steroid treatment. We aimed to provide insights on AD attenuation to tailor AD prescription therapy, skin care, and maintenance treatment to improve pediatric patients with AD and families. METHODS: A panel of 6 pediatric dermatologists and dermatologists who treat neonates, infants, and children developed a consensus paper on AD attenuation for pediatric patients. The modified Delphi process comprised a face-to-face panel meeting and online follow-up to discuss the systematic literature search results and draw from clinical experience and opinion of the panel to adopt and agree on 5 statements.  Results: Understanding the functional properties of newborn and infant skin, discussing skincare product use with parents, and recommending tailored prescription and skincare routines can improve newborn, infant, and children’s skin health. Studies on the prophylactic application of moisturizers initiated in early infancy suggest moisturizers may delay rather than prevent AD, especially in high-risk populations and when used continuously. Increasingly there is evidence that moisturizer application reduces the severity of AD and extends the time to flares, which may help attenuate the atopic march. The protective effect of skin care for AD has been observed in studies where its daily use is ongoing; these beneficial effects may be lost in less than 1year after cessation. It is therefore important to emphasize that skin care should be routinely used when counseling patients and caregivers.  Conclusion: Healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes in atopic-prone infants and children by providing instructions regarding the daily benefits of applying skin care with gentle cleansers and moisturizers. Using gentle cleansers and moisturizers containing barrier lipids from birth onward may delay AD occurrence and mitigate severity in predisposed infants.J Drugs Dermatol. 2024;23(3): doi:10.36849/JDD.7894.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

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