More than 31 million people in the United States suffer from eczema, many of them children. If your child has the itchy, inflamed skin associated with eczema, winter can be a tough time.
Cold, dry air and indoor heating aggravate eczema, so your child may need a little extra skin care. Dr. Margaret Lubega and our team at First Pediatric Care Center want you and your child to have a happy winter season without major eczema complications.
Follow these recommendations when it comes to caring for your child’s eczema this winter.
It may be cold outside, but don’t turn up the heat on your child’s bath. Warm water keeps your child comfortable, but hot water is drying and aggravating to eczema.
Keep these baths brief, too. Don’t let your child hang out and play for more than 15 minutes or you risk drying out their skin and causing an eczema flare-up.
Apply moisturizer as soon as your child gets out of the tub. Dr. Lubega can recommend one that is thick and nourishing for sensitive skin. She may also recommend an ointment, which can be even more hydrating and less irritating.
It’s important that this emollient get to your child’s skin within three minutes of leaving the bath. Moisturize after handwashing and showers, too, and before bed.
Moisturize prior to applying any eczema medication.
Your child should be warm, but not so warm that they overheat. Layers are best, so you can add and subtract clothing as their temperature changes.
Use breathable fabrics like 100% cotton. Synthetics and wool can cause eczema to flare up.
Of course you want to keep your house warm, but settle on a temperature that doesn’t overheat your child. Discourage them from sitting close to heating vents, fireplaces, or radiators. The direct heat irritates the skin. Get a humidifier if the air in your home, especially in your child’s room, becomes too dry.
Again, dress your child warmly, but be mindful of not causing them to overheat with too many layers. Use mittens or gloves made of a natural fiber. If there’s snow and your child gets wet, remove their clothes and shoes right away when they come inside. Trade the winter wear for soft, comfortable indoor clothes.
If your child has an eczema medication, apply it as directed. Dr. Lubega might recommend occlusion in the winter months. This involves applying your child’s medication and then covering it with a bandage or plastic to help with absorption.
If your child suffers from eczema, know they will likely grow out of it as they reach adolescence and adulthood. If they don’t, the habits you help them create in childhood will serve them well as they manage eczema symptoms throughout their life.
Regardless of the severity of your child’s eczema, Dr. Lubega and the team at First Pediatric Care Center are ready to help. If you have questions about moisturizers, over-the-counter medications, and products, such as laundry detergent and household cleaners, and how they affect your child’s skin health, don’t hesitate to call the office.
Contact our office in Gastonia, North Carolina today, or use the online tool to schedule an appointment.