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Eczema and Children – Strategies for Clearing the Skin

Sometimes we can see babies or young children with small rashes on their faces and not think about it or what will happen in a couple of days. Since eczema only affects one in five children, it can be difficult to know how serious a skin condition really is initially. Your child may have eczema if their skin is extremely dry and itchy, swollen, and has bumps or patches.

Although eczema is not contagious, it is a genetic disorder caused by the immune system and can be caused by food allergies such as dairy products (especially foods made from cow’s milk), wheat, and nuts. Pay special attention to the child’s neck, back, wrists, and the outside of the elbows and knees. Also, see a pediatrician if there is any respiratory problem or fever, as your child may have a strep rash or a rash due to a bacterial infection.

The best treatment for the little ones is to use a very mild soap when bathing them. Keep skin moisturized with fragrance-free lotions and creams, and limit exposure to synthetic fabrics such as polyester, polyester blends, or any stretchy material. It also helps to keep as much dust out of your home as possible and to limit exposure to any household pets, as their hair is considered a common irritant. Hydration with a product free of preservatives and additives is useful. Oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and vitamin E can also be beneficial.

Finally, discourage scratching as it will only cause the skin to break, bleed and eventually become infected. If your pediatrician or other health professional recommends the use of a steroid cream to reduce skin breakouts, use it lightly and watch your child carefully, as it can cause thinning of the skin.

A large number of children will have some form of eczema by the time they are three years old. Many outgrow it on their first birthday. If there is a pattern of recurrence, try to see which allergens are at play and substitute foods for those commonly mentioned as possible irritants.

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January 25, 2022