More than 1 in 10 children struggle with eczema. If your child is one of them, avoiding triggers can help spare them the itchy, inflamed, red skin.
The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis. The red, dry patches usually show up on the face and hands and in the folds of the elbows and knees. Early identification and proper management help you and your child minimize flare-ups. Certain factors, like allergens, stress, and changes in the weather, can make your child’s symptoms worse.
Dr. Margaret Lubega at First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, recommends the following steps to help you manage your child’s eczema and avoid exacerbating symptoms.
Keep your child’s skin hydrated
This begins on the inside. Ensure your child is drinking plenty of fluids. Also consider using a
humidifier in their bedroom, especially during the winter months when indoor air tends to be drier.
Adopt a gentle skin care routine
Opt for mild, fragrance-free soaps and shampoos. Harsh chemicals and fragrances in personal care products can irritate your child’s sensitive skin, so choose products specifically designed for children with eczema. If you’re not sure what brands to start with, talk to Dr. Lubega.
Keep your child’s bath time short and use lukewarm, not hot, water.
Moisturizing is an important step in managing eczema. Apply a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer to your child's skin immediately after bathing to lock in moisture. Regular moisturizing helps create a protective barrier against potential irritants.
Dr. Lubega can offer recommendations for the best types of moisturizer for eczema-affected skin.
Select clothing carefully
Dress your child in loose-fitting, breathable fabrics like cotton. Avoid wool and synthetic materials, as they can be abrasive and cause irritation. Washing new clothes before your child wears them can also help remove any residual chemicals that may trigger eczema.
Watch the environment for triggers
Keep a close eye on your child's environment to identify potential triggers, like pet dander, dust mites, and harsh detergents. If you notice a pattern of eczema flare-ups after exposure to certain things, talk to Dr. Lubega. She may offer testing to diagnose allergies or offer new ways to address these triggers.
Prioritize a healthy diet
While there is no “eczema diet,” your child may benefit from avoiding common allergens. Research shows that about 30% of children with eczema also have food allergies. Peanuts, milk, and eggs are common culprits. Dr. Lubega can help you explore dietary changes that may help manage your child's eczema.
Maintain close contact with your pediatrician
Schedule regular check-ups at First Pediatric Care Center so Dr. Lubega can monitor your child's eczema and discuss any concerns or changes in symptoms. She can offer recommendations based on your child's specific needs.
The team at First Pediatric Care Center understands the challenges that eczema poses for you and your child. We want to help you incorporate preventive measures into your child’s routine to help prevent unpleasant flare-ups.
Call First Pediatric Care Center or use this website to schedule an appointment. Dr. Lubega specializes in eczema as well as other general pediatric concerns.