Eczema is a kind of skin infection, mostly caused by allergy or irritation. It is a common problem in infants and it can be found in 2-6 months old. Eczema spots can be spotted on the forehead, scalp and cheeks. Sometimes, the itchy dry skin patches can be found on the trunk, elbows, wrists and knees. If the child scratches the spot, it gets raw and may develop into rashes. It is a chronic problem, but the problem can reduce as the children grow. There are no treatments for eczema and some medicines and creams are used to reduce skin itching.
There are two types of eczemas: Contact dermatitis and Atopic dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is caused when the skin comes in contact with irritating chemicals and atopic dermatitis is caused by allergy or hereditary reasons. Eczema is a common problem found in certain families and other conditions of eczema are related to asthma and allergies. If the family members suffer from allergies and asthma, there are high chances of the child, developing the skin rashes. The main symptoms of eczema are red skin and fluid filled bumps on the skin. Eczema on skin can thicken the skin and make it dry and scaly.
Some common causes for contact dermatitis are: additives, preservatives present in some food substance or mouth wash, soaps or toothpaste; dyes or glues found in shoes, clothes or jewelleries; and certain plants can also cause allergy such as poison oak and poison ivy. The common symptom of contact dermatitis is: appearance of itchy rash on the skin after some time of coming in contact with the allergic substance.
1. The child should not be bathed with harsh soaps and hot water, which can further cause dryness.
2. The paediatrician should diagnose the problem before taking up any treatment.
3. Eczema can be controlled, but no cure is found for atrophic dermatitis.
4. Skin moisturizers should be used to reduce dryness.
5. If the skin has further infections, lukewarm compression can be used in the infected area.
6. Medicated creams can be used for inflammation.
7. Creams should be applied in three minutes of bathing and for severe dryness ointments can be used.
8. Some parents use steroids creams such as Lipocream and Cutivate. Prescription cream should not be applied on the diaper areas and on the face.
9. Vigorous rubbing of skin should be avoided after a bath and bubble bath should not be given to infants. Soft towel should be used to dry skin after a bath and shampoo should not be applied to the affected areas.
10. Itching can be reduced by keeping wet cloth over the infected area and the nails of the infants should be cut short every time to prevent scratches on the rashes.
11. Certain allergy causing food items should not be given to little ones. Too hot and too cold food and water should not be given to the kids.
12. Tight clothes and chemicals should not be applied.
If the eczema is not clearing up, you may have to contact the Paediatric Dermatologist.