Kids eczema long-lasting
Many people may have heard of eczema, but may not know exactly what it is. It’s a chronic skin condition that causes the skin to breakout in itchy rashes and can be painful.
Eczema usually begins during childhood and then goes away once the child grows up. But a recent study, led by University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine’s Dr. David Margolis, discovered that many children with eczema can continue to suffer well into their 20s. Some cases showed people could potentially suffer throughout their entire lives.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said in a statement, that these patients’ highly sensitive skin is prone to inflammation, infections and allergies. He also said that “itching is a hallmark of the disease and it is associated with significant health care costs, impairment of quality of life and interpersonal relationships and lost time at school and work.”
In order to help kids at an early age manage eczema, Dr. Sapna Patel Vaghani, pediatric dermatologist with Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill., says the following tips can help ease symptoms and reduce eczema flare-ups:
- To reduce severe itching, moisturizers, topical steroids, other prescription topical agents, and in some cases antihistamines may be recommended. Nails should be kept short and at night, when scratching is typically more prominent, age-appropriate methods to cover hands can be taken (e.g. onesies with sleeves that fold over onto the fingers, socks sewn to pajama sleeves).
- It is important to keep skin well-moisturized, applying thick emollients twice daily, more often if needed. Ensure that moisturizers are free of added dye and fragrances. Using a humidifier in the bedroom at nighttime can also help keep skin hydrated.
- Avoid factors that may irritate the skin, such as rough fabrics, sweating, and strong soaps/detergents.
- A short, daily, warm bath or shower of 10 minutes or less is one of the best methods to hydrate the skin, provided the moisture is quickly sealed in with a thick moisturizer immediately afterward. Use gentle skin cleansers, and avoid vigorous scrubbing.
Dr. Vaghani says to always monitor your skin for any changes.
“It’s important to adhere to a good skin-care routine with daily baths and moisturizers twice daily, even when eczema does not seem to be active,” she says. “For those with more widespread and/or severe eczema, adding a small amount of household bleach to the bathtub three times weekly can prevent and minimize eczema flares as well.”
Dr. Vaghani notes for a half tub bath to use 1/8 cup of household bleach and for a full tub, using a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of household bleach.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.