More than 31 million people in the United States have eczema. The condition usually peaks in childhood, which is why Dr. Margaret Lubega of First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, specializes in helping families manage this itchy skin condition.
Dr. Lubega helps you identify eczema triggers and offers medical treatments like topical steroids and over-the-counter ointments. She also helps parents learn how to manage eczema symptoms at home.
Here are some of her recommendations.
Moisturize your child’s skin
Children who have eczema typically have dry skin. Eczema causes defects in the skin barrier that protects your child from irritants, viruses, bacteria, and viruses. The skin barrier also keeps moisture from getting out. Eczema causes inflammation and dryness in this outer barrier that causes itchiness, pain, and discomfort.
Dr. Lubega can recommend a gentle moisturizer that relieves dry skin without aggravating your child’s eczema. Apply moisturizer right after bath or shower time.
Place a humidifier in your child’s room
If you live in a dry climate with little natural humidity, a humidifier can help. This device adds moisture to the air to help keep your child’s skin from drying out. Dry skin makes the itch of eczema worse.
Skip bubble baths
Make bath time fun with toys, rather than bubbles. Bubble bath solutions are usually irritating and drying. Dr. Lubega can help you choose a gentle soap for cleaning your child’s skin.
Don’t scrub your child’s skin either; be gentle as you cleanse. If you want to put something “different” in your child’s bath, try oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, or baking soda. These additions have a healing effect on your child’s eczema.
When your child gets out of their bath or shower, pat their skin dry. Rubbing causes more irritation that aggravates eczema.
Itchy eczema drives your child to scratch. Persistent scratching causes breaks in your child’s skin, making them vulnerable to infection. Cut your child’s fingernails short and cover itchy areas with clothing so they’re discouraged from scratching.
Keep your child cool
Hot weather and warmer temperatures inside can make your child’s eczema feel extra itchy. Skip hot baths and go for lukewarm water instead. Cold packs can ease itching in sensitive areas of eczema. In the hot North Carolina summers, dress your child in light clothing and turn on the air conditioning.
Reduce your child’s stress
While it might seem that your child has few worries, don’t underestimate how much stress your child is under. School, sports, social events, and being a “good kid” can cause stress that aggravates the itchiness of eczema. Help your child find pleasing activities and healthy ways to manage stress. Dr. Lubega can help.
Know the signs of infection
If your child’s skin becomes infected, you should visit us at First Pediatric Care Center for treatment. Signs of infection include pain or swelling at sites of eczema. Pus or crusted-over scabs are other indications. If eczema looks like it’s spreading or worsening, be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Lubega.
If your child struggles with eczema, you can benefit from quality medical care and smart at-home care. Call us at First Pediatric Care Center or book an appointment online to get the guidance and support you need.