Atopic Eczema is a condition which can make your child’s skin very dry, itchy, inflamed and sometimes it may be associated with some oozing and crusting. Now, there is no defined cause for eczema, however, it can occur in families implying that there is some genetic predisposition. There are many triggering factors that can flare up Eczema such as dry skin or excessive sweating, perfumed soaps, lotions and shampoos, harsh clothes detergent, cloth softener and disinfectant liquids, scratchy clothes made out of wool or other synthetics, viral colds, coughs and other physical and emotional stresses.
The areas affected varies with the age. Now, the infantile phase, it begins between 1-6 months of age and it can last up to 2-3 years. It can involve the cheeks, the scalp, trunk and extremities. Now, in the childhood phase, this occurs between the ages of 4-10 years and typically seen in the wrists, the ankles, the elbows and the knee creases. Now in adults, it begins around age 12 and can last indefinitely involving the outer surface of the hands and feet, in between the fingers and toes, in addition to the creases of the knees and the elbows.
The mainstay of treatment involves, avoiding the trigger factors by using perfume free soaps, mild detergents, cotton clothes etc. Minimize bathing a used soaps sparingly in order to preserve the natural skin oils. Use lukewarm water and always pat dry after bath. Hydration and lubrication with non-perfumed cream based moisturizers is to be re-applied at least 2-3 times a day. Antihistamines can be prescribed by your doctor to relieve itching. Topical steroids that is steroid you can apply over the affected area, maybe prescribed in more severe cases.
When to call a doctor?
Now, when to go see your doctor? If the rash is very itchy and causing much discomfort to your child or if the area of redness is expanding around the rashes and gets warm to touch, if there is oozing or crusting with or without fever, do see your doctor for any of these signs as it may indicate a secondary infection. Also, if the symptoms are recurrent, see your doctor or a dermatologist to help, manage and minimize the eczema flare-ups.
– Ovum Hospital Team