Eczema In Young Children And Babies
Eczema can affect anyone at any age, but it is often quite common in young children. When young children have eczema, family history is almost always the cause. Even if eczema doesnt run in the family, genetics could still be at play children who have family members with hay fever, other allergies or asthma are at risk too.
Baby eczema, on the other hand, is often caused when a babys sensitive skin comes into contact with an environmental irritant. These irritants can include:
- certain cleansers, soaps and shampoos
- dry air or colder environments
- certain ointments and baby lotions
- home products with irritating fragrances
To learn more about what products can be used on sensitive baby skin or for children with eczema, check out these products that have the National Eczema Associations Seal of Acceptance.
Creams And Topical Treatments For Eczema
Fewer eczema flare-ups and less itching are possible! Although there is no cure for atopic eczema , we can offer soothing relief from flare-ups and make them less frequent with the right treatment: cortisone cream + emollient.
Topical treatment is essential and produces excellent results, provided it is applied correctly.
It is an anti-inflammatory of the calcineurin inhibitor family: it will represent a possible alternative to dermocorticoids. The only difference with dermocorticoids is that it is applied twice a day.
When is it applied? For recalcitrant eczema on the face, especially the eyelids or other sensitive skin areas. Sometimes it is poorly tolerated in flare-ups: you must persevere, because after a few days the intolerance disappears. It can be recommended to initiate treatment with cortisone cream before initiating tracolimus creams.
This page discusses the treatments for atopic eczema. Allergic eczema is treated differently.
Eczema And Mental Health
Similar to immune system dysfunction, mental health conditions dont cause eczema, but they can make them worse. Stress in particular can cause eczema triggers. The reason stress may cause eczema flare-ups is because when your body encounters a stressful situation, theres usually a physical reaction. Usually, this physical reaction includes inflammation in the body, one the known causes of eczema.
Other mental health conditions can also increase inflammation and may cause eczema, such as depression or PTSD. However, there are fewer studies on the relationship between these conditions and eczema than on the connection between eczema and stress.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Keeping your body hydrated can help keep your skin hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. This will help moisturize your skin. Those eight glasses can include cups of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or your other favorite warm winter beverage.
Slice up lemons or other citrus fruits and add them to the water for a mild flavor.
What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
Your healthcare provider might ask the following questions to learn more about your symptoms, including:
- Where do you have symptoms on your body?
- Did you use any products to try to treat your skin?
- Do you have any medical conditions like allergies or asthma?
- Do you have a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed something triggers or worsens your symptoms like certain soaps or detergents?
- Do your symptoms affect your ability to sleep or perform your daily activities?
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Visit A Dermatologist When Needed
If you are struggling to control your eczema, it may be time to visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe medication that can help to control the symptoms of eczema and prevent flare-ups. They can also provide additional advice on how to care for your skin and avoid triggers that may cause a flare-up.
Natural Treatments At Home
Aside from moisturizing your skin, some natural treatments may help heal your skin.
Oatmeal baths are one type of natural treatment that can soothe the itchiness and discomfort of eczema rashes. Be sure to use lukewarm water and follow up with a moisturizer immediately after.
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Aware Of Actions That Feed An Eczema Flare
As someone who is trying to limit the time she spends on getting over flares, I have automatically become more present and conscious of actions that would prolong my eczema symptoms. This includes scratching, not breathing properly, going into panic mode, thinking the worst, etc. Knowing what actions would prolong my eczema flare, helps me identify actions that would cut them short.
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Use Astragalus To Support Natural Immunity
Supporting immune function when you have an autoimmune disease is tricky. Since your immune system is already in overdrive against your own body, you dont exactly want to bolster its energy to continue attacking you with increased fervor.
What you do want to do is modulate the immune system, which means help re-educate it about what it is supposed to be doing: sparing your own body tissues and attacking foreign invaders like viral and bacterial infections.
You can naturally modulate your immune system with certain herbs like astragalus, which activates only specific aspects of the immune system. It provides a balancing effect on the immune system instead of just a stimulating effect like echinacea or goldenseal, herbs which should be avoided in cases of autoimmunity. You can find astragalus supplements online or at your local health food store. Most health practitioners suggest taking them for only a set amount of time , so ask your doctor for the time period that might work best for you.
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When To See Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if eczema symptoms are serious enough to interfere with sleep and daily life or if they persist after home treatments. See your doctor right away about a skin infection, especially if you also have a fever. Red streaks, yellow scabs, and pus could all be signs of infection.
Mayo Clinic: Atopic dermatitis : âAlternative medicine,â âCauses,â âLifestyle and home remedies,â âRisk factors,â âTreatments and drugs.â
American Academy of Dermatology: âDifferent kinds of eczema,â âWhat is eczema?â
National Eczema Society: âTopical Steroids,â âWhat is Eczema?â
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: âWhat Is Atopic Dermatitis?â
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: âAntihistamines,â âEczema.â
National Eczema Association: âItching for relief.â
British Journal of Dermatology: âThe effect of environmental tobacco smoke on eczema and allergic sensitization in children.â
FDA: âFDA approves new eczema drug Dupixent.â
Mayo Clinic: âAtopic dermatitis .â
The National Eczema Association: âEczema Causes and Triggers.â
Prevent Flares Feel Better
Many things could set off an eczema flare. You may not have the same triggers as someone else. It pays to figure out what causes your skin to react.
Dry skin. If your skin gets too dry, it can become rough and itchy. It might even crack. That can let bacteria or allergens inside. Dry skin is a common eczema trigger for many people. Extreme changes in temperature can stress your skin, too.
Tips: Keep your skin moist — especially in winter, when the air can be very dry. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your bedroom when you sleep. Apply body lotion after you get out of a shower or bath. Soak in a warm bath with small amounts of bath oil, or add colloidal oatmeal to ease eczema itching and moisten your skin. See what’s the best lotion for eczema.
Irritants. Products you use every day may bother your skin. Soap, cleansers, body wash, laundry detergent, lotions, or even some foods you touch can trigger eczema rashes.
Tips: Talk to your doctor to pinpoint what may irritate your skin. They can test how your skin reacts to certain products. Keep track of anything you use that seems to trigger a flare after you touch it. Choose soaps, cleansers, and laundry detergents without added perfumes or dyes. These are common eczema triggers.
Clothing. Fabrics that are rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Clothes that are too warm or heavy can make you sweat and cause a flare, too.
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Follow Your Treatment Plan
Our dermatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating all types of eczema in adults and children. We customize treatment plans to ease symptoms during flare-ups and prevent future outbreaks.
Following your personalized treatment is vital for keeping your skin condition under control.
Because were dedicated to helping our patients get the most current treatments available, we regularly participate in eczema clinical trials.
We know how hard life is when youre struggling with irritated, itchy skin, but theres no need to suffer. Let us help you get control over your eczema and prevent those flare-ups.
We provide dermatology care at our offices in Blaine, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Make an appointment today using our convenient online scheduling tool by following the above links or by calling one of our offices.
For your convenience, we also provide telemedicine appointments for consultations.
If youre interested in one of our eczema clinical trials, or call our Study Line at 502-2929. Our research dermatologists work out of our New Brighton, Minnesota, location.
We also have offices in Fridley, Minnesota, to address dermatology needs.
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Avoid Contact With Certain Materials
Some fibers, such as wool, nylon, and others, can irritate skin and cause eczema. They also may cause overheating, which also leads to flare-ups.
Dress in breathable materials, such as cotton, and avoid wearing too many layers. Also, eliminate unnecessary layers on your bed and make sure bed linens are made from breathable fabrics as well.
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Combat Your Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety will put your skin in a tailspin. Stress is something everyone experiences, so learn how to handle your stress in the best way possible. When youâre stressed, your body releases chemicals that can cause your skin to be agitated. Find ways to reduce this by exercising, writing, meditating, or even hosting a simple get-together to vent with friends.
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How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used
Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Consider these treatment tips:
If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:
- Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
- Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
- Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
- Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
- Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
- Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
- Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
- Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.
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Avoid Rapid Temperature Changes
When the skin is experiencing big changes in temperature, it starts to dry and feel itchy.
In winter, our skin keeps jumping back and forth between temperature extremes. This cycle of moving from the cold air outside to the warm and dry air indoors can make the skin dry and cracked.
People can reduce eczema flare-ups by avoiding abrupt changes in temperature. Wear gloves, scarves, and hats when outside to stop the skin from getting cold.
Transition slowly between temperatures by using the following strategies:
- Try not to let your skin get cold. People can maintain a more even body temperature by staying inside when possible. Wrap up well when going outside.
- Protect sensitive areas from rapid temperature changes. If you tend to get eczema on your hands, wear gloves every time you go outside.
- Avoid hot water when you are cold. When you come in from the cold, it may be tempting to wash your hands in very warm water, but the quick change in temperature can irritate the skin. Wait until you have warmed up before using warm water.
- Avoid hot showers. After a hot shower, the body cools down quickly again. You can avoid changing the skins temperature too often by not having hot showers when you bathe every day, and always moisturize right after washing.
How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if youre not experiencing symptoms.
Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school, or a tub in the bathroom and one in a living area.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- do not rub it in smooth it into the skin in the same direction the hair grows
- after a bath or shower, gently pat the skin dry and apply the emollient while the skin is still moist to keep the moisture in
You should use an emollient at least twice a day if you can, or more often if you have very dry skin.
During a flare-up, apply generous amounts of emollient more frequently, but remember to treat inflamed skin with a topical corticosteroid as emollients used on their own are not enough to control it.
Do not put your fingers into an emollient pot use a spoon or pump dispenser instead, as this reduces the risk of infection. And never share your emollient with other people.
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Practice Good Bath And Shower Etiquette
Take warm baths or showers and keep them short. Long, hot showers can dry out your skin, making it more prone to flare-ups. Use unscented bath products, and not too much of them. When youre done, use a soft towel to pat yourself dry. Dont rub. Slather moisturizer on your skin immediately after a shower, while your skin is still damp, to help your skin best absorb the moisture and lock it on.
Use Mild Skincare Products
During the changing temperatures of winter, the skin becomes more sensitive. This means that skincare products that do not usually irritate the skin can start to cause problems, such as contact dermatitis.
Soaps and detergent can contain harsh chemicals or fragrances that may irritate sensitive skin. Switch to natural or unscented skincare products to reduce irritation.
People should also avoid washing the hands, face, or body excessively during winter, as water can dry out skin by stripping away its natural, protective oils.
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How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child’s skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that “breathe,” such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
Know Your Childs Eczema Triggers
Regardless of the type of eczema your child has, there are certain things and environmental conditions that make it suddenly appear where it wasnt before or make a relatively calm patch suddenly worse. These are called flare-ups.
Things that trigger eczema flare-ups are not the same for everyone, but the most common are stressful situations, dry air, and sweat. Keep in mind that your childs triggers may change over the years, so be on the lookout for new challenges as they grow. Here are some triggers to watch for:
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What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
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