Eczema is a common often hereditary sensitive skin condition that results in
dry, easily irritated, itchy skin. There is no cure for eczema but it can be
controlled by utilizing a good daily skin care regime.
Facts and information about eczema:
- Most eczema starts before age two
and resolves by puberty but some cases extend into adulthood.
- The specific cause of eczema is
unknown. Eczema may flare up in children as a result of allergies (food,
grasses, pollen) or irritants such as soaps, chlorine, chemicals or certain
- Common sites on the body of
children are red inflamed cheeks, irritated skin in the flexural crease of
elbows, knees, and wrist.
- The rash of eczema is extremely
- The skin seems to be dry
- On some occasions the red,
irritated skin can become infected. Please consult with your doctor for skin
that does not seem to be healing with daily moisturizing.
Treatment and daily skin care for
- Bathe daily with a mild,
non-soap, fragrance free cleansing product. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin
with a wash cloth or towel. Pat dry.
- Application of a daily skin
moisturizer is crucial. Moisturizers are most effective when applied
within 3 minutes after bathing. Moisturizers come in many forms. Creams
and ointments are better than lotions. The thicker the better.
Avoid moisturizers with fragrances or color which may cause irritation.
- For extra dry skin, apply
moisturizer several times per day.
- Itching is a key symptom of
eczema and stopping the itch-rash cycle is important. Moisturizer, oral anti-histamines
and anti-inflammatory creams are used to stop the itch. Keep your child’s
finger nails clipped short.
- Avoid wool fabrics, bubble
baths, and temperature extremes.
Prescription Medication for eczema:
type and strength of medication used for eczema will be determined by your
health care provider based several factors such as severity of the disease,
location on the body and patient compliance.
- Topical steroids in creams or
ointments are the most commonly used medications. They are anti-inflammatory
and will relieve the itching and redness that come with eczema. It is
important to use the right strength creams and for the appropriate amount of time.
Your doctor can discuss with you an appropriate plan of care.
- Long term use of steroids creams/ointment
can be damaging to the skin, never use steroid creams longer than 2 weeks
without discussing it with your doctor.
What moisturizer should I use?
importance of moisturizing the skin cannot be emphasized enough. There
are numerous products on the market for this.
This page was authored by Dr. Grant Newman