How To Treat Weeping Eczema
Once your health care team has confirmed you have weeping eczema, theyâll want to treat it. Your therapy will depend on what caused the disorder. Your doctor might suggest you use:
Antihistamines. You can get these drugs in pill form over-the-counter or as a prescription. Many people use them to treat allergies. They can also lessen itchiness from eczema.
Corticosteroids. These are topical medications that can treat itchiness and swelling. Your doctor may also prescribe an oral steroid for eczema. Corticosteroids work by lowering the production of chemicals that lead to inflammation. This will lessen tissue damage in your body. These drugs reduce your immune systemâs activity, which will also lead to less tissue damage.
Immunosuppressants. With eczema, your immune system is overactive. These drugs lower your bodyâs immune response and in turn, lessen inflammation.
You may need different treatment if other infections start due to your weeping eczema. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the proper medications in these cases.
To completely treat your weeping eczema, youâll need medication. But to ease the symptoms, you can also try home remedies such as:
Baths. Colloidal oatmeal is a ready-to-use, FDA-approved soothing agent. You can take an oatmeal bath to ease symptoms from weeping eczema.
Vitamins and supplements. These can help lower inflammation or help overall eczema symptoms. It may be helpful to add vitamin D, vitamin B12, and fatty acids to your routine.
What Are Symptoms Of Weeping Eczema
With weeping eczema, blisters will ooze and cause your skin to be wet. Once the fluid dries, itâll cause a yellow or orange layer of crust over your skin. This usually happens in areas where eczema is common, like where your skin bends . But weeping eczema can happen anywhere on your body.
There are many different symptoms of weeping eczema. You might have common signs, including:
Which Foods May Trigger Eczema
When you have a food allergy, your body reacts to a harmless treat as if it’s a dangerous germ and attacks. Symptoms — like swelling — are side effects of your body’s defenses.
Eczema doesn’t seem to be an allergic condition, but reactions from food can make it worse in some kids. Itâs more likely in babies and young children.
Some foods are more likely to bring symptoms. The common offenders are:
While trigger foods can make eczema worse, experts don’t think theyâre really the original cause. Instead, it seems to result from “leakiness” in the outer layer of skin that lets in irritants, germs, and allergens.
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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.
What Caused My Babys Eczema
There is no single cause of atopic eczema. Eczema is a complex condition it is genetic but also involves an overactive immune response to environmental factors, which cause eczema flares. Because the atopic gene is hereditary, it runs in families, and is responsible for three conditions: eczema, asthma and hay fever.
Fifty per cent of people with eczema have an additional genetic element a difference in a skin protein called filaggrin which leads to further problems in the skin barrier. All atopic conditions can be linked to allergies in some people, but there are also many universal irritants, such as soap and heat.
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Baby Eczema And Cradle Cap Symptoms
- 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.
What Causes Infant And Toddler Eczema
As stated above, eczema is a mixture of dry skin and allergies. The cause is mainly genetic an inborn tendency toward dry skin and allergies. There is no way to change these genetics. The important issue is not what causes eczema in the first place, but what allergens and skin irritants your child is exposed to that are triggering the flare-ups.
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Is There A Cure For Eczema
Eczema is a chronic condition, and there is no cure currently. It is more common in children, and symptoms often lessen in adulthood.
However, adults can also develop eczema, which is often more severe than childhood forms of the condition. Adult eczema typically involves periods of flare-ups when it is worse and periods of remission when it gets better.
Because doctors cannot cure the condition, treatments focus on a person managing symptoms. Doctors can also recommend that someone with eczema make changes to their everyday life to avoid key triggers.
Instructions To Soak And Seal
Dont limit moisturizing to just bath time. Slather it on your child throughout the day whenever their skin starts to itch or feel dry. Try using an ointment or a cream rather than a lotion and apply it with your palms, stroking lightly in a downward direction.
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What Does It Look Like
The signs of eczema in infants include itchy, dry and scaly skin, redness and swelling of the skin and small bumps that open and weep when scratched. In infants and young children, eczema is usually found on the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees.
In older children and adults, eczema tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, and on the back of the knees.Keep in mind that all patches of dry skin are not eczema. The cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can dry all babies skin in winter, causing dry patches. In children prone to dry skin, so can the sun, air conditioning, and pool and salt water.
We dermatologists usually say if its not itchy, its not eczema you cant make a diagnosis of eczema unless there is an itchiness that goes with the rash. Babies with cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, can also have a wide-spread rash, which is not eczema in itself. But it is common for cradle cap and eczema to co-exist in the first several months of life.
What Doesnt Cause Eczema
Eczema is not contagious. You can’t catch eczema by coming in contact with someone who has it.
Eczema is not an allergic reaction. Even so, a large number of children who have eczema also have food allergies. That doesn’t mean that certain foods such as dairy, eggs, and nuts — common food allergy triggers in children with eczema — cause it or make it worse. Before removing particular foods from your child’s diet, talk with your doctor to be sure your child’s nutritional needs will be met.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis In A Child
Symptoms may come and go, or occur most or all of the time. Any area of the body may be affected. In babies, symptoms usually affect the face, neck, scalp, elbows, and knees. In children, symptoms usually affect the skin inside the elbows, on the back of the knees, the sides of the neck, around the mouth, and on the wrists, ankles, and hands.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
Dry, scaly skin
Pale skin on the face
Small, raised bumps that may become crusty and leak fluid if scratched
Rough bumps on the face, upper arms, and thighs
Darkened skin of eyelids or around the eyes
Skin changes around the mouth, eyes, or ears
Raised, red areas
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
There are several natural treatments that have been shown to be effective controlling eczema symptoms. Many of these studies looked the effects on adults, so be sure to consult with your childs doctor prior to starting any natural treatments for eczema.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
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When To Call A Doctor
Make the call if your babyâs eczema doesnât begin to get better within a week of starting over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. It may be time for a prescription medicine.
Also check with your doctor if yellow or light brown crust or pus-filled blisters appear on top of the eczema. This could be the sign of a bacterial infection that needs antibiotics.
You should call your doctor if your baby is around anyone who has cold sores or genital herpes. Eczema can make your little one more likely to pick up those germs.
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 ‘flare-up’. 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 child’s 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.
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Causes Of Atopic Eczema
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but its clear it is not down to one single thing.
Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. Atopic means sensitivity to allergens.
It can run in families, and often develops alongside other conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather.
Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.
You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Allergy tests are not usually needed, although theyre sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.
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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Have Your Kids Play Outside And Get A Little Dirty
According to the Hygiene Hypothesis, sanitary conditions have disrupted the delicate balance between our bodys inner ecology and the balance of the type of immune cells we produce. Interestingly, as a result of our current lifestyle, we are not getting colonized with some important bacteria, leading to poorly maintained gut integrity and subsequent immune system dysregulation.
An easy solution to this is to encourage your kids to play outside, get dirty and play with other kids, avoid antimicrobial chemicals for handwashing, and simply wash with plain soap and water.
Apply A Sunscreen Before Your Child Goes Outside
To protect your childs skin from becoming irritated by the sun, always apply a sunscreen before they go outside. Even better yet, we recommend following the below steps:
- Apply an emollient first .
- Cover your childs skin with a high-SPF sunscreen like Mustelas SPF 50+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen. Be sure to reapply often if your child will be outside for more than 2 hours.
- Finish by dressing your child in long pants, long sleeves, and a wide-brimmed hat.
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What Does Eczema Look Like In Children
- Dry skin your child will have slightly dry skin with a rough texture. You may be able to see and feel tiny white bumps as you run your fingers across the skin.
- Dry patches you may see scattered, scaly, dry, white patches anywhere on the body.
- Flare-ups from time to time you will see some areas of the skin become more irritated and flare up due to eczema. These will look like raised, red, slightly oozing patches. Flare-ups generally occur near skin creases most commonly the inside of the elbows and behind the knees, but also in the neck, wrists and hands, and feet. An eczema rash can also occur on the trunk. One unique aspect of eczema is that it usually does not affect the diaper area.
How Can I Help My Child Live With Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis has no cure. But it will usually get better or go away as your child gets older. There may be times when your child has few or no symptoms. And he or she may have times when symptoms get worse. This is called a flare-up. To help prevent flare-ups, make sure your child:
Stays away from triggers. Common triggers include irritants such as wool, soap, or chemicals. Other triggers include allergens such as eggs, dust mites, or pet dander. Stress is also a trigger.
Doesnt scratch the skin. Try to keep your child from scratching. It can cause symptoms to get worse. It can also cause infection.
Always has short fingernails. Trim or file your childs nails to keep them short and prevent scratching.
Takes baths or showers with warm, not hot, water. Air dry or gently dry the skin afterward.
Uses moisturizers. Put creams or ointments on after bathing.
Wears soft clothing. Dont dress your child in wool or other rough fabric.
Keeps cool. Try to keep your child as cool as possible. Getting hot and sweating can make him or her more uncomfortable.
Doesnt get the smallpox vaccine. Its not a common vaccine, but people with atopic dermatitis should not get the smallpox vaccine.
Talk with your child’s healthcare provider about other ways to help your childs skin condition.
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How To Use Topical Corticosteroids
Do not be afraid to apply the treatment to affected areas to control your eczema.
Unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
This will give details of how much to apply.
Most people only have to apply it once a day as there’s no evidence there’s any benefit to applying it more often.
When using a topical corticosteroid:
- apply your emollient first and ideally wait around 30 minutes until the emollient has soaked into your skin, or apply the corticosteroid at a different time of day
- apply the recommended amount of the topical corticosteroid to the affected area
- continue to use it until 48 hours after the flare-up has cleared so the inflammation under the skin surface is treated
Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is designed to help prevent flare-ups.
This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.
Preventing Eczema In Babies With Dry Skin
Does your baby have flaky, irritated, cracked skin? About 1 in 5 kids gets eczema. For some, its the first symptom of a lifetime of allergies. Infants who have eczema are more likely to develop hay fever and asthma later. Doctors refer to this type of allergic disease progression as atopic march. How you treat your babys eczema could make all the difference.
We believe that cracked skin is the entry point for food allergens, such as peanuts and eggs. Food can get into the skin off the table or off people who eat these foods and then kiss or touch the baby. When the food comes through the skin, it causes an allergic reaction, says Donald Leung, MD, PhD, head of pediatric allergy and clinical immunology at National Jewish Health in Denver.
Doctors dont fully understand what causes eczema. They believe genetics and the childs environment each play a role. But parents can help repair their babys broken skin barrier and prevent allergens from getting in. This could stop development of future allergies.
In babies, eczema usually shows up as an itchy, red patch on the cheeks, chin, or scalp and the front of arms and legs. If you see these signs, Leung recommends the soak and seal method.
Gently bathe your baby in lukewarm water with a gentle cleanser free of soap. Dont scrub irritated skin. Allow your baby to soak for at least 5 minutes.
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