Eczema and children
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 16:30
Eczema – or dermatitis – is a chronic condition in which the skin becomes inflamed and often results in rashes and itching. It affects both adults and children. In children, the most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis.
Although the real causes are not known, eczema is most common where there is a strong family history of atopic or allergic disorders, such asthma, eczema, hay fever, or food allergies. It can also occur among children who have no family history of allergic disorders. Children are at a greater risk of developing atopic dermatitis from the age of 2 months to one year.
Apart from environmental allergens such as pollen, moulds, tobacco smoke, or animal fur, the condition can also be caused by various foods. The most common food allergens are eggs, peanuts, cow’s milk, fish, soy products, and wheat. In babies at high risk for atopic dermatitis, cow milk formula can also trigger eczema. Emotional and physical stress can sometimes be a cause too.
Chronic or recurring itching, with red rashes on the face, forehead, scalp, neck, arms or legs, is a common symptom of eczema observed among babies and children. In Europe, atopic dermatitis is more commonly observed in the spring due to an abundance of pollens in the environment. In the autumn, the condition can result from dry and cold weather, or from the use of certain allergy causing fabrics like wool.
Although not all rashes are indicators of atopic dermatitis, a medical check up is advised in all cases. If your child is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, then here are some preventive measures that can help:
Breast-feed your baby; avoid formula completely.
Avoid scented soaps; use only oil-free and dermatologically tested moisturizing ointments and sunscreens; oatmeal paste is also beneficial.
Avoid food allergens. For more information about food allergy testing visit www.intolerance2food.com/
Avoid woollen clothes.
Keep your child’s environment stress-free.
Keep your child’s nails trimmed at all times.
Prevent mould from forming in your child’s room during winter.
Take your child into fresh air every day.
Use proper medication and ensure regular medical control of the condition.