Most kids get itchy rashes at one time or another. But eczema can be a nuisance that may prompt scratching that makes the problem worse.
The term eczema refers to a number of different skin conditions in which the skin is red and irritated and sometimes hassmall, fluid-filled bumps that become moist and ooze. The most common cause of eczema is atopic dermatitis (sometimes called infantile eczema), which affects older kids as well asinfants.
The word "atopic" describes conditions that happen when someone is overly sensitive to allergens in the environment. These include pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, and certain foods. "Dermatitis" means that the skin is inflamed, or red and sore.
Kids who get eczema often have family members with hay fever, asthma, or other allergies. Some experts think these kids may be genetically inclined to get eczema, which means characteristics have been passed on from parents through genes that make a child more likely to get it.
About half of the kids who get eczema will also someday develop hay fever or asthma themselves. Eczema is not an allergy itself, but allergies can trigger it. Some environmental factors (such as excessive heat or emotional stress) also can trigger the condition.
About 1 out of every 10 kids will develop eczema. Typically, symptoms appear within the first few months of life, and almost always before a child turns 5. But the good news is that more than half of the kids who have eczema today will be over it by the time they're teenagers.
Signs and symptoms of eczema can vary widely during the early phases. Between 2 and 6 months of age (and almost always before they're 5 years old), kids with eczema usually develop itchy, dry, red skin and small bumps on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. The rash may spread to the arms and legs and the trunk, and red, crusted, or open lesions may appear on any area affected.
They also may have circular, slightly raised, itchy, and scaly rashes in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, or on the backs of the wrists and ankles.
As kids get older, the rash is usually scalier than it was when the eczema first began, and the skin is extremely itchy and dry. These symptoms also tend to worsen and improve over time, with flare-ups occurring periodically.
Children often try to relieve the itching by rubbing the affected areas with a hand or anything within reach. But scratching can make the rash worse and eventually lead to thickened, brownish areas on the skin. This is why eczema is often called the "itch that rashes" rather than the "rash that itches."
In many cases, eczema goes into remission and symptoms may disappear altogether for months or even years.
For many kids, it begins to improve by the age of 5 or 6; others may have flare-ups throughout adolescence and early adulthood.
In some kids, the condition may improve but then restart as they enterpuberty, when hormones, stress, and irritating skin products or cosmetics are introduced. Some people will have some degree of dermatitis into adulthood, with areas of itching and a dry, scaly appearance.
Eczema is not contagious, so there's no need to keep a baby or child who has it away from siblings, other kids, or anyone else.
Scientists believe that eczema is inherited, so there's no way to prevent it. But because specific triggers can make it worse, flare-ups can be prevented or improved by avoiding possible triggers. These include:
Also, curbing the tendency to scratch the rash can prevent the condition from worsening and progressing to cause more severe skin damage or a secondary infection.
Diagnosing eczema can be challenging because:
If your doctor suspects eczema, a thorough medical history is likely to be the best diagnostic tool. A personal or family history of hay fever, other allergies, or asthma is often an important clue.
Besides doing a physical examination, the doctor will likely ask about your child's symptoms and past health, your family's health, any medicines your child is taking, any allergies your child may have, and other issues.
The doctor will also help you identify things in your child's environment that might be addingto the skin irritation. For example, if your child began using a new soap or lotion before the symptoms started, mention this to the doctor because something in the soap might be irritating the skin.
The doctor also mightask about any stress your childis feeling at home, school, or elsewhere because stress can lead to eczema flare-ups.
Your doctor will also probably:
The doctor will want to rule out other diseases and conditions that can cause skin inflammation. So your child might need to be seen more than once before a diagnosis is made. The doctor might recommend sending your child to a dermatologist or an allergist.
An allergist can testto see if the rash is an allergic reaction to a substance. This might involve one or more of the following:
Your doctor also may ask you to eliminate certain foods (such as eggs, milk, soy, or nuts) from your child's diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to find out whether your child has a reaction to something.
Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments, are commonly used to treat eczema and are not the same as the steroids used by some athletes. These medicines are usually applied directly to the affected areas twice a day.
Continue to apply the corticosteroids for as long as the doctor suggests. It's also important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.
Nonsteroid medications are also available now in creams or ointments that can be used instead of or in conjunction with topical steroids.
Other prescription treatments your doctor may recommend include:
Some older kids with severe eczema also may be treated with ultraviolet light under the supervision of a dermatologist to help clear it up and make them more comfortable. In some cases, newer medications that change the way the skin's immune system reacts are also prescribed.
You can help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child's skin from becoming dry or itchy and avoiding known triggers that cause flare-ups. Try to follow these suggestions:
Although eczema can be annoying and uncomfortable for kids, its emotional impact can become the most significant problem later especially during the preteen and teen years, when your child will need to take responsibility for following the prevention and treatment strategies.
You can help by teaching your preteen or teen to:
Children and teens with eczema are prone to skin infections, especially with staph bacteria and herpesvirus. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the early signs of skin infection, which may include:
Also, call your doctor if you notice a sudden change or worsening of the eczema,or if it isn't responding to the doctor's recommendations.
Even though eczema can be bothersome for kids and parents alike, taking some precautions and following the doctor's orders can help to keep it under control.
Continue reading here:
Eczema - KidsHealth
- How to treat eczema - INSIDER - March 27th, 2019
- Atopic eczema symptoms and treatments - NHS inform - March 27th, 2019
- About Eczema - Eczema Society Of Canada - March 27th, 2019
- Discoid eczema | DermNet NZ - March 27th, 2019
- Eczema - information on daily management & care - Irish Skin ... - March 27th, 2019
- 7 Natural Remedies for Eczema | Wellness Mama - March 26th, 2019
- Eczema on Face: How to Treat Eczema Inflammation? - March 26th, 2019
- Treating Asthma and Eczema With Plant-Based Diets - Care2 - March 4th, 2019
- Healing Eczema and Psoriasis Naturally | Care2 Healthy Living - March 4th, 2019
- petition: Mirena Awareness Part II - March 4th, 2019
- 20 Great Uses For Tea Tree Oil | Care2 Healthy Living - March 4th, 2019
- How to Naturally Heal Eyelid Eczema | It's an Itchy Little World - January 5th, 2019
- Dyshidrosis - Wikipedia - January 5th, 2019
- The Fastest Way To Treat Eczema Symptoms, According To ... - January 1st, 2019
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo ... - December 25th, 2018
- Eczema Types, Treatment, Home Remedies & Symptoms - December 25th, 2018
- Types of Eczema | National Eczema Association - December 25th, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) - Diagnosis and treatment ... - December 22nd, 2018
- Eczema Treatment, Home Remedies, and Causes - December 13th, 2018
- Dyshidrotic eczema | American Academy of Dermatology - December 10th, 2018
- Eczema | Definition of Eczema by Merriam-Webster - December 10th, 2018
- Eczema Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options - December 10th, 2018
- Eczema Treatment: 13 Home Remedies for Eczema - Dr. Axe - December 10th, 2018
- List of Eczema Medications (154 Compared) - Drugs.com - December 10th, 2018
- Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) | AAFA.org - December 9th, 2018
- Eczema in Adults and Children | Cleveland Clinic & Cleveland ... - December 9th, 2018
- What is Eczema: Definition, Causes and Prevention - December 9th, 2018
- What is eczema? | American Academy of Dermatology - December 5th, 2018
- What is Eczema? | NEOSPORIN - December 5th, 2018
- How To Treat And Get Rid Of Eczema - Emuaid For Eczema ... - December 5th, 2018
- Understanding Eczema | Eczema Exposed - December 5th, 2018
- Eczema | Causes and Treatment | Patient - December 5th, 2018
- Top Eczema Support Supplements - November 30th, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) - Symptoms and causes - November 29th, 2018
- eczema.net - November 26th, 2018
- Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment - November 26th, 2018
- 11 Facts About Eczema | Mental Floss - November 26th, 2018
- How To Treat And Get Rid Of Eczema - Emuaid For Eczema | Emuaid - November 26th, 2018
- Eczema Solution | Emuaid - November 14th, 2018
- Targeting Eczema Triggers | Everyday Health - November 14th, 2018
- Home Remedies for Eczema - Treatment & Cure - Natural ... - November 1st, 2018
- Eczema Causes What Causes Eczema? - November 1st, 2018
- Best Eczema Hand Cream Review: My Five Picks - November 1st, 2018
- Our Miracle Treatment for Eczema - The Hill Hangout - November 1st, 2018
- How to get rid of weeping eczema - Flawless Program - November 1st, 2018
- 11 Symptoms of Eczema | Daily Natural Remedies - October 12th, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis | DermNet New Zealand - October 12th, 2018
- Eczema Symptoms & Signs | NEOSPORIN - October 12th, 2018
- Eczema: Definition, Causes, Treatments, and Pictures - October 10th, 2018
- Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Symptoms, Diagnosis ... - WebMD - September 6th, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis - Wikipedia - September 1st, 2018
- Eczema | Christiane Northrup, M.D. - August 27th, 2018
- Eczemaderm | Eczema Treatment Cream | Excema - August 27th, 2018
- Eczema Treatments for Kids - verywellhealth.com - August 19th, 2018
- How I Treated My Eczema - Read My Story - August 7th, 2018
- The 3 Stages of Eczema and Their Causes - August 6th, 2018
- Children And Eczema - ACAAI Public Website - August 6th, 2018
- Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) | Symptoms & Treatment | ACAAI ... - August 6th, 2018
- List of Eczema Medications (156 Compared) - Drugs.com - August 2nd, 2018
- Vitamin D and eczema - August 2nd, 2018
- Eczema - kidshealth.org - July 30th, 2018
- Eczema herpeticum: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment - July 24th, 2018
- Eczema: The Autoimmune Disease Everyone Seems To Be ... - July 15th, 2018
- No more sleepless nights! How to stop itchy eczema - July 8th, 2018
- DIY Homemade Eczema Cream - Kula Mama - July 8th, 2018
- Make Your Own Eczema Cream - Dr. Axe - July 3rd, 2018
- 13 Good Foods for Eczema Sufferers - Top Eczema Treatments - June 16th, 2018
- Eczema on face: Best creams and what to avoid - June 16th, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis | American Academy of Dermatology - June 9th, 2018
- Thinking Moms Guide to Red Flags Eczema - June 9th, 2018
- Childhood Eczema How To Treat Eczema In Children - June 9th, 2018
- Dermatitis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic - May 30th, 2018
- Eczema On Face Facial Eczema Treatment - May 21st, 2018
- 10 Home Remedies for Eczema - eczema.net - May 11th, 2018
- Eczema Overview, Symptoms and Treatment - Health.com - May 3rd, 2018
- Eczema Healing with Natural Remedies - April 22nd, 2018
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) - Mayo Clinic - April 12th, 2018
- My Struggle With Eye Eczema & My Miracle Cream. | Lux Life ... - April 7th, 2018
- Eczema Treatment, Home Remedies, and Causes - eMedicineHealth - March 21st, 2018
- Eczema | EVA Homoeopathy - March 7th, 2018