As parents, we can all understand the heartache of seeing your child suffer from eczema. It’s an extremely common condition where the skin gets. Irritated, red, dry, bumpy, and itchy. Often, we don’t know where to start or how to manage the discomfort your child is experiencing.
This blog post is to provide a short and clear understanding of eczema and how best to manage it with children.
First and foremost, what are the signs and symptoms of eczema?
- Dry & itchy skin
- Redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid
- Comes and goes – occasional flare-up
- Maybe more noticeable at night
Symptoms can also vary based on your child’s age bracket. For instance, infants usually experience an eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may then spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk (but not usually the diaper area). Older kids and teens, usually get the rash in the bends of their elbows, behind the knees, on their neck, or on their inner wrists and ankles.
While there is no exact knowledge of what could be causing eczema, it is commonly understood that the person’s immune system and allergies may be involved in some forms of the rash.
How can Eczema be treated?
While there is no set cure, there are multiple treatments to manage the symptoms, some of which are topical and others oral.
- Topical Moisturizers: Skin should be moisturised often. Ointments such as petroleum jelly) and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
- Topical Corticosteroids: These ease the skin inflammation and would need to be prescribed by your doctor. To make an appointment please contact the practice to discuss the best solution for your needs.
- Oral Medication: These include antihistamines and antibiotics, which again need to be discussed with your doctor. Kindly contact the practice to make an appointment.
Other types of treatment include phototherapy which is a treatment with ultraviolet light.
Finally a few helpful tips for parents –
- Kids should use mild unscented soap or non-soap cleansers and pat skin dry before applying cream or ointment.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to avoid harmful scratching
- Kids should drink plenty of water to keep moisture to the skin
- Avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Help your child find ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Children and teens with eczema are prone to skin infections. Call your doctor right away if you noticed any early skins of skin infection such as –
- Redness and warmth on or around the affected areas
- Pus-filled bumps
- Any sudden change or worsening of the eczema