Eczema Cases Rising Among U.S. Children

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Eczema Cases Rising Among U.S. Children
Eczema Cases Rising Among U.S. Children

(HealthDay News) -- A growing number of children are being diagnosed with eczema -- but it can usually be eased with topical treatments, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online Nov. 24 in Pediatrics.

Based on a household survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of eczema among children younger than 18 rose between 2000 and 2010: from around 9 percent to 17 percent among black children; from 5 percent to 10 percent among Hispanic children; and from around 8 percent to almost 13 percent among white children.

"We don't know for certain why that is," report coauthor Anna Bruckner, M.D., of the Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, told HealthDay. Greater awareness of eczema and higher rates of diagnosis are likely part of it, she suggested. "But the incidence of the [eczema] is probably increasing, too."

The treatments described in the AAP report are not new, Bruckner said. But since so many children have eczema -- and there are so few pediatric dermatologists -- all pediatricians need to be up to speed on the skin condition. For most children with eczema, topical treatments and careful skin care are enough to control the condition. Some children can benefit from additional treatments, according to the AAP. Those include oral antihistamines, which control itchiness and may help children sleep through the night.

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