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Skin problems are not limited to adults alone. In fact, there is a fair share of toddlers who suffer from skin ailments. Toddlers suffer from skin problems quite as much as adults themselves.
Due to them being constantly exposed to the elements while in playschool or otherwise, toddlers tend to develop skin allergies. Some toddlers may even be allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients which are found in soaps, lotions or anything else they use every day.
Most of the times, parents notice an itchy rash or a patch in any part of their body that is exposed. If the rash persists, often accompanied by excessive itching, this skin condition is known as eczema.
Eczema is often known as atopic dermatitis. It is a condition where the skin appears red and inflamed, followed by excessive itching. It may make some kids irritated due to the need to constantly scratch the rashes.
These red patches come and go and are most often triggered by some allergies. Eczema often occurs due to a defective skin barrier mechanism. It is important to find out what causes these flare ups in your child.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about eczema in children.
How Common Is Eczema Among Children?
The most common type of eczema is the atopic eczema which is known to affect about 10%-20% toddlers in the world. In most of the cases, children suffering from eczema inherit the condition from their parents themselves.
There are some kids who outgrow the condition when they reach about 12-13 years of age. Others, however, continue to have the condition for their entire lifetime.
What Causes Eczema In Toddlers?
Eczema is known to occur when the body reacts abnormally to an irritant. There are many things that cause eczema in toddlers. Most often, eczema flare ups are noticed in toddlers with a family history of skin allergies and asthma or hay fever.
Other things that trigger eczema in kids are-
- Dry skin
- Over exposure to the sun for long hours
- Over use of products containing alcohol
- Heat and sweat
- Dust and pollution
- Other infections
- Exposure to animal fur
In a few cases, the diet of kids or the weather conditions are also known to trigger the symptoms of eczema. Contrary to popular belief, eczema is not at all contagious. It does not spread from person to person. However, there can be a common product which may trigger eczema in two individuals.
How Do We Identify The Symptoms Of Eczema In Toddlers?
Not all red rashes and itchy patches are eczema. In fact, there are a few things that distinguish eczema from a normal skin rash. Toddlers with eczema often have a very itchy and scaly skin which is often red and inflamed. The most annoying part of eczema is that the patches are extremely itchy to an extent that it disturbs the toddlers' sleep as well.
During the onset of eczema, you may notice small red bumps on their cheeks, forehead and scalp, which may further spread to other exposed parts of their body such as arms and legs. Sometimes, patches which are scaly to touch may appear on the bends of the elbows or behind the knees. Though the symptoms may vary, the itch will remain constant.
Though, eczema can differ from kid to kid, it is always better to consult a doctor to identify the eczema.
How To Treat Eczema In Toddlers?
Eczema is very irritating in children due to the constant urge to scratch. While most toddlers who develop eczema at the age of 4-5 often outgrow it, it is important to help them manage the condition.
Unfortunately, Eczema cannot be completely treated. The condition can only be managed enough to live with it. There are a lot of treatments available to manage Eczema. Here are a few ways in which you can help your toddler to manage this irritating skin condition.
These are the most common ways to managing eczema. There are a wide range of over-the-counter medications available in order to manage eczema. Creams containing hydrocortisone is very effective to help manage eczema that is triggered due to dry skin.
Barrier repair creams
Some moisturizers help heal the skin by locking in moisture, soothing the redness and reducing inflammation. These have mild fragrance which can be applied twice/thrice a day to manage eczema.
Some doctors may prescribe antihistamines in order to help the toddlers manage the itch resulting in eczema.
- Avoid frequent and long baths in warm water for toddlers with symptoms of eczema as they make the skin dry and may easily trigger eczema flare ups.
- Keep your toddler from using scented soap and moisturizers.
- It is important to keep your toddler clean and away from direct sunlight as heat and sweat combined with dirt will result in more irritating rashes.
If your toddler is having an eczema breakout now and then, it is important to determine what is causing these flare ups and to keep them away from those irritants. Do remember that each eczema case is different from others, so instead of relying on other's advice on how to manage the condition it is important for you to take medical advice.