Eczema is an itchy skin condition that can start from a young age and last until late adolescence. It can come and go for periods of time so while your child may suffer really bad one day he or she might find relief the next week.
Kids are more inclined to get eczema if it is in the family or if hay fever and asthma are common. Where the eczema is located and its appearance can change as your child grows. It often appears dry and the skin may have thick prominent skin lines.
There are three types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, seborrhoea and contact dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis affects kids whose family have a history of it. The rash is usually dry and the skin can become irritated and scaly. Seborrhea usually only affects children under two and is not itchy but can be dry and flaky. Contact dermatitis occurs when your child’s skin comes into contact with products or materials that irritate the skin. The skin can sometimes have raised vesicles.
If you think your child has eczema they will have a red skin rash with crusty patches that are prone to infection. It may become weepy and oozes out fluid if it becomes infected. The best way to treat it is to limit your child’s contact with dust, pollen, detergents and anything else that may irritate the skin. Bathing too often can dry out the skin so a bath once a week is plenty. A moisturising cream will help to ease the itch and encourage them to drink plenty of water.
If it becomes severe your child’s GP may be able to recommend an antihistamine. While it may be hard to, make sure your child doesn’t scratch as it can tear the skin which can bring about infection. If the itch becomes unbearable get your child to rub the area with a glove on to limit the damage to the skin. If your child’s eczema becomes infected take them to the doctor to get it checked out.