We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is an intensely itchy, chronic skin rash. About 20 percent of babies and young children have eczema, which typically starts before the age of five. Most children outgrow eczema eventually.
Symptoms of eczema
Eczema is an intensely itchy rash that can look like dry, thickened, scaly skin, or it might be made up of tiny red bumps that ooze or become infected if scratched. The rash can be unsightly, so it may present a social challenge for a child.
In babies it tends to show up on the cheeks and scalp but can be anywhere on the body. After a child's first year, it's most likely to show up on the insides of the elbows, the backs of the knees, the wrists, and the ankles, but it can also appear elsewhere.
Your doctor can diagnose eczema by examining your child's skin but may send you to a dermatologist for confirmation and treatment.
What causes eczema?
• Genetics. The tendency to have eczema is often inherited. So your child is more likely to have it if you or a close family member has had eczema, asthma, or allergies.
• Environment. Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but allergens or irritants in the environment (such as pollen or cigarette smoke) can trigger it.
Medication for eczema
You can manage mild eczema by avoiding triggers and using an ointment or moisturizing cream on your child's skin.
If that doesn't to the trick, your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid cream or a non-steroid eczema cream (these are mostly used on delicate areas of the skin like eyelids, armpits, and groin). In addition, she may recommend a "biologic" medicine that targets the part of the immune system that is causing the irritated skin rash.
Studies have shown prenatal and infant supplementation with probiotics may help prevent the development of eczema in infants who are at high risk of developing allergies or eczema (those in families with older children who have eczema, for example).
Is bathing helpful for children with eczema?
Yes. Daily bathing is one of the most effective ways to soothe skin with eczema.
• Give your child a bath using lukewarm (not hot) water for five to 10 minutes. Use a gentle cleanser on the affected skin. Wash and shampoo your child at the end of the bath so he isn't sitting in soapy water.
• After bathing, pat the excess water from your child's skin with a towel or washcloth leaving it slightly damp.
• If you have one, apply the prescription topical medication to the affected areas.
• While the skin is still damp, promptly apply a moisturizer all over the body. It's important to apply moisturizer within three minutes or the skin may become even drier. Use a heavy fragrance-free cream or ointment.
• Wait a few minutes to let the moisturizer absorb into your child's skin before dressing.
If your child suffers from severe eczema, diluted bleach baths may help prevent Staph infections, according to a 2009 study. Researchers found that soaking for five to ten minutes 2 to 3 times per week in a diluted bleach bath, which is similar to a chlorinated pool, was five times more effective at treating eczema than plain water. (It's important to rinse well after a bleach bath as bleach can be drying.) Check with your child's doctor before trying this method at home.
Learn easy steps for reducing dust, pet dander, and other allergens at home.
How can I prevent my child from scratching at eczema?
Your child may try to get relief by scratching with his hands or by rubbing his face against the sheet during sleep. But scratching and rubbing can further irritate or inflame the skin so you'll want to try to prevent this. Here are some tips:
• Use the softest sheets possible in the crib or bed.
• Keep your child's nails trimmed.
• Put your child to bed with cotton mittens or socks on his hands.
If your child has trouble sleeping because of the itching, ask your doctor if you can give him an antihistamine like diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine to help him rest better. Antihistamines do not usually take away the itch, though.
When to call the doctor for eczema
If your child's eczema is severe, he may develop a Staph bacterial infection that requires antibiotics. Be sure to give the doctor a call if your child develops fever or other signs of an infection:
• The rash is warm to the touch.
• The rash is oozing nbsp;or has a yellow crust.
• There are pus bumps or fluid-filled blisters.
How to avoid eczema triggers and prevent flare-ups
Once you know what triggers your child's eczema, try to avoid those things. These are the most common eczema triggers:
Allergens. Examples include pollen, dust, pet dander, food coloring, and preservatives. If eczema seems to be triggered by environmental allergens, such asseasonal allergies, you might want to consult an allergist for tips on how to deal with these allergies.
In about 10 percent of eczema cases, allergenic foodsare the triggers. The most likely culprits are cow's milk and eggs, followed by soy, wheat, peanuts, and fish. (It's best to see an allergist if you suspect a food allergy.) If you're using formula and your baby has eczema, the doctor may suggest switching to a hypoallergenic (but not soy) variety.
Temperature extremes. In hot weather, sweat is very irritating. In cold weather, the air and skin tend to be dry.
Scratchy or synthetic fabrics. Allow your child's skin to breathe and stay cool. Dress your him in smooth natural fabrics, like cotton. Avoid wool and other scratchy materials, which can irritate sensitive skin.
Irritating ingredients in skin products. Use mild, fragrance-free soaps, shampoos, creams, and detergents or those made for sensitive skin. (Make sure they are marked "fragrance-free." "Unscented" is not the same thing.) Don't use fabric softeners or dryer sheets.
What if my child is self-conscious about eczema?
If your child is in daycare or school, you can talk with her teachers and caregivers about the eczema. Explain that the rash is not contagious but that it may prompt teasing.
You can suggest that your school use the National Eczema Society School Information Pack to educate kids about eczema. It includes lesson plans for ages 3 to 11.
Here are some helpful children's books about eczema:
I Have Eczema (Coping with Chronic Conditions for Preschoolers)
Camille’s Itchy Twitchy Eczema
Princess Emily and the Terrible Itch
Once your child is old enough, encourage her to talk about her feelings about eczema, and be a good listener. Role-play how she might explain her condition to her buddies. If you think she needs more help, ask the doctor about counseling.