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An observational, prospective, cross sectional study was carried out on atopic dermatitis (AD) patients attending the dermatology outpatient department of Amrita Institute of Medical sciences, Kochi from January 2010 to May 2010. The study population consisted of 6250 outpatients and the entire 60 patients from all the age groups who were diagnosed to have atopic dermatitis based on the Hanifin and Rajka’s diagnostic criteria and who agreed to participate in the study were included. Relevant data was obtained from patients, patients’ parents and/or relatives by interviewing them and by individual analysis of the patient’s prescription and was compiled using Microsoft excel and descriptive statistical analysis carried out. The prevalence of AD was found to be 0.96% in the study population. Majority of the patients were in the age group of 3 to 10 years with a mean age of 13.8 ± 15.1 years and the mean age at onset was 10.6 ± 14.8years. 31.7% of the patients had ``pure'' AD and 68.3% suffered from a ``mixed'' type. The disease severity assessment showed that 51.7% of patients had moderate AD, followed by mild type in 30.0% of patients. Family history of atopy was seen in 56.7% of patients. Majority of the patients had aggravation of the disease during winter months. Most of the patients (95.0%) were prescribed topical emollients while topical steroids in 75% and short courses of systemic steroids in 25% of patients. Adverse drug reactions reported include gastric irritation in 6.7% of patients, followed by weight gain in 3.3%, folliculitis & exacerbation of eyelid dermatitis in 1.7%. It was concluded from this study that the prevalence was slightly higher than those reported from northern India. Only moderate and mild type of AD was found in the study population and majority of the patients could be controlled with topical emollients and topical steroids.
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