Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that often frustrates parents and kids. Not only is it difficult to manage because of the lack of cure but parents also get confused with how different doctors treat the problem.
Eczema may start with ordinary itchiness that may graduate to extreme redness of the skin, scaling and even oozing. Usually, the rash will start when the child is born. Thinking that it is just an ordinary rash, parents often do not take heed of it. Unfortunately, not all rashes disappear. What is even more a problem is that it is hard to manage eczema in one so young because of the lack of medicines that has no side effects. Children are more vulnerable to the side effects of drugs and as much as possible, they should not be given anything.
This does not mean though that your child should not have been given a medicine for eczema. This all depends on the diagnosis, the prognosis and how the doctors see the problem. Some doctors will prescribe a topical steroids like hydrocortisone creams and med-potency steroids. Still, the use of this drugs should be monitored especially for children under two years old. Use of the drug for long periods of time can cause severe side effects such as skin thinning and stretch marks. These drugs should also not be used on the face or on skin that will be covered, for instance, at the rear when a diaper will be used. Check the warning label on the medicine and also consult with your doctor for more information.
Another form of medicine that your doctor might prescribe is the immunimodulators, which is used to control flare-ups. Often, this is used as soon as the child starts itching. What is great about this product is that it can also be used on the face for children over the age of two. For those under two years old, care should be done.
For the most part, eczema is the product of an irritant or an allergic reaction to an allergen. This is actually easier to treat because the cause of the eczema is something that can be found outside the environment. Once you have identified it, you can make sure that your child does not come near it. To treat this, doctors might also prescribe an antihistamine to treat the allergic reaction. This is especially true for very young children who are often disturbed in their sleep by frequent itching. Another good thing about antihistamines is the fact that they have a sedating effect which may help relax your children.
At home, you can use cold compresses to relieve the itchiness and to help control scratching. Remember that scratching can exacerbate the condition and spread the problem to other parts of the body. Because the nails can harbor bacteria, scratching can also infect the skin and cause extreme flare-ups and side effects.
Eczema in children is a sensitive issue to deal with. Make sure that you consult with a doctor before trying anything.