Baby, Toddler, Child
31st Jul 2020

Eczema is a common skin condition and usually begins before a child reaches their first birthday (1). Characterised by a dry, red and itchy rash, this can be an understandably uncomfortable experience for your child.

Here are some tips to help you identify eczema and relieve its symptoms:

What is Eczema?

Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a recurring inflammatory skin condition that may become irritated, red, dry, itchy and scaly (2).

It’s a non-contagious inflammatory skin condition which varies in severity. Its symptoms can flare up and subside on a daily basis (2).

Eczema is inherited, which means it is passed down to a child from their parents. And, it’s caused by a gene mutation that’s involved in the formation of the skin barrier.

People with eczema may find that their ability to repair the skin barrier is limited, which cause moisture to leave the skin and the skin to become dry or scaly (2). When the skin barrier is disrupted, irritants may also enter the skin, which may cause inflammation and a red, itchy rash (2).

What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms?

  • Babies may experience a dry, red, itchy rash on their face. This rash may also be on their scalp, body, arms and legs, or behind their ears (3)
  • Toddlers and older children may experience a similar rash in the creases around their knees, wrists, elbows and ankles (3)
  • For some children, they may experience eczema on other parts of their body (3)

How May You Manage Eczema?

Although there isn’t a confirmed ‘cure’ for eczema, there are some things you may do to manage your little one’s symptoms.

  • Take lukewarm baths and avoid harsh soaps (2)
  • Use bath oils to help moisturise the skin (2)
  • Apply moisturiser (4)
  • Pat the skin dry rather than rubbing (2)
  • Avoid overheating the skin (2)

In some cases, where eczema is a reaction to environmental triggers, it may be useful to visit your medical practitioner for allergy testing (2).

If you found this information useful, you may enjoy the following:

4 Simple Steps To Help Support Your Baby’s Skin

References

  1. Melbourne, T. (n.d.). Eczema. [online] The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Eczema/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2020].
  2. Betterhealth. (n.d.). Eczema (atopic dermatitis). [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/eczema-atopic-dermatitis [Accessed 4 Mar. 2020].
  3. The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. (n.d.). Eczema. [online] Available at: https://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/fact-sheets/eczema [Accessed 4 Mar. 2020].
  4. Healthdirect. (2017). Eczema. [online] Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/eczema [Accessed 4 Mar. 2020].

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