Background: Atopic dermatitis is a common disease in infants and children and the incidence appears to be rising.
Objectives: To determine the presentation, allergies, and outcome among Israeli infants and children.
Methods: Children with atopic dermatitis referred to the allergy clinic at a regional pediatric center were evaluated for their medical history and their allergy. The allergic assessment was determined by utilizing skin prick tests and/or serum specific immunoglobulin E concentrations. The children were reexamined again for all parameters at the end of the follow-up period.
Results: Forty-six children with atopic dermatitis were studied, 27 males (58.7%) and 19 females (41.3%). A family history of allergy was found in 19 (41.3%). The median age at presentation was 17 months. Of the 46 children 33 (71.7%) revealed an allergy to one or more of the allergens. The most common combination was allergy to food and house-dust mites. The mean follow-up time was 64 months. By the age of 8 years full recovery was seen in 16 patients, half of whom recovered within 3.3 years from the date of presentation. The probability of complete remission was 58%, and for either complete or partial remission 76%. Upon reevaluation at the end of the follow-up period some patients lost their sensitivities, while others, who had been allergic to foods, became sensitive to house-dust mites and/or pollens.
Conclusions: Atopic dermatitis is an allergic problem in the northern region of Israel, as it is in other parts of the world. Food allergy and house-dust mites are major contributors to the evolution of eczema.