Eczema is an itchy rash that often affects the face, wrists, or hands. About 10.7% of children in the United States have eczema, and while some will grow out of it, most won't. It can't be cured, but it can be managed. Here are four ways that parents can help their child battle the itch.
Help your child avoid eczema triggers
There are many environmental factors that can trigger an eczema attack or make an existing rash worse. Different people have different triggers, so you will need to pay attention to what makes your child's eczema worse. Here are some common triggers:
- Chemical irritants
- Environmental allergens like mold, dust, or pollen
- Food allergens like peanuts or shellfish
- Sweat caused by hot weather or exercise
- Cold weather or excessive air conditioning
- Low humidity that dries out the skin
Keep your child's skin moisturized
Eczema causes dry, itchy skin, and while lotion can't cure it, it can help keep it under control. Keeping your child's skin moist is an easy way to treat eczema at home. Have your child soak in the bathtub (in warm water) and then apply lotion to their skin right after they get out of the tub. The warm water enters the skin, and the lotion helps to keep it there. Your family doctor or dermatologist can recommend an effective lotion.
Try prescription medications
Sometimes, avoiding triggers and staying well moisturized isn't enough to keep the symptoms of eczema under control. This is where prescription medications come in. There are a variety of medications that doctors can prescribe to help ease the itch of eczema. These include corticosteroid creams and immunosuppressants. Corticosteroid creams work by reducing inflammation and giving the damaged skin a chance to heal. Immunosuppressants work by lowering your child's immune response and keeping their body from attacking their skin.
Expose your child to ultraviolet light
Ultraviolet light from the sun has been shown to reduce the itch that comes with eczema. It works by suppressing the immune reaction in the skin. Natural sunlight is effective, but it's not without its dangers; excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other health issues. Fortunately, doctors can expose your child to ultraviolet light in a controlled environment. When doctors do this, it's called phototherapy.
Eczema can't be cured, but it's possible to get the itch under control. Try these four methods, and if that isn't enough, your family doctor or dermatologist can give you even more methods for controlling eczema.Share