Eczema in Toddlers
What to Look For, How to Manage, and How to Prevent Eczema for Your Toddler.
Eczema. It can be displayed in various ways and different levels of severity with different age groups. When it comes to toddlers, it’s very important that parents be aware of the symptoms, causes, and appearances so that they can better identify eczema. Although there are several, symptoms appear in different forms for different age groups. In infants younger than age 1, eczema is normally present in the form of a rash on their cheeks, forehead or scalp. In some cases, it may spread to the knees, elbows, or trunk. For older kids (toddlers) and teens, eczema normally appears in the form of rashes in the bends of elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or in the inner wrists or ankles. Skin can present itself as much drier and scalier when eczema first begins.
Signs And Symptoms Of Eczema In Toddlers
In addition to the aforementioned symptoms and signs of eczema, additional symptoms in toddlers include;
- Severe itching
- Redness and swelling
- Thickened skin
- Pale skin on the face
- Small, raised bumps that may become crust and leak fluid if scratched
- Rough bumps on the face, upper arms, and thighs
- Darkened skin of eyelids or around the eyes
- Skin changes around the mouth, eyes or ears
- Raised, red areas (hives)
All of this may seem slightly overwhelming, but the following information will provide helpful tips and important things to remember and do to help your child better live with eczema.
Bathing And Moisturizing – For Eczema In Toddlers
Eczema is most commonly known for making the skin extremely dry and for a child, this can become quite problematic and dangerous. When the skin becomes dry to a certain extent, it may be prone to cracking and breaking which means the probability of your child getting a skin infection becomes much higher.
To prevent such things from occurring, it is best to form a routine as to when eczema treatment measures take place. It is recommended to bathe your child with a gentle cleanser and to moisturize with a substance that locks in the water into the skin; this provides an extra layer of moisture on the skin preventing the possibility of infection. Along with decreasing the likelihood of skin infections, moisturizing also helps control the possibility of flare-ups by eliminating dry skin as well as repelling irritants and allergens.
Soak And Seal – For Eczema In Toddlers
Although it is key to bathe and moisturize effectively, it is also important to try other techniques to prevent eczema flare-ups and diminish the chances of your child getting a skin infection. Another technique that provides great results is called soak and seal. The instructions are as follows:
- Fill bathtub up with lukewarm water
- Put the child in a bath for 5-10 minutes
- Bathe child but only use a gentle cleanser and be sure to avoid scrubbing the areas of affected skin
- After bathing your child, pat the skin lightly with a towel but be sure to leave the skin slightly damp as to provide extra moisture
- Apply prescription topical medication prescribed by the child’s doctor on the affected areas of the skin as instructed on the label
- Within 3 minutes, apply a sufficiently excess amount of moisturizer over the child’s body
- Remember to do this 3 minutes afterward. Any longer period of time could leave the skin to become even drier
- Wait a few minutes to let the moisturizer absorb and begin to nurture the skin before dressing or applying wraps of any form
Although one may use this technique to help with their child’s eczema, it is key not to limit moisturizing just to when your child is being bathed. Be sure to consistently moisturize your child’s skin throughout the day whenever their skin becomes itchy or irritated. In these situations, it is best to use an ointment, creams rather than lotions and apply with your palms while stroking lightly in a downward direction.
Bleach Bath – For Eczema In Toddlers
Taking a bath in bleach may sound dangerous, especially for a toddler but it is quite beneficial for those who have eczema if done correctly and safely. The use of bleach in this manner kills surface bacteria on the skin. The best way to use bleach to help with eczema for one’s toddler is as follows;
- Use a measuring cup to measure out ½ cup of regular strength (6 percent) plain bleach into a full bathtub or 1 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water
- Be sure to use lukewarm water to prevent the skin from drying out
- Pour in the bleach while the bath is filling
- Let the child soak for 5-10 minutes
- It is recommended to talk with your child’s doctor before using this form of treatment
Over the Counter and Prescription Relief – For Eczema In Toddlers
In addition to moisturizing and bathing, one can obtain prescription treatments. Some doctors prescribe medicines in need of a prescription depending on the severity of eczema, but in other cases, doctors may recommend over the counter remedies which work just as well as prescribed ointments. The most common forms of prescription treatments are Topical Medications, Phototherapy, and Immunosuppressant Medications.
Topical medications are ones in which are applied to the skin for direct use. Phototherapy is also known as light therapy. This form of therapy exposes the skin to a special light called ultraviolet B (UVB) in the form of a walk-in machine. Immunosuppressant medications work in the body to suppress the immune system. Although this may sound dangerous for a few alarming reasons, it is a frequently used remedy to help treat difficult eczema cases.
Allergy Triggers – For Eczema In Toddlers
Food allergies are a common way to spark your child’s eczema. If you don’t know whether your child has food allergies, it is easy to start recognizing which foods could potentially be an allergen. Foods to avoid with eczema in toddlers are milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, fish and wheat. If you eliminate these 6 foods from your child’s diet for 2-3 weeks allows for a drastic change in eczema perfusion as well as flare-ups. After the 2-3 week period, introduce one potential allergen to your child a week and keep a lookout to see which food your child may be allergic to. Along with food allergies, environmental allergies play a major role in potentially sparking your child’s eczema. Some common stirrups are dust, mold, pets, and seasonal outdoor allergies. Yes, these things usually appear in nasal congestion and possibly asthma, but they too can contribute quite seriously to your child’s eczema.
Avoid Skin Irritants – For Eczema In Toddlers
This is one of the most important things to remember when attacking eczema prevention. Irritants can be from anything from what you eat to the environment that you’re in, but the most important thing to keep in mind is what your skin is coming into direct contact with. The most common causes of irritants for those who have eczema, the skin becomes irritated by clothing, sheets, and laundry detergents.
If your toddler has eczema, it is best to dress them in cotton clothing. This is the softest most gentle material to dress in. It is key to avoid wool and synthetic materials for they can be more abrasive and irritating to the skin. Using cotton sheets and soft cotton blankets instead of other materials can lead to a more comfortable sleep if your toddler has eczema. Speaking of sheets and clothing, when washing these items, it is important to use laundry detergents that are mild, dye-free detergent like Dreft, Ivory Snow, and or All Clear; it has been noted that liquid detergents rinse better when rinsed twice.
Avoid Dry Skin – For Eczema In Toddlers
The most important thing to do if your toddler has eczema is to maintain constant moisture! It is by far the most important thing to do when it comes to eczema and is the most vital part of a toddler’s eczema treatment. When bathing, use lukewarm water and not hot water. The use of hot water can potentially dry the skin out further. You should allow your toddler to soak in the lukewarm bath with no soap. DO NOT let your child soak in a soapy bath for this can make your toddler’s eczema progressively worse. The use of lukewarm baths allows for the water to soak into the skin.
When bathing your child, do not use plain soap. The use of this dries the skin which can act as an irritant. It is recommended to use a moisturizing soap with no perfume like unscented Dove. When your toddler is done soaking/bathing in a lukewarm bath, they must be toweled off gently. Pat down the skin but do NOT rub dry. Then proceed to moisturize your thoroughly while rubbing in the leftover moisture from the bath.
Control the Itching – For Eczema In Toddlers
Scratching is one of the major problems for a child who has eczema. Itching and scratching go hand in hand but come and go in vicious cycles. When the skin becomes dry, it is a sign that the skin is irritated which results in your child scratching. When your child scratches, it further irritates the skin which causes vicious flare-ups which only results in your child scratching further. If the skin is continuously moisturized, the likelihood of this occurring becomes slim to none unless your toddler is not being moisturized thoroughly.
To minimize the damage to be done if your child does scratch, keep their fingernails cut shower and clean so if they do have the urge to scratch, the risk of infection is nonexistent. Wearing long pants and sleeves (when corresponding with the weather appropriately). If the skin is covered, this decreases the chances of the skin being scratched as aggressively. Along with this, certain medications can be used to reduce itching such as oral antihistamines which are very effective when controlling itching caused by eczema.
Use a Humidifier – For Eczema In Toddlers
Dry air tends to be a major contributor to dry skin. If your child has eczema, it is key that they maintain a certain level of moisture on their skin. Without it, the skin can become dry, itchy and cracked which can lead to painful infections. During the winter months, the air loses its moisture which causes the skin to become dry. The air is dry for your toddler will most definitely trigger their eczema. To prevent this, it is recommended to have your toddler sleep with a humidifier to prevent this, especially during the winter.
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Eczema. It can be displayed in various ways and different levels of severity. The previously listed guidelines, rules, and tips about helping your toddler during their time of severe eczema can be exceptionally effective if done properly and thoroughly. Doing these simple things can help provide your toddler with the most normal and enjoyable youth.