Eczema in children is a fairly common condition with approximately 20 percent of all babies developing eczema before 1 year of age. For many children, the condition goes away before age 5, but many also carry the condition through adulthood.
In children, eczema usually shows up on the cheeks, forehead, and the scalp and is less likely to appear on the arms, legs, and torso. The rash tends to look like extremely dry skin that is scaly or can have red bumps that turn to blisters and seep fluid. These blisters are easily infected as they are very itchy and children will scratch them open.
It is not entirely known what causes eczema although a genetic link has been found. Eczema can also be triggered by allergens in the environment. The rash is also aggravated by heat and irritants that contact the skin.
It is vital that you take good care of your child’s skin when they are diagnosed with eczema. Here are some helpful suggestions:
Keep your toddler's skin from getting too dry. Discuss skin care with your child’s doctor. He can make recommendations on how often to bathe a child with eczema and how to keep their sin from becoming too dry.
Make sure to always use a mild soap during bath time. When the bath is finished, be sure to pat the skin dry (don't rub), and apply moisturiser or emollient right away.
Skin needs to breathe to stay healthy, so make sure that your child is dressed in smooth natural fabrics, like cotton. Avoid any fabric that is irritating to the skin.
Always use mild, fragrance-free products that come in contact with your child; soaps, shampoo, or laundry soap. Fabric softener sheets should be avoided.
Try to keep your child in a constant temperature. Extreme temperature changes can make eczema worse.
You can help your child avoid scratching by keeping her nails trimmed short and using soft sheets her bed. If your toddler is scratching in her sleep, you may also want to have her wear some type of cotton glove or mitten to bed.
Apply cool compresses to affected areas to soothe the itching. Always follow with a moisturizer.
If your child develops a fever or if the area of the rash is hot to the touch or oozing, call the doctor. She may have an infection that needs medical attention.
When you have done your best but the eczema just won’t go away, contact the doctor. There are some treatments that use a topical steroid. These are usually over the counter medications, but it is safe to discuss their use with your doctor.