Dry, red and itchy skin, with no relief in sight! Skin conditions in adults can be irritating and uncomfortable; but in children, it can be both awful for them and stressful for parents! About 20 percent of babies and young children will develop some form of eczema. Also known as dermatitis, this skin condition can be classified in a number of ways but always includes some form of redness, swelling and itchiness. View a detailed breakdown on the types of eczema here.
The various types of eczema can make diagnosis difficult. In order to provide correct treatment, your skin experts at Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery Center will determine the exact type of eczema your child has as well as its cause. We may prescribe a number of treatments including moisturizers, topical steroids, oral steroids, homeopathic/holistic and more advanced medications, depending on the severity of your child’s condition.
Early diagnosis and proper treatment is very important but there are also things you can do every day to prevent flare ups:
- Establish a regular skin and body care routine. Eliminate all fragrance and heavily dyed soaps, detergents, etc. from your home. Unfortunately, that means no bubble baths either. All baths should be lukewarm and chemical-free and last between 5-10 minutes.
- Always pat skin dry (do not rub) with a clean towel, washed with fragrance-free detergent.
- If your child has prescription medication, post-bath is the best time to apply. You can then apply moisturizer on top of that. Petroleum jelly is an ideal option – it’s an inexpensive, fragrance-free moisturizer.
- Teach your child to use medication to ease itching, not scratching. For babies, use cotton mittens to create a barrier between skin and nails. Keep nails trimmed short as well.
- Be sure to watch indoor temperatures and humidity levels. One of the most common triggers is sweating, that can cause the skin to itch uncomfortably.
- If you can find tagless clothing, opt for this option. Tags can rub and irritate sensitive skin. And always wash new clothes before wear, in a gentle, fragrance-free detergent.
- Always check usage directions for laundry detergent and use at its recommended level to avoid overuse.
Along with your child’s treatment plan and steps to prevent triggers, a little support in the area would be beneficial as well. Be sure to talk with your child, especially if school-aged, about this skin condition. It’s helpful for them to know that this condition is not contagious and is not their fault. There are also helpful support groups for parents and children, allowing children to meet others who may experience the same symptoms they do.
About Trillium Creek Dermatology: Few places in the country offer the quality care, innovation and state-of-the-art procedures that are available at Trillium Creek. Through our integrative medicine approach, Trillium Creek offers world-class general dermatology, dermatologic surgery, laser surgery, cosmetic dermatology, skin cancer treatment, Mohs surgery and holistic medicine.