Eczema — which is an inflammatory skin condition — can look different from person to person. However, when symptoms flare up, they usually have two things in common — dry, itchy patches of skin and discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce flare-ups and relieve itching moving forward, even when symptoms begin in infancy or childhood.
Juan-Carlos Caballero, MD, and his team treat skin conditions in people of all ages at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center in Warrenton, Virginia. They also know that eczema flare-ups can be so uncomfortable that they make sleep and daily activities impossible, especially for young children.
Does your child struggle with eczema or itchy skin? Here’s how you can help.
1. Work with an expert
Seeing a skilled dermatologist, such as Dr. Caballero, is crucial if your child has eczema. One reason is that eczema symptoms can look similar to other skin issues. Furthermore, eczema can have different causes. For example, gene variations as well as immune system issues can cause the condition.
Therefore, in order for your child to get proper care, it’s critical to know what your child is dealing with. By getting an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Caballero can develop an effective treatment strategy from the very beginning.
While there’s no cure for eczema, with Dr. Caballero’s help, you can help ease your child’s symptoms and reduce flare-ups in the months and years to come.
2. Learn about the condition
As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and the more you know about your child’s condition, the more you’ll be able to guide, care, and watch out for your child. Besides giving you direct guidance on your child’s condition, Dr. Caballero can provide you with resources to help you give your child a good foundation.
With that in mind, here are a few things to know about eczema. This condition, which is also called atopic dermatitis, occurs because the skin’s protective barrier doesn’t function properly. As a result, it doesn’t retain moisture as well or protect the body from things it comes in contact with, which leads to symptoms, such as:
- Small raised bumps
- Itchy, dry, leathery, raw, or cracked skin
- Rashes, crusting, or oozing
- Swelling or sensitivity
About 9.6 million children under age 18 have the condition in the United States. However, studies show at least 80% of children with the condition grow out of it by adulthood.
3. Use the right strategies
Eczema flare-ups are tough at any age, but they can be even trickier for infants and children. While the care plan that Dr. Caballero develops for you child will depend on your child’s specific case, he often recommends a number of common strategies, such as the following:
- Moisturizing multiple times a day to seal in moisture
- Using gentle cleansers free from fragrances, alcohol, and dyes
- Taking warm baths or showers for only 5-10 minutes
- Patting skin dry and applying moisturizer within a few minutes
- Avoiding irritants, such as chemicals, rough fabrics, and extreme temperatures
- Keeping their nails smooth and short
- Having them wear cotton gloves at night
- Avoiding conditions where a child might sweat or overheat
- Choosing nonscented laundry products formulated for sensitive skin
- Dressing your child in clothing without tags and laundering new items before use
For severe or chronic flare-ups, Dr. Caballero may also suggest medications applied to the skin, bleach baths, or wet wraps. These approaches can help with inflammation and keep skin moist, but they require expert guidance for the best results.
Do you want expert treatment for your child’s eczema? Or do you want to see if your child has the condition? Dr. Caballero can give you the help you need. To learn more, call 540-701-4656 or request an appointment online with Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center today.