Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It's common in children. The child eczema treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, prescription topical medications, phototherapy, and immunosuppressants. They are also suitable for infants and toddlers.
The first step you can take to prevent that from happening is to avoid anything you know is likely to prompt a flare
. Common triggers for eczema include harsh soaps, dust mites, foods your child may be allergic to (often kids with eczema also have seasonal allergies or asthma), overheating and sweating, and wool and polyester clothing.
The second strategy for preventing eczema flares is to keep your child's skin moist and supple
. Overly dry skin is like an open invitation for eczema to settle in, so do all you can to prevent it.Here are the steps to take:
- Give your child a daily bath. Use lukewarm water and a mild, moisturizing soap or soap substitute. Hot water and harsh soaps can exacerbate dry skin. Keep him in the water for 10 minutes or so.
- Lather on the moisturizer. Do this as soon as you lift your little one out of the tub. Blot him with a towel so he's isn't dripping wet, but don't rub him completely dry. Apply moisturizer while his skin is still damp—within two or three minutes. If you're also using a topical medication, apply that first.
- Choose the right product. A greasy ointment, such as petroleum jelly, will work best. Some creams can do the trick, but steer clear of lotions and oils. You may have to try a variety of products to find the one that works best for your child. If you can't find an over-the-counter product you like, your pediatrician may prescribe a non-steroidal cream.
- Moisturize multiple times. Besides after a bath, grease up your kid at least once or twice more during the day.
The only way to be sure what type of eczema your child has is to make an appointment with your doctor.
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