Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a good example of a common and exasperating condition of childhoodcommon because around 10 percent of kids in the U.S. have this skin disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. And exasperating because there's no cureand it can be tricky to treat. It's a little like a boomerang: Although it's possible to get the rash under control, it's likely to come back periodically in what is called an eczema flare.
The telltale symptom of eczema is anitchy rashthat typically makes a debut in early infancy but can first show up as kids as old as 5. It's sometimes mistaken for other rashes, such ascontact dermatitis,heat rash,seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis, but it does have unique characteristics. A rash caused by eczemausually looks like patches of rough, red, itchy skin on the forehead, cheeks, arms and legs of infants, and in the creases or insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles of older kids.
On the bright side, if your child has eczema now in all likelihood he won't have to deal with it forever. For most kids, it eases up or even disappears entirely as they get older. In the meantime, there are plenty of treatment options as well as strategies for preventing rashes from flaring up.
How you deal with your child's eczema will depend in part on how old he is. Of course, you'll want your pediatrician to steer you toward the best medication for your child, but here are some helpful things to know about each one.
Topical steroids.These are a go-to for eczema flares. They range from over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams, which are so mild you can use them on your child's chubby little cheeks, to stronger mid- and super-potent ones that require a prescription. If used for too long, though, these can cause thinning of the skin and stretch marks. Prescription topical steroids should never be applied to the face or be covered by a bandage or diaper.
Immunomodulators. These topical eczema medications are also applied directly to skin (twice a day) and can be used anywhere on a child's body, including his face. They have another advantage too: They sometimes can snuff out a pending flare if used at the first sign of itching or a rash. The most common of these steroid-free medications are Elidel (pimecrolimus cream) and Protopic (tacrolimus ointment).
Antihistamines. If itching is keeping your child awake at night, a sedating antihistaminesuch as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), may help him get his beauty rest. (An angry itch also can be tamed with cold compresses or wet dressings.)
For stubborn eczema that doesn't respond to any of the standard treatments, there are more aggressive ones, including oral steroids, ultraviolet light therapy, and immunosuppressive drugs, like cyclosporin. Sometimes kids get skin infections along with stubborn eczema, in which an antibiotic may be needed.
Eczema flares are especially likely to happen inwinterwhen the air is dry, and in summer if a child spends a lot of time swimming or gets overheated. During the periods of time when your little one's eczema is most likely show up, the first step you can take to prevent that from happening is to avoid anything you know is likely to prompt a flare. Common triggers for eczema include harsh soaps,dust mites,foods your child may be allergic to (often kids with eczema also have seasonal allergies or asthma), overheating and sweating, and wool and polyester clothing.
The second strategy for preventing eczema flares is to keep your child's skin moist and supple. Overly dry skin is like an open invitation for eczema to settle in, so do all you can to prevent it. Here are the steps to take:
Give your child adaily bath. Use lukewarm water and a mild, moisturizing soap or soap substitute. Hot water and harsh soaps can exacerbate dry skin. Keep him in the water for 10 minutes or so.
Lather on the moisturizer. Do this as soon as you lift your little one out of the tub. Blot him with a towel so he's isn't dripping wet, but don't rub him completely dry. Apply moisturizer while his skin is still dampwithin two or three minutes. If you're also using a topical medication, apply that first.
Choose the right product. A greasy ointment, such as petroleum jelly, will work best. Some creams can do the trick, but steer clear of lotions and oils. You may have to try a variety of products to find the one that works best for your child. If you can't find an over-the-counter product you like, your pediatrician may prescribe a non-steroidal cream.
Moisturize multiple times.Besides after a bath, grease up your kid at least once or twice more during the day.
- 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
- Eczema - KidsHealth - 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
- 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