Eczema and Children: Prevention and Treatment

“Stop scratching”; an imperative sentence mostly said when we see our kids rubbing their hands, feet or tummy. After trying many grandma advices to ease this itchy rash, we feel frustrated and irritated to know that there is no specific cure. Eczema is a common condition that happens to 1 of 10 kids. Mainly it starts from an early age and almost goes by the age of 6 years. Mainly kids who develop eczema have a family member with asthma, allergies and hay fever.

What are the eczema symptoms and signs?

Every mom should know these symptoms and should differentiate them from any allergy signs.
-    Itchy red dry skin
-    Small bumps on cheeks and forehead
-    Circular itchy patch on the bends of the elbows, behind the knees and on the back of the wrists and ankles.

Eczema symptoms fluctuate from a very calm condition to excessive flare ups. It is not contagious so you don’t need to keep your child at home.

How to prevent Eczema?

Doctors believe that eczema is transmitted genetically and there is no way to prevent it. Nevertheless, there are steps that you can follow to avoid eczema triggers as:

-    Avoid pets at home.
-    Avoid giving your child a hot bath. Use only warm water. Dry your child without scrubbing. Gently pat your child’s skin to dry.
-    Use mild soaps and avoid soaps with scent. Do not use perfume for your child.
-    Do not use oil to moisturize your child’s skin after a bath. There are special creams that you can find in any pharmacy.
-    Cover your child’s skin with a moisturizer directly after his bath to help enter the moisture into the skin.
-    Avoid wool clothes and coarsely woven material. Do not use carpets in your child’s bedroom.
-    Eliminate dust and try to clean your child’s room with a wet towel.
-    Avoid excessive heat. Moisturize your child’s skin before exposing to the sun.
-    Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. It will keep his skin hydrated.

How do we treat Eczema?

Usually eczema gets worse during winter time when it is cold and dry and during summer when overheating occurs. The treatment depends on the eczema stage.

-    Apply wet damp dressings on the rash area.
-    Give your child a daily bath of 10mn to moisturize his skin.
-    Cut your child’s nails to limit scratches.
-    Remove all woolen blankets and use cotton instead.
-    Keep your house temperature cool between 20⁰C and 22⁰C.
-    Apply topical corticosteroids, prescribed by a doctor, on the rash area.
-    Sometimes you can administer antihistamines to ease the itchy feeling.
-    In severe cases where patches get infected, your child may need antibiotics.
-    If scabs appear on the eczema area, it is important to remove them. Give your child a bath for 30mn than scrub gently the scabs and remove them. Apply the treatment as prescribed.

Be patient and comprehensive. In most cases eczema disappears when your child reaches 6 years old. Always moisturize your child’s skin after a bath and try to avoid triggers that cause eczema.