When To Visit A Doctor
Theres often no need to visit a doctor or pediatrician at the first sign of an eczema flare-up. In most cases, applying an emollient cream or balm multiple times throughout the day should be enough to treat the flare-up.
Its also important to inspect your childs environment to see if any triggers are present. Does a new piece of clothing rub the wrong way or is it too rough? Is it time to give your childs room a thorough cleaning? Identifying and removing these triggers can help decrease the duration of the flare-up.
If the eczema flare-up is still present after seven days despite using an emollient product, or if you notice a yellow or light-brown crust or blisters on top of the flare-up, call your doctor as soon as possible.
This could be a sign that your child has a bacterial infection. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine or an antibiotic. These medications will reduce the swelling, irritation, and itchiness that are causing your child so much discomfort.
With the flare-up gone, your child will feel better, sleep better, and be happier overall.
Talk To A Doctor About Food Allergies
Its rare that your childs eczema flare-ups are caused by food allergies, but it is possible. If you have removed all potential environmental triggers and are applying a daily emollient but the flare-up refuses to go away, its time to consult your doctor or pediatrician. They can test your child for food allergies and help identify what might be irritating your childs sensitive skin.
Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
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Eczema Sos: Getting On Top Of Eczema Flare
Claire Moulds puts you back in control.
When a flare-up strikes it can feel as though youre at the mercy of your eczema, as it becomes increasingly red , itchy and sore, due to inflammation.
Crucially, its vital to nip an eczema flare-up in the bud, before it can progress, to minimise its severity. Left untreated, a flare-up can easily spiral out of control, making it harder to restore your skin to its previous condition.
So, what steps can you take before, during and after a flare-up?
What To Do About Itching
Try to keep your baby from scratching their itchy skin. Scratching can make the rash worse, lead to an infection, and cause the irritated skin to get thicker and more leathery.
Trim their nails often, and then take the edge off of them with a file if you can. Some parents also slip “scratch mittens” onto their little one’s hands. Others try long socks, tucked in under a long-sleeved shirt, so they’re harder for a baby to remove. View a slideshow to get more eczema skin care tips.
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Establish A Daily Skincare Routine
As soon as you see signs of a flare-up or suspect that your child might have eczema, the best thing you can do is start a daily skincare routine that includes emollients like Mustelas Stelatopia Emollient Cream or Stelatopia Emollient Balm. These products provide four essential benefits:
- They reinforce the protective moisture barrier on your childs skin.
- They add moisture to your childs skin.
- They prevent moisture from evaporating.
- They soothe the itchiness and discomfort caused by eczema flare-ups.
All of Mustelas eczema-prone skincare products are safe for children, newborns, and adults.
What Causes Eczema In Toddlers
Before you panic that your child will have lifelong bouts of itchy rashes, its important to remember that some kids are just prone to eczema because of their unique skin makeup. And even thats not always fixed or permanent.
Theres no way to predict what will happen in the future, but lots of kids outgrow their eczema when they reach their preschool years.
Your child is more likely to have eczema if they also have:
- a family history of eczema
Food allergies dont cause eczema, but they are related.
For the most part, though, environmental triggers are the biggest cause of eczema flares. Common triggers include:
- excessive heat or sweating
Although eczema is bothersome and often hard to treat, you can take some steps to get your toddlers eczema under control.
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Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.
What Causes Eczema To Wax To Flare
Different “triggers” can make eczema worse. For infants, these can be irritants such as wool, certain detergents or extreme temperatures, or other immune triggers, such as food allergies and asthma, and even pet dander.
Most kids with the condition have the hardest time in winter, when the air is cold and dry. A small percentage has a harder time in the summer, when it is hot and humid.
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Gentle Soaps And Detergents
Laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals that aggravate eczema.
Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.
Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.
Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.
Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.
Additionally, try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can worsen eczema symptoms. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
Use Cleanser Not Baby Soap For Eczema
When bathing babies with eczema, its important to avoid drying soaps or harsh detergents. Baby soap for eczema will likely cause more irritation on the skin. While the skins normal pH level is 4 to 5, the average pH level of soap is 9 to 10. Soap increases the skins pH to an undesirable level and can severely worsen eczema symptoms. Just like bubbles, soaps usually contain sodium lauryl sulfate to create its foaming action, and unfortunately, that can wreak havoc on dry skin. Its best to avoid soap, even specially-formulated baby soap for eczema.
Instead, opt for a cleanser when bathing a baby with eczema. I personally had great success with Exederms Cleansing Bathand think its the best baby wash for eczema, but again, thats because thats what worked. Dont get frustrated if you find that you have to try more than one. Remember, dealing with eczema is more of an art than a science – there will usually be some trial and error. There are tons of other options, including some by trusted skincare lines like Aveeno and CeraVe. Check out all of the cleansers that have been approved by the NEA.
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How Is Eczema Treated
There is no cure for eczema. But treatments can help with symptoms. The doctor will recommend different treatments based on how severe the symptoms are, the child’s age, and where the rash is. Some are “topical” and applied to the skin. Others are taken by mouth.
Topical moisturizers. Skin should be moisturized often . The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath or shower, with the skin patted dry gently. Ointments and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments. These ease skin inflammation. It’s important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.
Other topical anti-inflammatory medicines. These include medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts.
Medicine taken by mouth. These can include antihistamines to help itchy kids sleep better at night, antibiotics if a rash gets infected by bacteria, and corticosteroid pills or other medicines that suppress the immune system.
Other types of treatment can include:
- wet wraps: damp cloths placed on irritated areas of skin
- bleach baths: bathing in very diluted bleach solution
How To Treat Baby Eczema & Natural Remedies
Youll find plenty of lotions designed to relieve the itching and redness of eczema, but unfortunately many conventional products designed to treat baby eczema are loaded with harmful ingredients like EDTA, PEG, and petroleum products.Yikes!Not exactly what you want to rub on babys sensitive skin!
Heres how to naturally provide relief for your baby.
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Progression Of Eczema In Infants And Children
Baby eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp of an infant within the first few months of life, and often tends to make the skin look more red and weepy than at other ages.
The eczema can appear on other parts of the body as well, including the diaper area.
When the infant begins to crawl, usually between 6 and 12 months, eczema will typically affect the elbows and knees, which rub on the ground. The eczema rash can become infected, resulting in a yellowish crust or tiny bumps of pus.
When the child is around age 2, eczema may begin to appear on the inside of the elbows and behind the knees, as well as on the wrists, ankles, and hands. It may also appear around the mouth and eyelids.
This eczema tends to be drier, scalier, and thicker .
Can You Prevent Baby Eczema
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent eczema with 100 percent certainty. Remember that genetics is a big factor for eczema, but you can minimize your babys risk for eczema.
The first and most important step is to avoid the common environmental triggers, as well as the previously listed inflammatory foods.
Youll also want to:
- Avoid heat and sweat
- Keep nails short and use mittens if baby scratches frequently
- Use breathable natural fabrics like organic cotton only
- Avoid using products with fragrancesthis includes laundry detergent!
- It may seem obvious, but cigarette smoke can be an irritant
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Skin Infections: How To Treat And Prevent Them
Bacteria and viruses can exacerbate eczema flare-ups, so keep an eye out for infection symptoms.
Look for leaking, crusting, pus lumps, blisters, or a rash that isnt improving after your normal therapies. If you believe your childs skin is infected, go to your doctor right away. Antibiotics or antiviral drugs may be needed to treat infections.
What Else Is Happening At Johns Hopkins Today
We go out of our way to provide the comprehensive care our patients with eczema need. On a case-by-case basis, we communicate with one another whether in allergy, dermatology, psychology or infectious disease to put together the best course of treatment for each child.We are optimistic that future therapies and approaches to care for those with even severe eczema are going to be greatly improved with more research and that the creation of the Eczema Day Treatment Unit will help us conduct cutting edge research and answer questions we face every day seeing and treating patients.
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What Are The Complications Of Eczema
Affected skin can be very itchy. The itchiness can cause sleep difficulties for your child or infant and scratching can also lead to breaking of the skin.
Broken skin may become infected with bacteria that commonly live on childrens hands. Bacterial infections may cause inflamed blisters which can weep and form crusts.
Warts and herpes can also infect eczema rash. Infection with herpes can cause serious problems and is an emergency which needs to be treated urgently. If someone has a cold sore, make sure to keep a distance from a child with eczema.
Baby Eczema And Cradle Cap Symptoms
- Thickened skin
- Darkened skin on the eyelids and around the eyes
- Changes to the skin around the mouth, eyes, or ears
Cradle cap causes symptoms not commonly seen in other types of infantile eczema, such as greasy yellow scales on the scalp that sometimes appear in a thick layer covering the entire top of the head. Over time, the scales become flaky and rub off.
Most babies do not appear to be bothered by cradle cap, though it sometimes itches.
A baby with atopic dermatitis has an increased risk of other atopic conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and food allergies.
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Eczema In Newborns And Babies
According to pediatricians, about 5-20% of infants and newborns are diagnosed with eczema. This condition starts early at a young age as 65% of patients develop eczema symptoms in their first years of life, while 90% have visible signs before 5 years old.
Many people confuse eczema with seborrheic dermatitis, but there are differences between them. For example, patients with seborrheic dermatitis have less red skin with scaly patches on the surface of the scalp, sides of noses, eyelids, eyebrows and behind the ears. Furthermore, the skin of children suffering from seborrheic dermatitis often has a sour smell. But this condition will go away after children reach 8 months old.
On the other hand, eczema appears in babies at the age of 2 to 4 months old, and it is often divided into two types:
How Effective Are Probiotics For Reducing Eczema
A recently published meta-analysis in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found probiotics measurably reduced the risk of infant eczema.
- When mothers took probiotics during their third trimester, they reduced their babys risk of eczema by 29%
- Breastfeeding mothers that took probiotics reduced their babys risk of eczema by 40%
- When infants were given probiotics directly, their risk of developing eczema was reduced by 20%
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What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema is a chronic condition which causes red, itchy areas on the skin. Sometimes the itching is very severe. When skin is scratched it can break open, ooze and then crust over. Symptoms of eczema can come and go. Babies with eczema often have it on their cheeks, forehead and scalp. Older children often have it on their hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and on the inside folds of their elbows and knees.
What Should I Look For When Selecting Skin Care Products
Choose soaps and moisturizers made for sensitive skin. Although there is no single group of products that are right for every child, generally, products with fewer ingredients are best. Expensive products are not always better. If you need help finding products for your child, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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