What is eczema? Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a skin condition which causes the skin to become itchy, dry, infected or cause bleeding. It occurs in individuals of all age groups, from children to adults. Among children, it is common with itchy skin starting to show up sometime during childhood.
The cause for eczema is currently unknown but is thought to be due to genetics as well as triggers such as certain foods, environmental changes, stress, hormones or weather conditions. Treating eczema is difficult because different children have different types of symptoms with different degrees of severity with no means to diagnose it specifically. If you feel that your child has eczema, consult your pediatrician to conduct a physical test. The test should help you identify your child’s environment which could be the cause for the skin condition. Eczema is not contagious so the child can continue their everyday tasks.
Eczema often occurs during the early years of the child’s life commonly before the age of 5 years. Most children who have Eczema outgrow it by the time they become teenagers. Between 2-6 months of age, children with eczema tend to develop itchy, dry, red skin with tiny bumps. It can happen on the cheeks, forehead or scalp and spread to arms, legs, behind the knee and so on. The symptoms worsen over time generally around the age of 5-6; whereas others may have outbursts in adulthood. But in many cases, they disappear completely for months or years.
Currently, there is no known cure for eczema. However, your child’s pediatrician might suggest a body wash or baby eczema creams which can be directly applied on the affected skin twice a day. The doctor may also suggest medicine to control itching or any antibiotics to prevent or treat secondary infections which are common in kids diagnosed with eczema.
Preventive Measure you can take
Even though the cure for eczema is currently unknown, there are several preventive measures you can take to control eczema-
- Avoid hot water baths and showers which dry the skin. Instead, use lukewarm water and mild soaps during bath. Gently dab on the dry skin instead of toweling it or scrubbing.
- Avoid using coarse fabrics such as wool or synthetic fabrics which can irritate the skin. Instead, use gentle and soft fabrics like cotton.
- Apply moisturizing creams or body wash twice or thrice a day. Apply the lotion after gently patting their skin before the skin dries completely. Apply the lotion in addition to the cream which is prescribed by the doctor.
- Apply a cool compress on the skin to reduce itching.
- Try to remove/reduce or eliminate allergy causing materials such as certain food, dust and pet dander to create a better environment for healing.
Although the cure for eczema is not known, there are a lot of measures which can be taken to keep it in control. Good baby eczema creams and body washes work effectively against eczema. Generally, severe eczema is not extremely common in children and often gets subdued as the child grows. Since eczema is not contagious, do not worry that it disturbs the child’s daily activities. However, it is heavily advised not to ignore eczema. Try to improve the surroundings and environment exposed to the child to reduce the severity of eczema.