Eczema is a chronic skin disorder usually common in toddlers and infants. Eczema is characterized by rough, raised, red and itchy patches that are either dry or oozing. Among children, it is usually caused by atopic dermatitis which is hypersensitivity to allergens found in the environment.
- Eczema usually runs in families
- It can be caused by allergy-type conditions such as hay fever or asthma.
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Exposure to foods that the child is allergic to
- The child gets too hot
- Direct contact with irritating chemicals such as soap or bubble bath or other items like wool and house dust.
- After exposure to substances such as dust mite or animal fur
- A new food is introduced to the child
- Sweating and drooling can make the condition worse
- The skin becomes itchy, dry and have reddened rash that usually develop in patches found in the elbow creases and behind the knees and can sometimes develop in the neck, face, hands and feet.
- The rashes can develop cracks and may bleed especially when scratched due to itchiness. Bacteria can enter into the wound and cause an infection.
- Eczema comes and goes and in between flare-ups where the skin becomes dry and thickened which known as “lichenification” that is usually seen in folds of the elbow, knee and the wrist.
- Eczema can develop during infancy usually affecting the face and scalp. Children are able to outgrow eczema by adolescence but in some cases, it persists up to adulthood.
- The eczematous lesion is sore and red
- Minimize exposure to house dust and wool as much as possible.
- When taking a bath, minimize the use of hot water and only use warm water instead.
- Avoid using scented soaps when taking a bath. Pat the skin dry and avoid rubbing the skin with the towel to avoid aggravating the condition.
- Keep the nails of the child short to prevent damaging the skin when he/she scratches it.
- Apply coconut oil on the affected skin to help in moisturizing the skin. Apply the oil after taking a bath.
- Using aloe vera helps in relaxing the affected area and lessens severe itchiness. Apply the gel at least 2-3 times every day. Remember that aloe vera is also a mild antiseptic which is beneficial for the condition.
- Extract juice from a cucumber and apply it over the affected area. Another option is place cold slices of cucumber on the lesions to lessen the severe itchiness.
- Apply calamine lotion at least every morning and evening on the affected area to lessen the irritation and itching.