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  • The Review Course in Family Medicine

5 Key Tips: Managing Atopic Dermatitis in Infants

Atopic dermatitis is common in childhood. For infants it affects the cheeks, limbs, and trunk, only affecting flexor surfaces as kids age. Here are five key takeaways for managing atopic dermatitis in infants:

  1. Differentiate atopic dermatitis from other common similar rashes like seborrheic dermatitis and irritant dermatitis

  2. Liberal use of moisturizers twice daily helps manage symptoms and prevent flares

  3. Use topical corticosteroids at the lowest effective potency. Once daily applications are as effective as twice daily usage while reducing side effects and cost

  4. Use the “Get control, keep control approach”! Treat acute flares with moderate or potent topical steroids, followed by maintenance therapy with lower potency topical steroids or topical pimecrolimus

  5. Monitor for secondary bacterial infections and treat systemic infections with oral antibiotics

Bonus: Food avoidances may not improve atopic dermatitis but may increase risk of food allergies. The CPS recommends introduction of allergenic foods starting at 6 months old.


Anna Whalen-Browne, Hywel C. Williams and Derek K. Chu

CMAJ November 07, 2022 194 (43) E1485; DOI:


Eisfelder at German Wikipedia. - Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0,



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