Your Child and Eczema

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Your Child and Eczema

Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis is a fairly common skin condition characterised by inflammation, rashes, itchiness, blistering and discoloration. Young children are especially susceptible to eczema.
 
Eczema prevention

Approximately 10% of all kids develop eczema. Doctors believe that it is genetically inherited or triggered by common allergens. Eczema is not contagious and cannot be “cured,” However you can prevent eczema flare ups in your child with the following measures:


Avoid soap: Chemicals present in soap and other detergents dry your child’s skin, which worsens eczema. Have your child use a soap substitute such as a gentle non-drying face wash and a moisturising body wash.

Avoid triggers: If you have been able to detect what substances seem to trigger eczema in your child, try to keep them away. Usually, these include dust, pollen, animal dander, cigarette smoke, perfumed lotions, soap and food products such as wheat, nuts, soy, fish, milk and eggs. Habitual scratching and temperature extremes also contribute to eczema flare ups. Preventing these triggers will not “cure” your child’s eczema but it often relieves some of the symptoms.

Avoid hot water: If your child loves hot showers, encourage him or her to use warm water instead, because hot water dries the skin excessively. Have your kids wear gloves while showering and shampooing and do not let them bathe more than twice a day. Make sure to pat them dry after the shower instead of giving them a vigorous towel scrubbing.

Keep your child’s environment mite-free: You can’t make your house completely mite-free, but you can minimize mites by removing carpeting from your child’s bedroom and using mite-proof furnishings. Wash blankets, pillowcases, and mattress covers at least once a month and use non-allergenic pillows.  Also make sure to vacuum the bedroom floor and your child’s bed regularly and make sure your child’s bedroom gets plenty of sunshine and fresh air during the day.

Use natural fabrics: Cotton garments are usually the best because they “breathe” and don’t irritate the skin. Synthetic materials and woollen garments are known to exacerbate skin conditions and are best avoided.

Use gentle moisturisers:
Moisturisers are good for kids prone to eczema, but make sure the one you buy for your child is non-comedogenic and non-scented. Use moisturisers several times a day.

Water and medication: If your child’s paediatrician has prescribed steroid creams, antihistamines or topical antibiotics, make sure your child is taking the medication regularly and as prescribed. Also ensure that your child is drinking plenty of water to keep well hydrated.

 

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