Factors Associated with Infantile Eczema in Hangzhou, China

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The removal of aggravating factors is important to reduce the severity of infantile eczema, but there are few studies on the assessment and identification of the aggravating factors in infantile eczema. Parents of children with infantile eczema ages 1 to 10 months (N= 250) were recruited. Parents were required to complete a questionnaire. Two hundred forty-two (96.8%) children had skin dryness, 80% bathed with soap or shower gel, 82% often perspired, 84.8% wore tight-fitting clothes, 80.8% dressed in five layers of thick clothing, 85.6% were in contact with wool or feathers, and 59.2% were exposed to sunlight (>20 minutes/day). Eczema severity was greater after vaccination in 20%. Two hundred thirty-five mothers avoided eating potential food allergens (e.g., milk, egg whites, and fish), but this failed to improve the severity of symptoms in 93.6% of the children. Thirty patients had Neocate as a substitute for cow's milk, which resulted in symptom severity improvement in 10%. Thirty children were given food allergens, which exacerbated symptoms in 13.3%. One hundred twenty-eight (51.2%) of the children were treated with corticosteroid ointment; 62.5% had the ointment applied for only 2 to 3 days, and 6.2% had the corticosteroid ointment applied to weeping lesions. The vast majority of parents did not know about the aggravating factors for infantile eczema. The results demonstrated a strong need for educational programs to help parents understand and control infantile eczema.

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