Eczema is a very common skin condition characterized by patches (sometimes tiny, sometimes very large) of red, very dry, itchy, and/or inflamed skin. Unfortunately, it seems to be very common in young children and even infants. One of the hardest parts of eczema with children is the fact that they shouldn't scratch it! Many things can cause the eczema to develop or flare up, so the real trick is finding what calms and soothes it!The first trick to knowing how to cure eczema is finding out what has caused it, or what seems to be making it worse. Spending countless hours trying to cure the itchy and irritated skin is not beneficial if you don't know what has caused the flare up. Of course, that is much easier said than done sometimes, but here is a common list of things that have proven to irritate or make eczema flare up:
- chemicals commonly in cleaners and detergents
- rough scratchy materials (i.e. wool)
- some synthetic fabrics
- food allergies
- a sudden raised body temperature
- sweating, even just a small amount
- sudden drop in humidity
- animal dander
- upper respiratory infections
Talking to your child's doctor or to a dermatologist can be a great aid in helping you discover what to steer clear of and be aware of.
Now for the treatment of that poor sensitive skin! The most important thing to remember about fighting the eczema battle is that you must constantly be vigilant if you ever want to keep it under control.
Your first step should be creating and sticking to a skin care routine for the eczema-afflicted skin. It often takes a fair amount of trial, error, and even frustration especially when trying to provide relief to your child! It can be discouraging for both parent and child to find what works best, but stick to it! Eventually you will find the thing that does the best for your child!
So, you know you want to create a routine but what do you start with? Here are a few tips and recommendations from the National Eczema Association.
BathingProper moisturizing is the key in the treatment of eczema. Soaking in a warm bath (not hot!) or shower is a great first step in eczema treatment. You should be mindful of harsh soaps, and choose a light and natural option (like Tubby Todd) so you aren’t aggravating the skin while trying to clean it! Adding oatmeal, salt, baking soda, vinegar, and even bleach in some circumstances, can additionally treat some symptoms.
MoisturizersWithin three minutes of getting out of the bath, you should be using a moisturizer on the skin. Washing without moisturizing afterwards can cause eczema to flare up, so the two should go hand in hand! Along with using a good moisturizer after bathing, you should be aware that harsh weather conditions create a greater need for eczema-prone skin to be moisturized too.
OTC ProductsAside from a regular moisturizer, there are many products
Topical PrescriptionsIf you have tried all of the above and nothing seems to be working for your sweet little kid, a prescription just might be your next step. These are most commonly corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors. This will be something you discuss with your child’s doctor or dermatologist.
The actual cause of eczema is not known, but it is something that goes wild in the body’s system and causes the sensitivity and irritation of the skin. For some children, the only effective treatment might be to work from the inside out. These medications prescribed are used to hopefully aid your immune system in calming the inflamed skin patches.
There are a few other treatment or therapy options you can discuss with your doctor if absolutely nothing else seems to be working. Hopefully, for you and your child's sake, you can treat topically and see great results!