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The Atopic Dermatitis Center at Boston Children's Hospital helps children and adolescents cope with severe atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, non-contagious disorder that causes skin to become inflamed (itchy, scaly or flaky). Atopic dermatitis is often connected to allergies, since allergens and other irritants can trigger or worsen the inflammation. About 25 percent of children with atopic dermatitis have a food allergy.

Eczema is a general term for inflamed skin. Physicians often use the terms the terms eczema and atopic dermatitis interchangeably because most cases of eczema occur as a result of atopic dermatitis. However, eczema can sometimes be caused by something other than atopic dermatitis.

Although there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, it can be treated with bathing, emollients, prescription ointments and other treatments. The clinicians in our center work with families and children to develop strategies that decrease scratching, help improve sleep schedule and minimize the anxiety of fighting the urge to itch.

Our staff

Our center is staffed by a team of experienced clinicians who help your child learn ways to cope with the itching and scratching. Member of our multidisciplinary team include:

Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that your child’s treatment plan is comprehensive and well thought-out.

An allergy doctor is on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  If your child has a problem or you have a question, call the Children’s Hospital page operator at (617) 355-6369 and ask for the allergy doctor on call. Visit the Your Appointment tab for a list of additional important numbers.

Our expertise

In addition to caring for children with severe eczema and food allergies, we also treat other allergic problems that your child may have, such as asthma, respiratory distress, hay fever, hives and reactions to medicine and vaccines.

Our comprehensive treatment focuses on all aspects of atopic dermatitis and food allergies, including: educational information, resources for coping and support, dietary changes and effect of the disorder on the family.

Our mission

Our mission is to promote understanding and research into atopic dermatitis and its allergic and behavioral triggers.

A team approach to care

The center’s team approach ensures your child’s treatment plan is well thought out. The team includes a pediatric allergist, a pediatric nurse practitioner, a pediatric nutritionist and a pediatric psychologist or behavioral therapist who help your child learn ways to cope with the itching and scratching.