A rash on your child’s skin can mean a number of things. A reaction, an irritation or even eczema. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is best to have your child checked by a medical professional. If eczema is the diagnosis, then you can begin to look into options for treatment. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication, but some eczema sufferers have success in managing the condition with a more natural approach.
Eczema is a condition that causes dry and itchy skin. It is a common condition in children, with as many as 1 in 5 children being diagnosed with it. Symptoms will usually present themselves before your child is 2 years old. Many children are fortunate enough to grow out of eczema, but some will need to manage the condition into their adult life.
Cases can range from mild to severe. With all cases, the skin can become uncomfortable and sometimes painful. There is no known cure for eczema, but the symptoms can be managed to reduce itching and pain.
Eczema presents in several ways, small red blisters or dry, flaky skin. If the symptoms are not properly treated, then it can lead to infection or scarring. So, it is best to stay on top of a treatment plan.
Eczema can be distressing to young children as they find it difficult not to scratch at it. Scratching the affected area can lead to infections, so it is best to try and stop them scratching. Cotton mittens can work well for babies. The discomfort can sometimes affect their ability to sleep soundly.
Eczema can have many triggers. It is best to try and find that trigger so that you can minimise exposure. Some triggers can be environmental, like dust, pollen, mould or animal fur. Others can be diet related and caused by eating certain foods.
Children that have food allergies, asthma or hay fever are more likely to develop eczema. There may also be a genetic connection, so if a parent has eczema, it may be passed onto their children.
Eczema reduces the effectiveness of the skin’s barrier, which means that it is easier to contract infections. Also, allergens have a greater chance of entering the skin.
Depending on the severity of the case, various treatments are prescribed. A mild case may be treated with an emollient cream (a cream designed to soften the skin) and topical applications of a low dose steroid cream. A more severe case would be prescribed a stronger steroid cream.
All children with eczema should have their skin moisturised at least once every day. It is advised to moisturise even when there are no visible patches of dry skin. Keeping the skin moisturised reduces the risk of eczema flare ups. Do not use perfumed products, as these can irritate the skin.
There are many different moisturizers and emollient creams available, so you will need to find the one that works best for your family. Be prepared that you will use a large volume of this cream to keep your child’s skin moisturized.
Some eczema sufferers have found natural alternatives that help manage their symptoms. They are not a miracle cure that works for everyone, but you may have some success.
Keeping a diary of what your child has eaten, where they have been and what environments they have been exposed to can help pin point potential causes of skin flare ups.
If you know that a certain food causes flare ups in your child’s skin, then it is best to avoid them. Be wary about eliminating cow’s milk from your child’s diet though, especially if they are formula fed. If you find that cow’s milk is a potential cause of irritation then it is best to seek the advice of your doctor.
Do not introduce too many new foods at once. Incorporate one new food into your child’s diet at once. Give it to them several days in a row, checking for any reactions before introducing the next new food. If you are a breastfeeding mother, then make sure you are mindful of this process in your own diet.
Cotton fabric is best. Synthetic fabrics may cause sweating which will irritate the skin.
Be mindful of all the cleaning products that you use. Do not use harsh washing powder products, or perfumed surface cleaners in areas your child may touch. Where possible, use sensitive formulations or natural products.
This has recently grown in popularity as a topical treatment for eczema sufferers. Coconut Oil has antibacterial and antibiotic properties that help with reducing inflammation. The vitamins contained in the oil can aid healing and help to prevent scarring.
If you have any concerns about your child’s skin or general health, that it is always advised to seek professional medical advice.