Almost 10 million children under the age of 18 have atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.
Eczema can make your child’s skin feel irritated, itchy, dry, and inflamed. Eczema flare-ups cause unbearable rashes that bleed and ooze, usually due to your child’s attempt to ease their discomfort with scratching and rubbing.
During flare-ups you may also notice reddish brown or gray patches of skin, small raised bumps, and thickened skin that cracks. If your child is suffering from an eczema flare-up, Margaret Lubega, MD and our team at First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, are ready to help.
We can offer prescription medications and at-home tips to help your child feel more comfortable. Better yet, though, here are steps you can take to help prevent flare-ups.
Avoid possible household triggers
If your child has eczema, certain substances in your house can cause flare-ups. Keep a journal to track what causes your child irritation or just avoid common triggers like:
- Soaps with fragrances
- Scented lotions
- Laundry detergents
- Household cleaners
- Perfume and fragrance sprays
Dr. Lubega can recommend cleaning products, detergents, soaps, and lotions that are appropriate for people with sensitive skin. Gentle, natural products go a long way toward preventing eczema flare-ups.
Keep your child’s skin moisturized
Dry skin can quickly progress to a full-blown eczema flare-up. If you live in a dry climate or have dry winters, place a humidifier in your child’s bedroom to keep the air moist as they sleep.
Always apply an approved body lotion to your child’s skin after a bath. Creamy, thick ointments are sometimes preferred as they lock in moisture better. Moisturizing baths that contain a nonirritating oil or colloidal oatmeal can also soothe dry skin. Always pat your child dry after a bath or shower – rubbing irritates sensitive skin.
Dress your child appropriately
Eczema can flare if your child’s clothes are rough, tight, or made from an itchy fabric. Heavy, overly warm clothes may also cause them to sweat, resulting in a flare-up.
Dress your child in soft, gentle fabrics. Avoid wool, which can be particularly irritating. Let them wear loose-fitting outfits that don’t rub against their skin.
Help your child manage stress
Emotional stress is a potential trigger for eczema flare-ups. Help your child find downtime and ways to relax, especially if they feel overwhelmed by school or social situations. Massage, aromatherapy, or doing a calm activity that they enjoy, like reading or listening to soothing music, can help ease their mind and prevent skin flare-ups.
Avoid potential allergy triggers
Children with atopic dermatitis may find their condition flares when exposed to even the tiniest particles of allergens like pet dander, cigarette smoke, or dust.
Keep your home clean and dust often. Talk to us about getting your child tested for allergies to give you a better idea of what could be causing irritation and skin flare-ups.
If your child struggles with eczema, the team at First Pediatric Care Center is here to help. Call our office or click here to book your child’s appointment right now.