What is Eczema?
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is inflammation of the skin that causes it to be itchy, bumpy and flaky.
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but the condition is more common in children with allergies or a family history of allergies. Sometimes children with eczema also have asthma. If your child has eczema, it does not mean they have a food allergy.
Symptoms of eczema include:
- Itchy skin
- Skin color changes- skin can either become lighter or darker in areas of eczema
Eczema usually shows up differently depending on a child’s age:
- Infants/small children usually have symptoms on the front of the arms and legs, the scalp and the face.
- Older children typically experience symptoms in the creases of the elbows and knees, sides of the neck.
How is Eczema Treated?
If not treated, bad eczema can cause scarring. The foundation of eczema treatment is returning moisture to the skin.
Treatment plans for eczema should include the following:
Eczema triggers may include:
- scented soaps
- fabric softeners and dryer sheets
- heat and sweating
- dry air
- temperature changes
At least twice per day with a thick, oily unscented moisturizer. We recommend using:
Moisturize after bath time, applying moisturizer while the skin is still damp to seal in moisture.
Steroid creams can be used for flare ups and extreme itching for a short period time along with regular moisturizing
Other Treatment Options
Alternative eczema treatments include:
- Light therapy
- Medicines that change the immune system
- Antihistamines like claritin and zyrtec can help if eczema is associated with allergies but usually does not help itching
Check in with K if…
- You have general questions about your child’s condition
- You want general followup for your child
- You have questions about supportive care
- Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming
See a doctor in person if…
- Eczema is not improving or worsens despite treatment
- Rash become painful or looks infected
- Eczema seems to worsen in association with specific food