Just as is the case with adults, eczema in children can pose significant health hazards that parents and guardians will not want their kids to be exposed to but that’s exactly what happens. Unfortunately, it appears that eczema is an inherited medical condition as children whose parents have had eczema, hay fever and asthma are more likely to suffer from these health issues throughout their lives. Others, fortunately, will be over their childhood eczema by their teenage years.
Symptoms to Look Out For
The symptoms of infantile eczema – otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, which is the most common form of eczema in infants and kids – can vary widely depending on the age of the child. When the child is just 2 months to 5 years of age, the skin is usually itchy, dry and red with small bumps on the cheeks, forehead and scalp. These rashes can spread to the limbs and trunk where lesions aggravate the skin condition.
Eczema in children older than 5 years of age tends to be less oozy and less scaly in comparison with the earlier years. On the downside, the skin becomes extremely dry and itchy so much so that kids cannot help but scratch at it, which results in brown patches of thickened skin on the affected areas. On the upside, your child may not experience these painful symptoms all the time as infantile eczema tends to wax and wane.
Indeed, each child’s case with eczema will vary in intensity, severity and frequency of the attacks as well as in the duration of time. The absolute need to work with your child’s pediatrician or dermatologist cannot be overemphasized so that your child may have less trouble with eczema than necessary.
Prevention Measures to Act On
First off, we must emphasize that eczema in children is inherited so that there’s no absolute way to prevent it unless a mutation occurs, which you will not want either. Fortunately, you can help your child by preventing flare-ups or alleviating the suffering your child is experiencing. These tips can help:
- Avoid the triggers that cause the eczema to flare up, said triggers include smoke, cigarettes, pollens, certain foods and pet contact
- Avoid giving frequent hot baths as these dry up the skin, thus, aggravating the itchiness. Instead, a warm bath using non-soap cleanser is best. After bathing, gently pat rather than rub your child’s skin.
- Use oatmeal soaking products when applicable
- Apply moisturizing ointments recommended by your doctor. Many baby products can actually cause eczema in children because of the allergens like alcohol contained in them.
- Use cotton clothes on your child since the fabric allows the skin to breathe.
- Apply cool compresses on the affected areas to ease the itching sensations.
- Eliminate the allergens that lead to the flare-ups of eczema.
Yes, there are cures for eczema in children such as corticosteroids but prevention is always better than the cure. You don’t want your children to suffer through the pains of eczema just as you probably suffer them yourself.