Child diathesis

The reasons


Diathesis treatment


In infants, diathesis is usually manifested by symptoms on the skin – on the cheeks and scalp.

In children 3-6 years old, the lymph nodes may increase.

From 7 to 12 years, possible pain in the joints, gastrointestinal disorders.

The disease occurs due to the structure of the immune system and the gastrointestinal tract. The development of diathesis is due to the presence of a hereditary predisposition in combination with errors in the diet.

Treatment includes antihistamine medication, topical therapy, and a hypo-allergenic diet.

Diathesis is not a specific disease, it is a whole complex of symptoms and changes associated with anomalies of the constitution – a genetically determined feature of the organism. These features are expressed in the propensity to certain diseases. In its essence, diathesis is a “pre-disease”, which is characterized by a predisposition to negative reactions to stimuli (food components, household chemicals, etc.) and the ability to transform into a disease under the influence of such negative reactions.

There are 3 forms of diathesis:

  • Up to 3 years: exudative- catarrhal: manifested on the skin and mucous membranes;
  • 3-6 years: lymphatic-hypoplastic: lymph nodes are enlarged;
  • 7-12 years: neuro-arthritic: gastrointestinal disorders, enuresis, pain in the joints.

The reasons

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The use of the following products by a child or a nursing mother can provoke the occurrence of diathesis:

  • cow’s milk, or rather cow’s milk protein or milk sugar (lactose);
  • egg white;
  • mashed potatoes and juices from orange or red fruits (especially strawberries, citrus fruits, strawberries, bananas);
  • chocolate;
  • products with preservatives and food dyes;
  • seafood;
  • pickles, marinades, sauces with spices.

The cause of diathesis in babies who are breastfed are errors in the mother’s diet.

With the appearance of hyperemia (redness) of the skin, rash, parents should remember that something new has appeared in the diet in the coming days and eliminate these products.

Also a provoking factor in the development of diathesis is non-compliance with hygiene, improper care of the skin of the child, the use of inappropriate care products. It is necessary to apply hypoallergenic creams and bathing products that are approved for use from birth.

Who is at risk:

Among children at risk, there is a group with abnormalities of the pregnancy in the mother – toxicosis, infections, smoking, alcohol consumption. Also here should be attributed, and violations of the flow of labor – asphyxia, hypoxia.

More often children suffer from diathesis:

  • with genetic predisposition,
  • with congenital disorders of the nervous system,
  • lightweight or vice versa with high birth weight,
  • with dysbiosis,
  • feeding on infant formula.

The manifesto of the disease can be caused by SARS, vaccinations, especially at an early age. Increased risk of development is often combined with improper care, poor nutrition, poor housing conditions, a tense emotional environment in the family.

Almost any abrupt change – climate change, avitaminosis, household chemicals, and even poor environmental conditions can give impetus to the development of atopy. A child’s body is more sensitive to histamine (the main regulator of allergic reactions), so its release can be associated not only with foreign agents (for example, from food or laundry detergent), but also with natural conditions.


Signs of diathesis vary depending on the form of its manifestation. It can manifest itself in the form of:

negative reaction from the mucous membranes and skin (dermatitis, geographic language, erythema, milk eschar),

hypoplastic changes of lymph nodes (their increase throughout the body) and endocrine glands.

Metabolic processes often suffer, usually this is an increased secretion of uric acid, oxalates and phosphates.

Diathesis in infants: exudative-catarrhal form

Synonyms: allergic, atopic diathesis

For diagnosis, no additional diagnostic methods are used. To determine the presence of diathesis can be on the skin manifestations and data on products that the child consumed.

When the baby is breastfed, symptoms of diathesis may occur after the use of these products by the mother.

Manifestations can begin as early as the first month of life in the form of stubborn diaper rash (not passing even with careful care), abundant prickly heat (even with mild overheating) and, finally, in the form of gray-yellow greasy crusts on the scalp and eyebrows. The baby’s skin is pale and dry.

From the age of 3 months, limited bright red spots may appear on the cheeks of the child, which later become covered with a thin crust. In these places, itching and soreness are felt. These are the so-called milk crusts or the milk scab — one of the characteristic manifestations of improper metabolism — exudative diathesis. It is also called allergic or atopic.

Manifestations in infants:

  • frequent and loose stools with foam or greenish tint,
  • abdominal pain,
  • rash,
  • redness on the cheeks.

A sick child with diathesis is naughty, restless, may refuse to eat and sleep badly. The appearance of the rash is accompanied by constant severe itching, so children older than one year can comb the affected places, which leads to the addition of a secondary infection, the appearance of purulent wounds. Infants react to itching with crying, increased motor activity.

If untreated, the whole body is affected. At the initial stage of the acute form of the disease reddening of the skin is noted, then small bubbles appear, filled with transparent contents. Over time, the bubbles burst, in their place crust.

Diathesis is manifested not only by rashes, but also by digestive disorders (diarrheas) on the background of skin manifestations, prolonged course of inflammatory eye diseases (blepharitis, conjunctivitis), obstructive bronchitis. Subsequently, this form of diathesis may be complicated by bronchial asthma.

During diathesis, a child develops an increased sensitivity to certain food and medicinal substances. Therefore, the usual care and feeding for such a child is insufficient, it is necessary to make appropriate adjustments to them.

By the end of two years, usually the active signs are significantly reduced, and only a small percentage of children (about 10%) can manifest themselves at an older age in the form of asthma, eczema, and allergic reactions.

Diathesis in 3-6 years: lymphatic-hypoplastic

For the lymphatic form is characterized by rapid fatigue of the child, usually he is pale, sluggish, overweight (or prone to obesity).

A distinctive feature of children with such a constitutional anomaly is an increase in the thymus gland (the main gland for preparing t-lymphocytes, undergoes atrophy with age) and lymph nodes. The main symptoms of this form include:

frequent respiratory infections,

hoarseness, noisy breathing, shortness of breath on the background of an increase in thymus (thymus gland)

The height of the process occurs at the age of 3 to 6 years, then the negative manifestations almost completely disappear. Perhaps a slight delay in sexual development in adolescents.

Diathesis in 7-12 years: neuro-arthritic form

For arthritic form, the peak is school age (7-12 years). In appearance, children are often thin, but a sharp weight gain is possible in adolescents. This type of constitution is noticeable from infancy – the baby does not sleep well, is excited, restless, and eats badly. Then, as they grow older, tics, nightmares, enuresis (urinary incontinence), and vomiting on nerve soil can be added.

Children often complain of indigestion – vomiting, diarrhea, the smell of acetone from the mouth, as well as volatile pain in the joints.

Also for this form is characterized by the manifestation of spastic syndrome (increased muscle tone):


colic, constipation,

increased risk of developing hypertension, heart disease.

Diathesis treatment

Treatment includes antihistamine medication, topical therapy, and a hypo-allergenic diet.

The basis of the treatment of constitutional anomalies should be the establishment of a regime and menu. It is very important to make a proper diet, not only excluding potential allergens, but also regulating the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and calories. The treatment of skin rashes should be approached comprehensively, not limited to local treatment.

For the relief of symptoms of the disease, antihistamines of 1-2 generation in the age dosage are used ( loratadine , cetirizine , clemensin , dimetiden ). They eliminate itching, reduce swelling of the skin, relieve redness, have a sedative effect, prevent further spread of dermatitis. It is better to choose drugs that come in the form of drops. Syrups may contain dyes and flavors that trigger the development of an allergic reaction.

For pronounced skin manifestations, topical ointments with antihistamines and glucocorticosteroids are used . If there are signs of inflammation, local application of antiseptics is shown: potassium permanganate solution, boric acid, methylene blue.

Local treatment

Before removing crusts that occur in children with diathesis, it is necessary to soak them with vaseline oil, naphthalan ointment, Unna cream (based on zinc). A thick layer of preheated oil or cream is applied to the affected skin area, covered with soft clean gauze, and on top – with paper (in any case not with plastic wrap!). A kerchief is tied over or a thin cap is put on. After a few hours, the crusts are easily removed when bathing, the skin is not damaged in this case. In the case of the abundant appearance of crusts, the procedure is repeated – this is the so-called occlusive dressing recommended by official medicine1.

The skin in the areas of diaper rash is treated with a 1% aqueous solution of brilliant green or fucorcin . To prevent diaper rash, skin folds should be processed after each washing with a cream under a diaper or with a special oil. For inflammation, you can apply a children’s cream with panthenol . Bathing children suffering from diathesis should be without soap and potassium permanganate, you can add a decoction of the train, a decoction of oak bark , bran.

The rapid spread of the rash, the appearance of purulent discharge is the reason for the immediate appeal for medical help. In the presence of infectious complications, antibiotics are connected to therapy.


As a rule, the first signs of allergy appear in a child already 4-6 hours after eating. Therefore, in order to accurately identify the allergen, do not mix products!

With sensitivity to any product, it is for some time excluded from the child’s diet. Then you can try again. Scientists have proven that you can only cure allergies with an allergen. After all, even the body gets used to the poison in small doses.

Important: if there is a reaction to the lure in the form of rashes, it is necessary to prescribe antihistamines and sorbents, which help to quickly remove the allergen.

If a woman is breastfeeding, then you need to carefully monitor your diet and abandon some “tasty” things. High-allergenic foods such as chocolate, coffee, pickles, and smoked meats should be excluded from the diet.

Children suffering from allergies, especially carefully administered the first complementary foods. As a rule, it is recommended to start with vegetables (zucchini, cauliflower). Doctors recommend using ready-made food of industrial production, as it is made from proven quality products and contains the necessary amount of vitamins.

Cow milk intolerance is one of the causes of diathesis. In infants usually occurs when the child is transferred to artificial feeding. In this case, doctors recommend to abandon the milk mixtures and go to the mixtures based on soy protein (they are also called lactose-free ), hypoallergenic, or using goat milk. If a child has a long time of allergic symptoms in the form of frequent, liquid and foaming stool, it is recommended to introduce into his diet fermented milk products containing bifidobacteria.

In any case, you can not choose baby food for children with diathesis. This should be done by the doctor, based on the characteristics of the child.

The body of a one-year-old child is still very weak and susceptible to influence. Diathesis in these children can cause habitual food. Even an extra spoonful of your favorite cereal, eaten “for dad,” can be cause for concern. Try not to overfeed baby. It is advisable to feed him more often, but in small portions.

When a child reaches the age of three, parents often stop paying due attention to his diet and put the child at the table. This is a huge load even for an absolutely healthy baby, not to mention an allergic person. It is necessary to minimize the consumption of salt and sugar, as well as spicy seasonings and spices.

Recommendations on the regime

It is imperative to maintain a hypoallergenic atmosphere in the house – to air regularly, to carry out wet cleaning at least 2 times a day. It is recommended to remove all carpets, interior items that accumulate dust. Books, toys should be stored in closed cabinets. The presence of animals in the house is undesirable (it is not the wool itself that causes an allergic reaction, but the scales of the animal’s skin). Even innocuous fish can cause diathesis exacerbation, indoor flowers are also better to remove.

Children suffering from diathesis, vaccinations are introduced after a preliminary course of antihistamines.


An important point in preventing the occurrence of diathesis is compliance with the regimen even before the birth of the child. Pregnant women should carefully monitor their diet, eliminate bad habits. Babies at risk of diathesis are shown breastfeeding, which is recommended to keep as long as possible.

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