Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
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:
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What Does Baby Eczema Look Like
Eczema often appears on the face and scalp in infants under 6 months old. The rash will usually be red and it may bubble up, ooze fluid, then crust over. Older babies may develop eczema on their elbows and knees.
Eczema usually does not occur in the diaper area because the skin stays too moist. Rashes in this area are more likely diaper rash.
The itchiness of eczema can make an infant very uncomfortable. A baby cannot tell a caregiver what is wrong, but their behavior may hint that eczema is causing them discomfort.
Signs to look for include:
- Trouble sleeping
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How Atopis Dry Itchy Skin Cream Can Help Your Family
Atopis Dry Itchy Relief Cream is our answer to your childs eczema symptoms, through working in synergy with their immune system so they stop reacting to allergens and environmental triggers.
Within weeks of use, this potent, all-natural skin-cream therapy reverses the cell damage, and hydrates and restores the skin so the itching stops and the healing begins.
Atopis Dry Itchy Relief Cream is suitable for use by anyone, from new and hyper-sensitive skin of babies to young children and even animals!
Medical Treatment For Eczema
Eczema cant be cured. But it can be managed by preventing and treating flare-ups as soon as they appear.
If your childs skin is inflamed and itchy, theyll probably need some corticosteroid ointment or cream. For mild eczema, you can buy mild corticosteroids over the counter at your pharmacy. The most common is hydrocortisone 1% cream. For more serious eczema or if the over-the-counter products arent working, youll need to see your GP to get a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid.
Other eczema treatments include pimecrolimus, a non-steroidal cream. Doctors might prescribe this cream for children with mild to moderate eczema on the face and in body folds.
If your child is scratching at a rash, you could ask your pharmacist or GP about using an antihistamine medication for a few days. Together with a corticosteroid cream, this might give your child some rest and help the flare-up to settle.
If your childs eczema rash gets infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.
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D Use A Moisturizer On The Skin
A moisturizer can be used on the area of scalp affected by eczema as well. This will help reduce dryness and redness of the skin. It will also prevent itching at the site of eczema. Unscented moisturizer is the way to go. Sometimes fragrances can irritate sensitive skin. The use of moisturizers is best right after a bath because the scalp of the baby is still moist. This helps lock in the moisture.
Is A Cure Or Better Treatment For Eczema On The Horizon
Without a cure on the near horizon, we here at Johns Hopkins are creating an Eczema Day Treatment Unit to help our patients with moderate to severe eczema keep their symptoms under control and prevent flare-ups. We anticipate that this novel, multidisciplinary program will include experts from Child Life, behavioral psychology, allergy, dermatology and infectious diseases to provide the comprehensive care these children need care that cannot be provided in an average clinic visit.
A primary goal of the day treatment unit will be education children and their families will learn techniques such as wet-wrap therapy, to help deeply moisturize the skin. This therapy involves coating the skin with a topical ointment, followed by a greasy ointment like petroleum jelly, then dressing in wet pajamas, followed by dry pajamas, allowing the skin to soak in the moisture.
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Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Eczema
Yes. Take your child to see your GP if your child:
- might have eczema for the first time
- is very itchy and uncomfortable
- has eczema thats weeping or bleeding
- has eczema that hasnt improved much after a few days, even though youve been treating it as usual
- is having trouble sleeping because the rash is so itchy
- has painful or eczema that has developed pus
- has eczema and is generally unwell for example, has a fever and/or is sweating, feeding poorly or tired.
You should also take your child to the GP if youre not sure whether the rash is eczema.
If your childs eczema doesnt improve with a combination of medical treatment and management at home, your GP might refer your child to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs eczema might be from allergies, they might also refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist.
The Difference Between Child And Adult Eczema
There is very little difference between child eczema and adult eczema. The main difference is the frequency with which flare-ups occur. As your child grows older, their skin becomes thicker and less sensitive. And with the right ongoing treatment, the occurrence of eczema flare-ups can be reduced.
So now that you know a bit about eczema, what causes flare-ups, and the difference between baby, child, and adult eczema, lets turn our attention to treatment and prevention.
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Causes Of Baby Eczema
Eczema shows up as a dry, itchy rash that can become very rough, flaky or scaly. There are a few different types, including seborrheic dermatitis, which can cause cradle cap in infants. While there is no cure for eczema, it is possible to keep symptoms under control by avoiding certain environmental triggers like rough fabrics, soaps and certain allergens. Check out our Eczema Dermclass to learn more about what may be causing your babys eczema flare-ups.
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.
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Prevent Skin Damage Caused By Scratching
Constant scratching can break the skin. To prevent bleeding and an infection, dermatologists recommend the following:
Keep your child’s nails short: Checking nails after your child’s bath lets you know when the nails need trimming.
Cover itchy skin: When skin is covered, children seem less likely to scratch. When dressing your child, be sure to:
Dress your child in lose-fitting clothes made from a soft, natural fiber-like cotton, a cotton blend, silk, or bamboo.
Consider using eczema mittens and eczema sleeves.
Eczema mittens can be effective when eczema flares on your baby’s face. Your baby may still scratch, but the scratching will cause less damage because the fingernails cannot dig into the skin.
Itch relief can be fickle
You may find that a technique works one day and not the next. If one technique fails, try another.
Related AAD resources
ReferencesEichenfield, LF, Tom WL, et al. Part 2: Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical therapies. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul 71:116-32.
Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014: 71 1218-33.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
What Is Childhood Eczema
Eczema is a genetic condition that causes the hydrolipidic layer that covers your childs skin to become thin in certain spots and eventually break down. This protective layer does two things:
- It prevents moisture from evaporating.
- It protects skin from external irritation.
So when a small hole in the hydrolipidic layer develops, it allows moisture to escape and allergens to come in contact with the deeper layers of your childs skin. When that happens, a flare-up is likely to occur, causing your childs skin to become red, swollen, and itchy.
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Does My Child Have Eczema
Eczema can look different at different ages:
- Babies usually have a rash on their face and neck which may weep and crust.
- Children often have a dry rash, characteristically in the creases of knees and elbows, around the mouth, neck, wrists and ankles.
- From age 12, the it may be more widespread and severe.
When the skin is red, dry and itchy, it is known as a âflare-upâ. It is common for the severity of eczema to change, sometimes it is very mild and other times it gets worse. Between flare-ups, people with eczema tend to have dry sensitive skin.
See your doctor to diagnose your childâs rash, as other skin conditions can look similar to eczema. Your doctor will examine the rash, ask you about how and when it began, and ask whether other family members have noticed a similar rash. This is because while not contagious, eczema may have a genetic basis and does tend to run in families. A child with eczema often has one or more relative with eczema or a related condition, such as asthma, hay fever or allergic conjunctivitis.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
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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
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When Can I Stop Treatment For An Eczema Rash
Once your child’s skin is no longer itchy and the areas of rash are smooth and soft, you can start to use the medicines less often. It is common for the skin to be discolored after the rash flare heals, but the color will naturally normalize over time. However, since eczema is an ongoing skin problem, it is important to continue your routine of gentle skin care and use of moisturizers every day to minimize future flares and infections.
How To Treat And Prevent Childhood Eczema
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin problem that can affect newborns, babies, children, and adults. Symptoms include dry, red, itchy skin that can flare up in the presence of a number of allergens and environmental factors.
In babies, eczema flare-ups can first appear between birth and three months. With the right treatment, those flare-ups will eventually disappear, but the potential for future flare-ups will always remain. For children, then, prevention is the key to keeping these uncomfortable dry, itchy patches at bay.
But what exactly is eczema? What causes flare-ups to occur? And what is the difference between baby, child, and adult eczema? The experts at Mustela will answer all those questions and give you seven steps to treat and prevent your childs eczema flare-ups.
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What Triggers My Childs Eczema Or Causes It To Get Worse
Some of the most common eczema triggers include:
Even your babys stuffed animals may be a trigger for eczema
- Allergens such as pet dander, pollen or dust
Your childs eczema may be worse in the winter when the air is dry. Saliva from drooling can also cause irritation on your babys cheeks, chin and neck.
The best way to manage your childs eczema is by getting to know their symptoms and triggers so that you can help keep it under control.
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What Is The Itch Scratch Cycle
Once the itch is felt, babies with scratch to try to relieve the itch. While a quick and temporary relief is felt, in babies with eczema, the skin feels more itchy. This leads to more scratching and then more itchiness. The skin will become inflamed and irritated. This cycle viciously continues so its important to knip the cycle in the bud before it gets out of hand.
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What Does Eczema Look Like
In babies with paler skin, when eczema is flaring the skin is red and itchy. In babies with darker skin, the irritated, itchy areas may be red but are more likely to show as darker patches. They may also appear paler around the front or back of knees or elbows.
When an area of darker skin is treated for eczema, it may become lighter and may take several months to return to the babys normal skin tone.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have symptoms of atopic eczema. Theyll usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions, such as:
- whether the rash is itchy and where it appears
- when the symptoms first began
- whether it comes and goes over time
- whether theres a history of atopic eczema in your family
- whether you have any other conditions, such as allergiesor asthma
- whether something in your diet or lifestyle may be contributing to your symptoms
Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and 3 or more of the following:
- visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees at the time of examination by a health professional
- a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
- generally dry skin in the last 12 months
- a history of asthma or hay fever children under 4 must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has 1 of these conditions
- the condition started before the age of 2