Dealing with Eczema in Childhood

Dealing with eczema is never easy and can be really tough, especially for young kids. It is comforting to know, about 5 percent of children suffer with some form of dermatitis. Looking back now, i realise how patient my mom was with me. I would scratch day and night, be in pain and have temper tantrums. As a parent you don't always know what to do but being patient, sympathetic and loving goes along way.

Here are some helpful ideas you can start taking action on, when dealing with eczema in childhood.

  • Establish a Bedtime Routine

Children often have trouble sleeping because their skin gets warm and itchy at night. So apply moisturizer at least 20 minutes before bedtime, and adjust the thermostat to a cool setting. Use cotton sheets and a light comforter and keep all pets out of the bedroom. Consider using an ice pack wrapped up in a t-shirt.

  • Avoid Eczema Triggers

If your child has dermatitis, it is important that he or she avoids certain known triggers. Common eczema triggers include pollens, pollution, dust mites, heat, sun, cold air, animal hair, soaps, detergents, wool clothing, certain foods, infections, and stress. Once i knew what my triggers were, that was half the battle won… but only half.

  • Prevent Scratching

One of the major issues with childhood eczema is the urge to scratch. If you child is prone to scratching, teach him or her to do something else instead, such as applying pressure to the affected area. Also, praise the child for not scratching. Keep nails short to lessen the damage to skin and dress the child in cool, soft cotton clothing. I used to bandage certain areas, so there was a barrier between my finger nails and the skin.

  • Alter the Diet

Dermatitis typically begins around the age of six months, and around 10 percent of infant eczema is triggered by certain foods, such as citrus fruit, eggs, milk, chocolate, peanuts, and food colorings. If you think your child's diet is worsening the eczema, consider seeking advice from your doctor and have an allergy test to identify the troublesome foods. Once i had had an allergy test, it was a great leap forward and then i just had to alter my diet.

  • Avoid Excessive Bathing

Another tip for those dealing with eczema: bubble baths are known to make eczema worse, as are frequent, regular soap baths. Experts advise that you wash a baby or young child only twice each week, and only cleanse the face, hands, and bottom daily. Be sure to use fragrance-free soaps and shampoos, and avoid hot water.

  • Use a Humidifier

Dry air in the home and bedroom exacerbates many skin conditions, particularly dermatitis. If your child's skin is excessively dry and flaky, remedy this situation by using an air humidifier. These devices add moisture back into the air, which absorbs readily into the skin. Portable humidifiers can be used in the bedroom, along with those that attach to the furnace or heating system.

  • See a Doctor

If you suspect your baby or child has eczema, or that the diagnosed skin condition is getting worse, consult with a doctor. Each case of childhood eczema is treated differently, so ask the doctor which moisturizers, emollients, creams, and ointments are effective. Also, if the child's skin starts to seep liquid or form pus, this could indicate an infection. The doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics to the child.

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