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Eczema is an irritating skin condition that can cause red, itchy, inflamed skin to develop on the face, arms, and other body parts. In winter, more children get uncomfortable rash due to dry cold weather; you can help combat this problem before it gets out of hand. Affecting an estimated 10 to 20 percent of children, eczema is most noticeable during infancy, but it can also affect older children and adults. Children are often born with eczema. A family history of asthma or atopic dermatitis is one risk factor. They have a blood relative who has allergies to food or environmental substances such as pollen or pet dander. Some children are prone to developing dry skin, which also increases their susceptibility to eczema. If your child spends time in chlorinated pools regularly, it can further irritate his skin and increase his risk for this condition.
How many children are affected by eczema globally?
Eczema is a prevalent condition, and according to the World Allergy Organization (WAO), it affects up to 30 percent of infants and 10 percent of adults worldwide. It’s most prevalent in people from higher-income families living in urban areas, but it also occurs frequently among those living in poverty. Children who suffer from eczema often suffer from other allergic conditions such as asthma or hay fever.
What causes eczema?
Usually, the skin provides a barrier against irritants and allergens that can cause problems for your child. The causes of eczema are:
Allergic reactions can cause eczema, but allergies don’t always trigger the skin condition. Additionally, it’s possible to be allergic to something without having an allergy attack. Itching is often the main symptom of eczema, and this may be accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, dry or flaky skin, blisters or oozing sores, crusting around the eyes or mouth, reddened eyelids, swelling around the eyes (often called “allergic shiners”), scales on your child’s scalp that are either white-grayish in color or yellowish – similar to dandruff flakes (not head lice), and patches of thickened skin with shiny areas that appear scaly and crusted.
- Intolerance to certain foods
Eczema can be a symptom of dietary intolerance. Some children’s eczema may worsen after eating a food to which they are allergic or intolerant. Although eczema is not a life-threatening condition, you must try to identify and eliminate triggers for your child to reduce his discomfort and promote healthy skin development.
Hormonal fluctuations such as those experienced by women during menstruation and pregnancy can trigger eczema flare-ups in some cases. If your child develops patches of dry, scaly skin around the mouth during the perimenstrual period or when taking birth control pills, he might have eczema.
- Irritants or other substances
Certain environmental irritants can exacerbate eczema symptoms, including caffeine, cigarette smoke, certain fragrances, wool, and other scratchy clothing materials. Chlorine (in pools), non-chlorinated water (in hot tubs or bathtubs), soap that drys out the skin or is too harsh for your child’s sensitive skin to use regularly. Sometimes even the preservatives found in specific baby wipes might be irritating to your baby’s skin. However, some experts believe that washing hands often with harsh soaps may increase developing eczema.
The best approach to take is to identify triggers through food diary charts recording everything your child eats for at least two weeks. If you can determine certain foods that trigger your child’s allergic reaction, he should be tested for allergies or intolerances. The other triggers can be identified by spending time at home with your child as he plays and exploring the environment with him to see what makes his symptoms worse.
- Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is often a result of touching something that irritates the skin–insect bites, plant oils or sap from touching poisonous berries or poison ivy or oak, etc.–and then developing a rash on the body part that came in contact with the source of irritation. Eczema caused by this form of contact dermatitis will look similar to any other type of eczema. It will usually develop on the body parts where contact dermatitis occurs.
- Dry skin
Dry skin can contribute to eczema development if your child’s skin does not retain enough moisture and becomes very dry and flaky—this can be aggravated by changes in the weather (such as cold, windy days), washing hands frequently, or taking frequent baths (which may strip natural oils from your child’s skin). If your child has naturally dry skin, his symptoms might worsen during periods of illness such as a cold or flu, when he’s been exposed to the dry winter air, or after swimming in a pool for an extended period. Frequent moisturizing can help with this type of eczema.
You must identify and eliminate the source of your child’s eczema discomfort–identifying the triggers will allow you and your child to begin enjoying his time together again and help you determine the best course of treatment for your child.
What are the symptoms of eczema in children?
- Skin problems such as red, scaly patches
- Skin that becomes excessively dry and itchy
- Rashes or bumps on the skin, including blisters or welts
- Bags under the eyes
- Scrapes and cuts from scratching eczema areas of skin
- Skin infections due to a weakened immune system caused by eczema flares
Helping your child with eczema is an essential step in assisting them to have an everyday life again while enjoying their time with you! Here are some tips parents can follow to help their child with eczema:
- Apply Moisturizer
Moisturizing your child’s skin will help soothe irritated eczema patches and prevent the itching from getting worse. Moisturizers should be applied multiple times a day. It is necessary to test different types of moisturizers to see which one works best for your child, as each person’s skin is unique and may have a different reaction to certain products. Parents should also check the ingredients on moisturizers to ensure that nothing would irritate their child’s skin more, such as fragrances or other additives.
- Keep it clean
Removing your child from his eczema triggers is one of the best ways to improve his symptoms. For example, if exposure to cigarette smoke worsens your child’s eczema, ask visitors not to smoke when they are at your house with him. Also, keep your home well-ventilated and avoid heat sources like stoves or open flames. Parents should ensure their children avoid swimming in pools with chlorine because swimmers can absorb some of this chemical through their skin.
- Cover up your child’s skin
Clothing, blankets, and other textiles can trap moisture against your child’s skin if his moisturized skin rubs up against them or their fabrics are not breathable, which will worsen his symptoms. Find breathable, loose-fitting clothes made of cotton that do not irritate your child’s skin. Try also to avoid heat sources like open flames around your child when he’s wearing clothing since this could dry out his already dry skin even more. Also, be sure to apply an extra layer of Moisturizer before putting on any dress for your son or daughter.
- See your doctor
Your doctor will prescribe stronger medications if you notice that moisturizers alone are not managing your child’s symptoms. Remember, use the Moisturizer consistently even with prescription medications to reduce the risk of flares and outbreaks of eczema.
- Keep it cool
Some parents choose to bathe their children for shorter periods in lukewarm water instead of hot water because this could bring relief from itching discomfort. Find a comfortable temperature for your child, not cold or too hot, and pour some Moisturizer into the bathwater before getting started. Do not stay in the bathroom any longer than necessary since moisture can worsen eczema symptoms on dry skin.
- Stop them to scratch the rash
Some parents have successfully trained their children to recognize the signs and symptoms of itching, like your child constantly scratching his skin and directing them to stop themselves before they scratch themselves too much. It is a helpful self-management step that could reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes from scratching that can become breeding grounds for infections or lead to other problems. Remember, you should always continue applying Moisturizer even when your child attempts to stop scratching himself!
There are many ways you can help manage your child’s eczema by using Moisturizers regularly, covering up the skin. At the same time, it heals, keeping skin clean at all times, seeing your doctor if necessary, and avoiding triggers.
When to visit a skin doctor for your child’s eczema?
You must know when to visit a skin doctor for your child’s eczema. In most cases, if redness and swelling appear on the skin, it will be imperative that you see a skin doctor as soon as possible. Skin rashes often appear in the hands and feet of infants, which is why parents should pay close attention to any changes in these areas.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about what type of Moisturizer would be best for your child’s eczema problem and show them how well you have been applying them before every bath time. Your doctor will also let you know if any side effects of certain drugs could worsen or trigger a breakout in your child’s eczema condition.
What are the treatments available for eczema in children?
Your doctor can provide you with a number of treatments for your child’s eczema as well as recommendations for your lifestyle. Treatment suggested by skin doctor are:
You should find the best moisturizers for your child’s skin and keep them well hydrated. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a list of brands and types that are best suited for children with eczema.
- Antibacterial and antimicrobial agents
Sometimes, excessive scratching can result in cuts and scrapes, becoming an entry point for infections. These agents reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal growth on the skin, which could worsen your child’s eczema symptoms.
- Corticosteroids (steroid creams)
These medications help decrease inflammation by blocking inflammatory chemicals produced by cells near inflamed areas of the skin, such as redness, itching, swelling, and warmth.
- Corticosteroid pills
In cases where your child’s eczema symptoms are severe or if you have already tried using moisturizers and it has not been effective, your doctor might prescribe corticosteroids in the form of a pill.
Although side effects may include mood changes, weight gain, headaches, muscle weakness, and other issues that could be quite serious depending on how long you have been taking them. However, please note that these medications will not cure eczema but give temporary relief from symptoms you can also consider using the homeopathic treatment for eczema in children.
Benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for eczema in children:
- Homeopathic treatment is natural and safe for children, and you can start to see results in just a few weeks.
- Homeopathic treatment works by correcting the root cause of eczema not to return once you have stopped using it. It means that your child’s skin won’t be sensitive again in the future, unlike other treatments prescribed by dermatologists, which only treat eczema symptoms temporarily.
- Homeopathic treatment supports all organs involved in maintaining healthy skin, so you can expect it to work fast without any side effects.
- Homeopathic treatment has no contraindications and can be used for both adults and children and those taking other medications and treatments, and breastfeeding mothers.
- Homeopathic treatment is available in drops or tablets, which means application becomes hassle-free and easier to use compared with other options such as creams, lotions, gels, washes, etc., where you need to apply them after every bath time.
- The homeopathy remedies are very affordable, and you can purchase them for your entire family in just one order.
Aside from the skin rashes, there are other symptoms that you need to watch out for in kids who may have eczema. You can visit a homeopathy doctor for eczema on time so that it is not left untreated and you require immediate treatment. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!