Some children develop a dry skin condition called eczema when they are little. This may or may not go away when they grow up. However, there are certain treatments available for this. There are topical as well as ingestive solutions for this skin condition. Emollients can be used as topical treatment for skin affected by eczema.
There are 3 common types of eczema – atopic dermatitis (a chronic type of eczema that spreads due to genetics), seborrhea (can affect children between 0-24 months old) and contact dermatitis (caused by certain substances that cause allergic reactions).
Although eczema resembles an allergy, it is not an allergic reaction. In fact, doctors don’t know what exactly causes eczema. It is a kind of skin irritation, which is more commonly observed in children than in adults. It could be caused due to factors such as genetics or the environment.
Eczema is not contagious, but it could be passed on through the genetic factor. If someone in your family has had eczema, asthma or any seasonal allergies, your child could have it too. Also, it depends on the mother’s age at the time of conception. Children born to older mothers are more prone to eczema.
Environmental conditions could also decide if your child is prone to eczema. Living in cold climates or in urban areas with lot of pollution could cause eczema. Also, certain types of clothes could trigger your child’s skin – woollen clothes are known to cause skin irritation, so make your child wear soft cotton clothes underneath his/her woollen clothes to reduce irritation in the cold weather.
Further, if your child has severe eczema, s/he may develop other allergies such as asthma later in life.
If your child has eczema, then you would want to ensure they don’t scratch their skin, as this could cause their skin to tear and cause infections to spread. To reduce the irritation and redness, you could apply some ointments or creams called emollients. These provide temporary relief to the itching sensation caused by eczema. Also, emollients could help protect the skin from cracking.
Frequent moisturizing is required to keep the skin soft and prevent the eczema from flaring up. For more severe cases of eczema, topical steroid creams and ointments would be required. If the rashes still refuse to go away, oral steroids may be recommended by your doctor. If the eczema has become infected, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics as well.
In addition to these, you should ensure your child drinks a sufficient amount of water every day. Ensure they wear loose fitting clothes that don’t irritate their skin. Cut their nails regularly and keep them short, so they don’t tear their skin while itching themselves. Keep their skin moisturized at all times – moisturize 2-3 times a day to keep their skin from drying out and to soothe the skin.
This article has been written for informative purposes only. Please do consult your doctor if your child has eczema and seek their advice. A direct and specific evaluation from your doctor is much more valuable than anything you would find on the Internet.