By Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates
January 19, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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EczemaIt’s normal for a child to get a rash at one time or another. But one common type of rash known as eczema can be especially troubling.  Eczema refers to many types of skin inflammation, with atopic dermatitis being one of the most common forms of eczema to develop during a baby’s first year.  

You may first notice signs that your child has eczema as early as one to four months of age, appearing as a red, raised rash usually on the face, behind the knees and in the bends of elbows.  The rash is typically very itchy, and with time, may spread and / or  lead to an infection. The patches can range from small and mild to extremely itchy, which may make a small child irritable.

While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the tendency to have eczema is often inherited.  Allergens or irritants in the environment, such as winter weather, pollen or certain foods, can trigger the rash. For most infants and small children, eczema improves during childhood. In the meantime, however, parents should help reduce the triggers that cause eczema outbreaks and control the itch to prevent infection.

Managing Eczema 

While there is no cure for eczema at this time, there is treatment. Talk to your Pediatric provider at Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates  about ways to alleviate itching and reduce the rash. Minimizing how often a child scratches the rash is especially important as the more the child scratches, the greater the risk of infection.

To prevent flare-ups and help your child cope with eczema, parents should follow these tips:

  • Under your doctor’s direction you can use an antihistamine to relieve itching and reduce scratching.
  • Minimize nighttime itching by having child sleep in long-sleeved clothing.
  • Apply anti-inflammatory medications, like 1% hydrocortisone, under your doctor's direction to reduce inflammation.
  • Use mild soaps, for example Dove Sensitive, Tone or Caress ( among others) during bathing, and avoid frequent, hot baths, as it will dry out the child’s skin.
  • Speak with your child's healthcare provider about the " Soak and Seal" method of moisturizing the skin.
  • Avoid triggers that aggravate eczema, such as rapid changes in temperature, abrasive wash cloths, wool clothing, and for some childre specific foods or allery exposures. 

Many kids will outgrow atopic dermatitis, but it is still important to treat the condition right away to keep it from getting worse. Work with team at Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates to find the best combination of skin care strategies and medications to ease the itch and inflammation and keep infection at bay.