Finding out that your child has eczema, a chronic dry skin condition, can be life changing. If the condition goes unmanaged, your child can experience immense irritation, pain and even infections. It’s important to enter them into a care routine as soon as possible, particularly if their condition is severe. You can manage eczema in a variety of ways, from using topical creams prescribed by your doctor to avoiding anything that might trigger a flare up. Each child will respond differently to different treatments and management techniques.
Creams and Moisturisers
You should always make sure you get an eczema diagnosis from your doctor. Once you have, they may prescribe you a topical cream to help treat the condition. These will range from prescription-only steroid creams to over-the-counter moisturisers designed for eczema. Usually your care routine will involve a combination of these creams. Steroid ointments are available in different strengths, and you may use them for a short time or as part of a daily skincare routine.
A good bathing routine helps to treat your child’s dry skin and to prevent infection. Some doctors recommend that babies and children with eczema have daily baths. This is to wash away residue from treatments and keep their skin clean. However, others warn against bathing too frequently, to avoid drying out the skin. You should work out which is best for your child. It may be that you need to bathe them more often when it’s warm but less in the winter.
Bedtime is often a cause of stress for children with eczema and their parents. Children can become hotter at bedtime, and their skin becomes more irritated. Help to prevent this by keeping their bedroom cool and using cotton sheets or a light duvet made from natural fibres. Leave adequate time between using moisturisers and going to bed to leave time for them to soak in. Scratch mittens can be helpful at bedtime to stop your child scratching themselves in their sleep.
To avoid eczema flare-ups, when the eczema becomes particularly irritated, you should check for anything that sets them off. Often there are food triggers that can bring on a flare up, so check your child’s diet. Babies often develop eczema at around six month’s old, when they begin to eat solid food. Food allergies cause about 10% of cases. Some common triggers are eggs, milk, citrus fruits, chocolate and colourings. Pollen can also cause eczema to flare up, as can using certain bath products or laundry detergents. The temperature can also play a factor since hotter skin becomes more irritated. Other triggers include pet hair and dust mites.
Treating eczema is not just about applying an ointment or cream to reduce the symptoms. Managing the condition is something that should become a part of your everyday routine. From choosing your child’s meals carefully to daily baths, treating eczema is an ongoing task. You should combine prevention with treatment to ensure the best care for your child.