Help! My Child Has Eczema

Dec 09, 2022
Help! My Child Has Eczema
Eczema is a common skin condition that kids deal with well into their teens, and it can continue to affect them into their adult years. While not life-threatening, it can increase their risk of other skin ailments. Read on to find out more.

Children are consistently growing and maturing, and their bodies are going through constant physiological changes. As a result, they’re prone to develop illnesses as their bodies mature over time, including sore throats, bronchitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, and various types of skin infections. 

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition many kids deal with starting as early as infancy. This is a condition people of any age can suffer from, but of the 31.6 million people with some type of eczema in America (including 9.6 million children), the prevalence of the illness peaks in the early childhood years. 

Fortunately, if your child is dealing with eczema, there are ways to help. If you live in Chicago, Illinois, and you have a child suffering from eczema, the team of doctors at Michigan Avenue Primary Care can help them find relief.

Let’s explore what eczema is, its causes and symptoms, and what options you have for treatment.

Understanding eczema

This condition causes your skin to become inflamed and irritated, and weakens its ability to protect you from bacteria, viruses, or other forms of infection. Eczema causes your skin to lose moisture, and comes in different forms:

  • Atopic dermatitis: the most common form that causes dry, itchy skin
  • Contact dermatitis: triggered by environmental factors
  • Neurodermatitis: affects your skin in small patches
  • Dyshidrotic eczema: causes burning sensations, rashes, and blisters
  • Nummular eczema: causes small, rounded lesions, mainly on your arms and legs
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: causes skin inflammation on your scalp
  • Stasis dermatitis: skin discoloration that can resemble varicose veins

You can have multiple types of eczema at once. This chronic skin illness flares up for a period of time, then fades. It’s not contagious.

Causes and symptoms

Though your body’s immune system response is thought to be involved in how you develop eczema, no one is completely certain of its cause. But the issues that affect your skin’s protective barrier can be worsened by hay fever, food allergies, chronic problems with dry skin, skin infections, sleep problems, and even mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

If your child has eczema, they can expect symptoms like dry and itchy skin, rashes, swelling, leathery skin patches, bumps on their skin, or flaky, scaly, or crusty skin. Eczema can look different for anyone dealing with it, and often appears on your neck, hands, elbows, ankles, knees, feet, ears, lips, and cheeks.

Treatment options 

To care for this illness, there are some lifestyle changes your child can make and prescription medications they can take to clear up outbreaks. 

At home, you can help your child by giving them short, warm baths, applying moisturizers several times a day, maintaining normal room temperature, using unscented detergents, and trying to keep your child from scratching. If you know what triggers lead to an eczema outbreak, avoid them as much as possible.

Topical steroids, oral medications like antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressant drugs can also help to manage the symptoms of eczema. Light therapy can help improve the appearance of your child’s skin by clearing up blemishes and imperfections.

While eczema isn’t dangerous, it can make your child’s skin more vulnerable to infections and other problems. It’s a frustrating ailment, but we can help. Make an appointment with our team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care today so we can relieve your child’s symptoms. Call our office or schedule your visit online.