Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a relapsing, chronic, inflammatory disease that occurs mainly in childhood and sometimes persists in adulthood. In recent decades, the incidence of AD in western countries has increased. The prevalence estimate is 15-30% in children and 2-10% among adults. AD therefore represents a public health problem due to high social and health costs and the impact on quality of life. It has been suggested that 10-20% of European children are affected by AD through adolescence. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around a third of childhood diseases from birth to 18 in Europe are caused by the unhealthy environment that affects children under the age of 5 above all, with peaks of 43%. So much so that among the main causes of atopic dermatitis there are some environmental factors, such as indoor allergens, exposure to dust mites and tobacco smoke.
To date, research in the field of AD has focused on correlable genetic factors. The presence of asthmatic and / or rhinitic symptoms in patients and a positive family history for these diseases are associated with the diagnosis of AD; the role of comorbidity in food allergy remains to be clarified. Having siblings and attending a nursery school are known to have a protective effect on the development of AD in the first few months of life as well as dietary factors, such as breastfeeding, and infections or vaccinations in the first years of life. On the other hand, exposure to risk factors in the early stages of life does not seem to affect the course of AD after puberty or in any case in adulthood.
To help prevent or soothe major ailments, represented by itching, eczema, widespread dryness, loss of firmness and turgidity especially in areas at greatest risk of dermatitis such as the hands and face, the most exposed, or legs and the knees, more prone to rubbing of clothing, pediatricians recommend the constant use of emollient creams or anti-inflammatory products, such as cortisone for topical use in case of inflammatory lesions. Nutrition also plays a fundamental role; especially in winter, when the skin is deprived of the benefits of the sun and the diet is richer in carbohydrates and fats, it becomes very important to follow a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, to take vitamins and minerals, fish, fats of vegetable origin, fiber and cereals, enriched by a good supply of water and by a limited consumption of sugary drinks and too refined foods.