Will My Child Outgrow Dermatitis?
Last updated: November 2021
This was one of the questions that troubled our family when my granddaughter was born. She was my first grandchild. She also had early onset of skin troubles. Of course, we wanted firm answers. We were concerned and wanted her to be comfortable as soon as possible. Our pediatrician and dermatologist both gave us the “blanket answer” that most children will outgrow it. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if a child will outgrow atopic dermatitis or eczema. We felt like there were a lot of “No’s” in our future.
Will my child outgrow atopic dermatitis?
No real research
Wouldn’t it be nice if we found a great spreadsheet with numbers and percentages? Sorry. The studies are complex and not easy to track. In order for it to be valid, there would have to be a large number of people from infancy to adulthood being looked at. I didn’t find that to be true when my granddaughter was born, or today, 16 years later.
What I did find was this:
- About ½ of the patients with mild eczema had skin issues through their teen years.
- About the same proportion continued to have dermatitis after 20 years.
When you take into account the genetic factors and add the food allergies, there appears to be a lot of varying factors. Now, look at the number of kiddos who also have a runny nose, watery eyes, and sore throats. It looks like there may be a trend - except there is nothing that is for sure.
No bad news
I’m one of those optimistic people. I wanted to believe that with the right diet, good medical care, and all the best resources, things would clear up quickly. I watched as a friend’s grandchild cleared up at adolescence. I felt like Jill might not have a skin issue once she hit school. But she did. I thought that once she hit her teen years, it would get better. And it has! So the good news is that it can become less severe with age. When applying all of the right tools, your kiddo may go for days or months without a flare.
When we first found out about my granddaughter's skin problems, we wanted solid answers. Instead, we found that nothing was 100% sure. There were going to be some extra steps to keep her comfortable. It would require added diligence on everyone’s part. That was never a problem. We became a team that united in our efforts to keep her skin cool, clear, and dry while we waited to see if she would outgrow dermatitis. She has her flare ups, and keeps them in check to the best of her ability. In our case, it seems like she has outgrown her need for extra support.
She still hasn’t outgrown skin issues entirely. She also hasn’t outgrown Nana’s house. She’s spending the night this weekend. I’m washing sheets in a fragrance-free detergent. No problem.
How does your emotional health relate to your physical health?
Join the conversation