Are You A Parent Of Childhood Eczema?
Childhood eczema is extremely common (also known as atopic dermatitis). In fact, most people diagnosed with eczema, experience symptoms within the first five years of life. Being a parent, you understand how difficult it can be, to get your little one to avoid scratching the itch associated with the condition. Also, we all know that, kids can be mean.
Having your child, made fun of, or bullied, due to flare ups, not only upsets you, but tarnishes their self esteem. Don’t let that happen! Let’s take a further look at tips to avoid scratching and other parental tips below.
Tips to Avoid Scratching:
Trim your child’s nails short.
This will prevent their ability of tearing the skin open, if they do scratch. Because infection is a concern, this is critical in avoiding it.
Say NO to bubble baths!
Bubble baths, have long been a rubber ducky haven of fun for little ones. However, due to the surfactant soaps found in them, essential skin lipids can be removed from the skin’s barrier. This results in a worsening of eczema rashes.
Pat your child’s skin dry.
Do not rub on the skin, as this can aggravate eczema flares.
Limit the frequency
And bathing times of your child. Use mild cleansers and soaps.
Avoid harsh toxins and irritants including:
sulfates, beeswax, oatmeal (likely due to the component of gluten), lanolin, fragrances, dyes, methylchloroisothiazolinone/MCI/MI, PEGs, parabens, peanuts and soy.
Read clothing labels.
Cotton, cotton blends and silk materials, are less irritating. Avoid wool!
Use detergents that are free of chemicals and irritants.
No fragrances! The free and clear detergents are the best options for eczema sufferers.
Do not use fabric softeners
Or dryer sheets! Both of these are known allergens.
Apply a cold compress
Or ice pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. This practice, will numb the itch, providing temporary relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin. This will result in freezer burn.
Sedating oral antihistamines
May be administered. They have been known to alleviate itching symptoms. However, due to the drowsiness component, these are best given before bedtime.
Moisturize skin frequently!
Because eczema is plagued by dry skin, it is important to moisturize. Choose products that are 100% hypoallergenic and free of harmful toxins and allergens. Ceramides will help the skin to repair itself, especially ceramide 3. Apply moisturizer at least twice per day. Use heavy creams and ointments for maximum moisture lock. Lotions will not be sufficient in providing ideal results.
Atopic dermatitis is associated with exposure to an allergen. For this reason, it is important for you to be aware of common allergens and monitor any reactions your child may be experiencing as a result of exposure to them. While food allergies are less likely to be the culprit (about 1 in 10), there are a few that have been linked to a worsening of symptoms.
Common Food Allergens:
- Wheat (gluten)
- Nuts and Seeds
If your child is exhibiting signs of childhood eczema and these tips are not helping to clear it up, speak with a dermatologist about it. They can help you to find the best skin care routine for your child. In some instances, topical steroid creams and antibiotics, may be necessary.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting is a board certified dermatologist who has dedicated her career to research and treatment of skin ailments. She blogs regularly at cherylleemd.com