Skin disorders in children have become more prevalent, primarily due to the evolving strains and types of skin disorders coupled with the exposure of viral and bacterial infections in school settings. For many children, the skin disorder may be attributed to a condition known as atopic dermatitis, a chronic and inflammatory skin complication.
In treating atopic dermatitis, many pediatricians and dermatologists are turning to oral antihistamines, emollients for the skin and even topical steroid creams. Unfortunately, in very severe cases of atopic dermatitis in children, the use of these products, especially steroid creams, can break down the integrity of the skin and destroy pigmentation.
As an alternative to the use of these skin care products, pediatric dermatologists are now looking to a drug known as Tacrolimus. Most commonly used in the treatment of liver and kidney transplant patients, Tacrolimus is now providing young children, suffering with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, an alternative over steroid use.
While Tacrolimus can be used systemically, it is best used when applied to the skin as it possesses a greater ability to penetrate the skin, providing a faster and more potent relief for children. In addition, by using Tacrolimus topically, you can avoid toxicity to the liver which is commonly seen in children who take Tacrolimus systemically.
If your pediatrician has prescribed Tacrolimus for your child’s atopic dermatitis, be certain to discuss the potential complications associated with use. While topical use is best, there are still a few complications that may arise. Most notably, when treating atopic dermatitis, your child may experience some burning around the area treated but, in most cases, this burning sensation will dissipate after several days of therapy.
While little of the Tacrolimus is absorbed through the system, some children also experience a short bout of side effects including insomnia, tremor and even headache pain. Diarrhea and vomiting may also occur and when these side effects are severe, consultation with a healthcare professional should occur immediately.
As with any prescription medication, be certain your pharmacist dispenses the right dosing for your child. In the treatment of atopic dermatitis, using topical Tacrolimus, the dosing for children should never exceed the recommended 0.03 percent formula.
While skin disorders are quite varied among children, so are the treatment options. Because atopic dermatitis is quite unsightly, painful and causes great inflammation, it is important to find a medication that is effective at resolving the complication without resulting in long term health complications such as a breakdown in the integrity of the skin. When considering treatment options, ask your pediatric dermatologist about the use of topical Tacrolimus over the systemic formula.