Eczema is known to cause red-colored, dry patches of skin that starts early in infancy and continues throughout toddlerhood or beyond. Even though it is rarely serious, it can cause itchiness and discomfort. In some cases, infections can develop if the child scratches the sores until bleeding occurs.
Toddlers often inherit the tendency to have dry skin and eczema while food allergies can contribute to the flare-ups. Luckily, identifying the potential food allergies is an easy process. Sensitivity or allergies to other products can also contribute to the development of eczema.
If eczema develops right after an infant is introduced solid foods, food allergies might be a contributing factor to the eczema. Luckily, most cases of eczema-related food allergies are triggered by common allergens such as milk, wheat, egg, fish, soy and peanuts. These foods should be eliminated from the diet for 2 weeks and check if the symptoms improve.
The foods should be reintroduced one at a time and wait at least 4 days in between each food. The child should be carefully monitored and if the eczema reappears during the reintroduction of a particular food, it is likely a trigger.
Pollen, dust and animal dander typically causes asthma or hay fever symptoms but might occasionally contribute to eczema as well. Identification and proper treatment of these allergies can be complicated and might require allergy testing. A doctor should be consulted if environmental allergens might be the cause for the skin condition.
Dyes, fragrances and chemicals present in body products and laundry detergents are capable of aggravating eczema. Young children should bathe without any soap and utilize a mild, natural soap for older children. You can also utilize a fragrance-free and dye-free laundry detergent as well as cleansers. Make sure that chlorine bleach should not be used.
Clothing should be double-rinsed to thoroughly eliminate any residues and avoid using wool or rough fabrics. The best option is no other than natural cotton.
Treatment for eczema
The eczema is likely to improve once the food and environmental allergens are removed, but the skin condition might flare-up occasionally particularly during dry weather.
It is vital to moisturize the skin of the child daily using a hydrating, natural lotion or cream. If possible, avoid extended exposure to the sun since this can worsen the eczema and always apply sunscreen.
A humidifier can be used during the winter season if living in an area with dry climate. The fingernails of the child should be trimmed to prevent infection or scarring due to scratching.
Always bear in mind that children who have eczema face a higher risk for bacterial skin infections. A doctor should be consulted if the eczema becomes worse or there is an increase in the redness and the sores start to ooze. In addition, if the itchiness is intense, the doctor might prescribe an oral antihistamine or steroid-based cream.