Eczema in Infants
Eczema affects around 10% of all children under the age of 5. The exact cause of eczema in infants has not been established yet. Still, it predominantly affects children with a family history of allergies. Initially parents are not so worried and consider that once the child is examined by the doctor he/ she will be prescribed certain medications and the condition will be cured. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for eczema. There are only medications that can reduce the intensity of symptoms. In some children eczema withdraws spontaneously while others suffer from this medical condition even in their adulthood. This is why parents have to face the fact they are going to fight symptoms of eczema for a long period of time.
The first symptoms of eczema in infants are rash and itchiness of the affected skin. The itch is constant and rather intensive and annoying. Since children cannot be explained not to scratch skin changes the basic concept of treatment for eczema in infants is reduction of the itchiness. The problem with scratching is that it may lead to bacterial superinfection. This requires additional medications and more complex treatment.
In infants suffering from eczema the skin is rather dry and fragile. It is also easily damaged particularly in a contact with clothing and bedclothes. This results in even greater feeling of itchiness. Parents are due to prevent excessive scratching and follow doctor's advice of how to reduce itchiness.
Treatment for Eczema in Infants
Treatment for eczema in infants includes application of anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, doctor may even prescribe antihistamines. Parents are also due to moisturize child's skin as much as possible. During flare-ups infants are supposed to have a bath at least twice a day in lukewarm water. Hot water is strictly forbidden. Soap needs to be mild, unscented and moisturizing. After the bath child's skin is patted and left damp. And finally, after a few minutes plenty of moisturizer is applied. The doctor will recommend the best moisturizer according to the severity of eczema. Anti-inflammatory medications are only applied on the areas of active flare-ups. If the child is scratching the skin and the skin becomes damaged these areas are treated with antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Prevention of eczema is crucial and all the parents must be familiar with certain guidelines. Eczema can be prevented by dressing the child in loose fitting made of 100% cotton. Bedding must be 100% cotton as well. All the tags that may cause eczema and itchiness are supposed to be removed. Unscented laundry soap should be used in washing of the clothes and bedding. Even dietary changes may be helpful. Avoiding of highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes or even spicy food may be of additional help.
There are certain factors that induce flare-ups such as heat and sweating and emotional stress. This is why parents should comfort their child and reduce stress and in case of heat and increased sweating they should pay more attention and take proper care of child's skin.