Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a type of skin disease that primarily happens to infant and children under the age of 12 years old. It is a chronic recurring condition which has signs and symptoms that are very specific involving skin redness, itching and burning sensation, sometimes with swelling. 10-20% of children suffer with this disease.
The risk of a child getting eczema is affected by some factors that include one or both parents having allergy or eczema, the child has dry or sensitive skin, and irritans (industrial chemical substances, processed food, or other foreign allergents.
Tips for Parents of Children with Eczema
Bathe the child for 15 – 20 minutes twice a day with warm water. Don’t use hot water because it may dry the skin and worsen the condition. Use soap or cleanser that moistures the skin with no fragrance and coloring, such as mild soap and baby soap. After bath, keep the skin hydrated by applying moisturizer, lanolin-based or water-based lotion.
Avoid dressing the child in clothes made from wool or other allergen fabrics. The coarse nature of the fabrics can cause repeated frictions and only make the skin condition worse. Sweating excessively can also trigger skin irritation. Wipe off the sweat using clean towel and change the clothes immediately.
Other tip to prevent further skin irritation from eczema is to pay attention to the formula milk given to the child. Formulas without “hypoallergenic” label may cause the child to have an allergic reaction. Also, avoid providing food that contains egg, seafood, and cow milk. For breastfeeding mothers, make sure to consume safe food. Try to avoid allergy-potential food, such as egg, seafood, nuts, cow milk, and flour.
Tips for Parents of Babies with Eczema
A bath can help restore the moisture on the baby’s skin and get rid of bacteria that can cause infections. Bathe the baby for only 5 – 10 minutes. After that, dry the baby’s body by gently patting the body using a clean towel. Don’t rub the skin because the frictions may cause a drier skin.
Moisturize the baby’s skin twice a day, every post-bath. It can help relieve itching and dryness problems of eczema. Thick cream usually works best against cold weather, while light moisturizer is great in hot weather. If the doctor prescribed the baby with cream or ointment for the itching, apply the medication before the moisturizer.
Select the right baby products. Try a small amount before using it completely to test the baby’s resistance. If there is no allergic reaction or the eczema is not getting worse, then the product is safe to use. Skin irritation might be worse by scratching .Don’t let the baby scratch the skin. Protect the baby from scratches by attaching mittens. But this trick can only apply to younger infants.
On older babies, keep the fingernails neatly trimmed, so scratches by tiny fingernails can be avoided. A hard detergent can also cause skin irritation and itching, so wash baby clothes with mild detergents. A laundry softener or fragrance is not necessary, because its synthetic fragrant may cause allergic reactions to the baby.