"My kid has been scratching his body," says Kim, a mother of a child who has been suffering from atopic dermatitis (hereby atopy). In fact, atopy is often referred to as "war with itching." This is because when a person has atopy, he or she keeps scratching his or her body with nails, which gives a scar, or in serious cases an infection.
Atopy is a disorder in which a person is likely to develop hypersensitive allergic reactions to environmental antigens and substances like pollen and food even without physical contact. Symptoms of atopy may be atopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, hay fever and asthma. Atopy results from disorder in immune reaction caused by active oxygen (free radical).
According to Professor Park of Gangnam Seongsim Hospital, atopy is as common as flu among children aged 10 and below. Studies show that 1 out of 4 children in Korea suffer from atopy. Unlike flu, however, atopy needs progressive care and treatment and a thorough change in lifestyle. So, what shall we do when kids keep scratching their bodies?
When kids start to appeal the itchiness, parents should try to turn their attention from the pain to something else-say toys. And when the child looks off to the side, then you should either place a pack of ice on the skin or a humectant (moisturizer) to reduce the itchiness. For infant atopic patients, increasing the immunity of skin is extremely important. The level of skin immunity is bound to drop when people lacks sleep. Therefore, a baby needs enough sleep to avoid from sudden decrease in the ability to deal with stress (patience). These are only the immediate remedies to deal with itching. To permanently cure atopy, one should try to solve the root problem of it, which (as mentioned above) is caused by active oxygen (free radical).