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A survey on the opinion of parents and caretakers about the influence of diet and cosmetics use on the course of atopic dermatitis in children

Monika Tomczyk-Szmerdt, Radoslaw Spiewak

Recommended citation format: Tomczyk-Szmerdt M, Spiewak R: A survey on the opinion of parents and caretakers about the influence of diet and cosmetics use on the course of atopic dermatitis in children. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2013; 3: 007.en.


Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD, atopic eczema) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease, which develops in infancy and runs with remission of exacerbations. Atopic dermatitis has a characteristic distribution and morphology of skin lesions combined with pruritus and resulting sleep disturbances. Aim: To study opinions and beliefs of parents and caregivers' of children with AD about the possible relationship between atopic eczema and diet as well as exposure to cosmetics. Material and methods: A questionnaire survey of 132 Polish parents or caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis. Results: Out of 104 children (65 girls and 39 boys), 57.8% developed AD during the first year of life. The presence of itch that caused sleep disturbances was reported in 54.8% of them. Most common areas involved were inner elbow (68%), the back of knee (65%), wrists (46%), and dorsal hand (40%). Allergic rhinitis was additionally diagnoses in 56.7% of these children, and urticarial in 45.2%. Food as the main precipitating factors was suggested by doctors in 84.6% cases, while in 63.5% caretakers were also convicted of such relationship. The main food allergen indicated by parents was cow milk, followed by citrus fruits, eggs, nuts and cocoa. Parents of 42.3% children with AD believed that relapses or exacerbations of the disease were provoked by cosmetics, most frequently washing powder, soap, cream, shampoo, lotion, fragrance. Patch tests in order to study possible contact allergy were done only in 6 (5.8%) of entire group of children covered by the study. Conclusions: Parents and caretakers are to a great extent convinced about the existence of a relationship between food and atopic dermatitis, and to a lesser extent about the influence of cosmetics on the course of the disease in their children.

Keywords: atopic dermatitis, atopic eczema, provoking factors, food, cosmetics, opinion survey, health awareness

Full text in Polish: DOI: 10.14320/

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Open Access, online ISSN 2084-2007; print ISSN 2084-199X, DOI:
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© Radosław Śpiewak Instytut Dermatologii (kontakt)
Document created: 2 February 2013, last updated: 29 December 2017