The term eczema is very broad and actually can mean a handful of different skin conditions that causes the skin to get red and irritated, to various intensities. The most common cause of eczema is atopic dermatitis. The term “atopic” means when a person is sensitive to allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, pet dander, and certain foods. “Dermatitis” means inflamed skin.
Eczema often starts in childhood—about 1 in 10 kids develop the condition. Some doctors say that kids can be predisposed to get eczema through a familial history of hay fever, asthma or other allergies. It has also been linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to unknown triggers; however, the exact cause of eczema is unknown.
” alt=”” width=”345″ height=”241″ hspace=”5″ />Symptoms include:
- Dry, scaly skin
- Small bumps
- Raised rashes
- Commonly in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, backs of wrists and ankles
Although there is no real cure for eczema, many kids outgrow their eczema or their conditions improve with age. On a side note, eczema is not contagious so there is no need to isolate a child with the condition.
When eczema flares up, there are topical steroids to help relieve the itching and redness. These range from mild hydrocortisone creams to stronger creams such as triamcinolone and mometasone. There are also steroid-free medications called immunomodulators. For more difficult cases of eczema, there are other treatments available. Consult your physician for further details.
It is recommended to apply moisturizers on top of the other topical medications and also take long baths to add moisture to the skin. Eczema might worsen during winter due to the dryness. Lastly, people with eczema are more prone to skin infections, so they may have to take an antibiotic in addition to the eczema treatments.