Face-masks for facial atopic eczema: Consider a hydrocolloid dressing

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Abstract

Facial involvement of atopic eczema in young children can be difficult to manage. Chronic scratching and rubbing, combined with parental reluctance to use topical corticosteroids on the face, often results in recalcitrant facial eczema. While wet wraps are a useful management option for moderate/severe atopic eczema involving the trunk and limbs they are difficult to use on the face. We describe the use of a face-mask using a widely available adhesive hydrocolloid dressing (DuoDerm extra thin) in three children with recalcitrant facial atopic eczema. Symptomatic control of itch or soreness was obtained within hours and the facial atopic eczema was markedly improved by 7 days. The face-masks were easy to apply, each lasting 1–4 days. One patient had a single adjuvant application of a potent topical corticosteroid under the hydrocolloid dressing. All three patients had long remissions (greater than 3 months) of their facial eczema, although all continued to have significant eczema involving their trunk and limbs. Face-masks made from hydrocolloid dressings, with or without topical corticosteroids, are worth considering in children with recalcitrant facial eczema.

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