When our children suffer we as parents suffer right along with them. In both their physical and emotional battles. Sadly, Eczema can be both a painful skin condition as well as something that singles them out from other children. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Eczema.
What exactly is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic skin condition which means it will return to the skin from time to time. The condition has two major components to its make up. The first is a deficiency in the skin itself lacking important lipids and ceramides. This leaves the skin vulnerable to environmental irritants and moisture depletion causing a severe itch and irritation to the affected area. The second factor is having a hyper-reactive immune system which only makes the area affected area worse by increasing the itching and discomfort.
What causes the flare ups?
Since the skin is already vulnerable, there can be a number of factors that can cause a flare up. These are the most common.
- Certain animal and vegetable based proteins
- Dry climate air
- Rough materials and clothing
- Harsh soaps and chemicals
How will I know its Eczema?If you think your child is suffering from Eczema its best to consult your pediatrician. Here are some of the symptoms to look for though. Those affected will most commonly display uncontrollable scratching of the skin combined with dry, red, scaly patches that usually show up in places like the scalp, forehead, cheeks and skin creases such as the armpits and groin area.
How common is Eczema in children?
Eczema affects about 20% of children and is usually apparent within the first year of life. It is also a hereditary condition which means that its something that runs in the family of one or both parents.
How can I manage the condition?
Every child is different so its important to pay attention to what affects your child’s skin. Some good rules of thumb to start with though are:
- Use mild, gentle soaps on both their skin and their laundry.
- Use a humidifier in their room and rooms they spend a good deal of time in.
- Keep their wardrobe free of harsh fabrics like wool and polyester.
- Use a good quality moisturizer daily that contains a skin protectant such as colloidal oatmeal or flax-seed oil to help restore your child’s skin barrier.
It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on your child’s skin for signs of rashes and irritants especially in their first year and should anything out of the ordinary arise or something that clearly causes discomfort for your child, I strongly suggest an appointment with their pediatrician.