A Closer Look at Children’s Eczema
Do you have a child who suffers from eczema? This is something that parents deal with every day. Many factors can cause eczema, such as allergies, irritants, and even stress. The good thing is that eczema is completely treatable.
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes redness, itching, dry skin, and rashes. In extreme cases, it can leave scars and even have an effect on one’s breathing. The exact cause isn’t always known, but several triggers can cause eczema to flare up.
Eczema affects at least 3% of children worldwide. It usually starts between the ages of 6 months and 2 years old and lasts until adulthood. While some kids outgrow it with age, a majority of them develop a chronic form of eczema that lasts into adulthood.
What is it?
How do I know if my child has eczema?
There are several ways to determine whether your child has eczema:
1) Look for the telltale signs. Dry, scaly patches on the face, hands, feet, knees, elbows, and back are all signs of eczema. You may also notice flaky skin, especially in the wintertime.
2) Observe your child for any changes in their behaviour. If they seem unusually anxious or depressed, this could be a sign of eczema. They might also have trouble sleeping or concentrating more than usual.
3) Check for rashes. Eczema often causes small bumps or blisters on the skin. These rashes are called “petechiae.” Your doctor will likely check for these rashes during routine visits.
4) Take a look at your diet. Eating foods like dairy products, eggs, nuts, wheat, corn, soy, and citrus
Causes of Eczema
The exact causes of eczema aren’t known, but several factors can contribute to its development:
Allergies: In many cases, eczema is caused by food or environmental allergens. These triggers may be present in foods like eggs, milk, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, corn, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, fruits, vegetables, spices, and pet dander.
Stress: Stress can trigger eczema flare-ups. Children who suffer from asthma or other respiratory disorders are particularly vulnerable to stress.
Irritants: Certain chemicals can cause irritation and inflammation in the body. Some examples include soaps, detergents, perfumes, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, shampoos, and cosmetics.
Medications: Certain medications can cause eczema. Examples include antibiotics, antihistamines, topical steroids, oral contraceptives, and birth control pills.
Diet: A poor diet can make eczema worse. Foods high in fat, sugar, and salt should be avoided.
Acute eczema symptoms:
Acute eczema symptoms:
Treatment of Children's Eczema
Eczema is usually treated with one of three methods:
Topical treatments: Topical creams, lotions, ointments, and gels contain ingredients that reduce itching and swelling. Common topicals include corticosteroids, emollients, and moisturizers.
Oral treatments: Medication was taken orally to help relieve itchiness and redness. Antihistamines and decongestants are common oral drugs prescribed for children with eczema.
Systemic treatments: Drugs administered through injection or intravenous infusion work systemically to help treat eczema. Steroid injections directly target the inflamed areas on the skin. Other systemic drugs used to treat eczema include immunosuppressive agents, such as cyclosporine, azathioprine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate mofetil.
Prevention of Children's Eczema
Avoiding triggers: Avoidance is the best way to prevent eczema. If you know your child has allergies, avoid exposing him or her to potential allergens. This includes cleaning products, foods, clothing, toys, bedding, and household items.
Using protective measures: Protective measures help keep your child safe from irritants. They include gloves, goggles, masks, and other personal protection equipment.
Using appropriate products: Use only non-irritating products on your child’s skin. For example, wash hands before touching your child’s face. Wash clothes separately from your child’s skin. Don’t let your child wear tight clothing or swimsuits that rub against his or her skin.
Keeping your home clean: Cleanliness reduces the risk of developing eczema. Keep floors, walls, carpets, and furniture free of dust, dander, and mould spores.
Exercise caution with medications: Be careful when using topical steroids because they can cause thinning of the skin. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using these medications.
If you are interested in speaking to a health professional about your child’s eczema, you can search Medimap for a walk-in clinic near you.