Eczema develops in children by the time they are 5 years old. Eczema is basically a rash. Normally it is red, itchy, and may be in the form of small bumps. Some children experience few flare up while others have an outbreak often. There are many factors which can cause eczema to flare up such as winter weather, dry skin, dust, mold, pet dander, harsh soaps or detergents, certain fabrics, sweating, heat, and stress. Children will mostly scratch or rub the affected area which will worsen the condition.
Three of my four boys have eczema which would sometimes get pretty bad when it flared up. In the past I would often have to turn to the pediatrician for prescription creams such as cortisone or steroid ointments. I was determined to learn ways to help prevent eczema flares and keep the situation under control. Once I started following a few simple practices I was able to reduce the flare ups and avoid the doctor’s office almost entirely. Every child’s condition is different, severe cases of eczema require the attention and monitoring of a qualified physician. It is important to know that eczema is not contagious but can be uncomfortable for your child. Hopefully these tips will help your family take control of eczema flare ups.
1. If you use a static sheet in your laundry either eliminate it or change to product which is “free” of scents.
2. Change your laundry detergent as well to a “free” of scents product. I switched to a “free” product and within weeks saw an improvement.
3. Use gentle soaps in the bath and shower
4. Teach your child (if old enough) to pat themselves dry rather than rubbing with the towel after bathing.
5. Moisturize with a scent free and alcohol free lotion (or one especially for eczema) immediately after bathing. Extra moisturizing may be needed during winter months.
6. Avoid hot baths or showers. Hot water can cause drying, try keeping the temperature warm.
7. If an eczema flare occurs try a warm bath with an oatmeal soak to add moisture and help keep the itching down.
8. Try to stick with cotton clothing to allowing “breathing.”
9. Have your child drink plenty of water which will add moisture to the skin.
10. Keep your child well rested and stress free.
The more you can keep your child from itching during a flare the better. Itching can cause bacteria to get into the rash, which can turn into an infection. If your child has a mild case but during a flare up has a fever, has bumps which are fluid filled, has sores which look at cold sores or fever blisters, or symptoms are out of the ordinary you should contact your doctor immediately.