Managing Eczema in Children: What You Need to Know
Does your little one have eczema, or do they constantly scratch their skin when they have a flare-up? The best way to curb this condition is to take care of the skin, which reduces the itchiness and the risk of infections or abrasions. Your Bowling Green pediatric dermatology experts at Kentucky Skin Cancer Center are available to help you manage several skin conditions in children.
Types of Eczema
There are two major types of eczema: contact and atopic eczema. Contact eczema occurs because of reactions with external things such as plants, animals, chemicals, or medicines. Atopic eczema is hereditary and appears alongside other conditions such as asthma and conjunctivitis.
This condition is mild, and the major symptoms are patches on the skin, dryness, and flare-ups. Although genetic, it can be influenced by external factors such as allergens, stress, pet hair, clothing, chemical irritants, cold, and anxiety.
How to identify eczema in children
Eczema in children manifests itself as itching and red patches on the skin. It can develop into lesions or bruises, and in extreme cases, the lesions may rupture and start oozing blood. Chronic eczema causes the skin to thicken, dry up, and have scales.
How does eczema develop in little children?
Eczema starts in infants and affects the areas around the ears, chin, cheeks, and eyes. At a tender age, the condition affects the arms, knees, elbows, and around the abdomen.
Quite often, kids recover from eczema by their tenth birthday. However, it can persist into adolescence, where it affects the mouth and the eyelids.
How to manage eczema
As noted earlier, eczema condition in children is genetic, and therefore there is no cure. However, you can manage eczema at home by relieving the symptoms and preventing the condition from worsening.
The first thing to do is to keep your child busy, which prevents them from scratching. Try drawing their attention away from it by providing toys.
Maintain short nails since scratching can bruise the skin. For bigger kids, set goals to monitor the frequency of scratching and learn how to manage the symptoms. Teenagers can understand that less scratching means fewer injuries.
Ensure the skin is properly moisturized to prevent dryness. Your doctor can prescribe certain soaps and emollients or creams to apply to avoid scratching. Beware that using strong creams or steroids can have long-term effects on the skin.
Sweating and a lot of heat can worsen the condition. Therefore, do not overdress the child with heavy garments. Ensure the room is well ventilated and regularly vacuum the floors and couch to eliminate dust and pet hair.
Treatment of Eczema
In severe situations, your doctor recommends topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and relieve scratching. Your healthcare expert gives you instructions on what to do, as this depends on the severity of eczema. Likewise, the duration of the treatment depends on the extent of the condition.
Your doctor may also recommend antibiotics and antihistamines to relieve itching. For older kids, experts administer phototherapy, or the use of ultraviolet rays, to treat severe conditions.
If your child has eczema, the best treatment depends on whether it is genetic or caused by external factors. Contact the specialists at Kentucky Skin Cancer Center for an examination and treatment.