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Neurodermatitis patients have problems with the skin barrier as an infant
Around four million people in Germany are affected by the chronic inflammatory skin disease neurodermatitis. The majority of them are children. Researchers have now found that the later risk of atopic dermatitis can already show in infancy, based on a strong loss of moisture in the skin.
Four million Germans suffer from neurodermatitis
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), neurodermatitis is "one of the most common diseases in childhood and adolescence". According to the German Skin and Allergy Aid, around four million people in Germany are affected. The chronic inflammatory skin disease is usually accompanied by severe itching, dry, scaly and reddened skin. Scientists have now found that the risk of atopic dermatitis can be determined in infants before they develop typical symptoms.
Skin barrier disorder
Scottish scientists who recently reported a revolutionary therapy for eczema said that recent studies have shown the importance of an intact natural skin barrier to prevent eczema. This barrier can be affected, for example, by genetic errors, environmental factors or bacterial infections.
Norwegian researchers have now found that the disruption of the skin barrier in infants can be detected in the form of a severe loss of moisture in the skin, even before the symptoms of eczema appear.
High loss of skin moisture
As the scientists around Dr. Teresa Løvold Berents from the University of Oslo in Norway in the specialist journal "British Journal of Dermatology" report that neurodermatitis patients show problems with the skin barrier as an infant, even if they have not yet developed any signs of eczema.
Accordingly, the skin suffers from a high loss of moisture at this age, which is probably later the cause of the development of eczema.
The professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) writes on its website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de" that infants who are affected by this disorder up to three months old, according to the researchers at the age of two have an increased risk of developing eczema.
Good predictive value
The team used data from a cohort of infants originating from south-east Norway. When the children were examined on two visits at the middle age of six and 24 months, the loss of moisture in the skin was also recorded.
It was shown that 19 of 116 children (16 percent) had developed neurodermatitis on the second appointment. According to the data, the loss of moisture in the skin in the first three months of life had a good predictive value for it.
According to a report by the Internet portal "HealthDay", the study authors explained: "This indicates that a skin barrier dysfunction in infants may already exist before signs of neurodermatitis can be recognized." (Ad)