According to the National Eczema Association, millions of children suffer from eczema each year.
Eczema is an overall name used to describe conditions that cause skin inflammation, redness, and itchiness.
There are different types of eczema with the most common ones including contact, seborrheic and dyshidrotic eczema. Atopic dermatitis, another name for eczema, usually appears in children aged between six months and 5 years.
Differences between Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis
As mentioned earlier, eczema is a term used to describe a group of skin conditions characterized by inflamed, dry and itchy patches.
Atopic dermatitis is arguably the most common type of eczema. In the United States alone, up to 13 percent of children aged below 18 years have suffered an eczema flare up.
Atop dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of the skin believed to be caused by the immune system’s overreaction to internal and/or external triggers.
As your child gets older, their eczema may morph out very differently. As such, parents need to be clear about the exact type of eczema their child has, understand the symptoms, and identify triggers to be able to manage this condition effectively. A doctor is the only person who can help you understand your child’s eczema.
Eczema is not contagious and although there is no cure, this condition is entirely treatable. Common treatments include over the counter medicines, topical medicines prescribed by a doctor, immunosuppressant, and light therapy.
Causes of Eczema in Children
What causes eczema is still unknown. However, studies continue to show that environmental factors, as well as genetics, can predispose a child to eczema flare-ups.
A family history of asthma, hay fever, dermatitis or eczema can also increase a child’s risk of having eczema.
What Triggers Eczema in Children?
Common factors that could trigger or worsen eczema in your child include:
- Environmental irritants such as pollen, hay, and pet dander
- Stuffed animals
- Dry skin
- Certain foods such as wheat, eggs, and milk
- Washing powders and toiletries
Winter brings with it dry air and this can also trigger an eczema flare-up. Among infants, drooling can cause itchiness around the neck and cheeks.
How Eczema Looks in Infants and Toddlers
Older children may display different types of eczema from younger ones. As a child grows, the nature and even location of their eczema usually changes.
In the first six months of a child's life, eczema typically appears on the scalp, forehead, face, cheeks, and chin. The child's skin will typically appear red and weepy.
Among babies aged between 6 and 12 months, eczema may appear in areas that are prone to rubbing such as the knees and elbows. In extreme cases where the skin becomes infected, a yellowish pus crust may form on the affected area.
Among toddlers aged between two and five years, eczema commonly occurs on the face as red itchy bumps. Atopic dermatitis may also appear around the knee or elbow crease, hands, ankles, and wrists. Other commonly affected areas are the eyelids and mouth.
Severe eczema in toddlers may appear scaly, thick and with deep lines.
Children aged five years and above usually have eczema flare-ups around the knees or elbow creases, or on their hands. Look out for itchy red patches on the scalp, feet or ears.
By understanding your child’s triggers and symptoms you are better placed to manage their eczema.
How to Manage Eczema in Children
To keep your child's flare-ups under control:
- Identify and avoid triggers.
- Keep your child’s skin moist with regular bathing and moisturizing.
- Use prescription or over the counter medicine as required to keep symptoms at bay.
- If possible, use organic products to treat your child’s skin.
- Switch to hypoallergenic detergents.
- These have neutral pH balance so they will not irritate your child’s skin.
- Avoid soaps and bubble baths.
Natural Products to Help Control Eczema in Children
For Instant Relief
To be used on body and face, this natural product provides fast relief and even be used for bug bites and diaper rashes!
Bath Time Replenisher
A baby's dry skin best replenishes in a soothing bath. Add this oil to the tub or apply it to the rash after the bath for best results.
- BODY OIL: Nourish your skin with this moisturizing body oil infused with energizing lemon oil, Vitamin E and Sweet Almond Oil
- SCENTED BATH OIL: The fresh, clean scent of lemon with Vitamin E revitalizes and hydrates skin
- ALL NATURAL: Formulated with 100% natural oil, this bath and body oil leaves your skin silky and smooth and is formulated without phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS
- SMOOTH SKIN: Add to warm bath water and soak or apply directly to damp skin and let this lemon oil refresh and energize tired, dull skin
- SKIN CARE: Use this naturally nourishing body oil as part of Burt's Bees skin care regimen for beautiful, healthier looking skin, naturally
Helping to strengthen a weakened moisture barrier, this calming lotion takes care of itches and moisturizes dry skin while being fragrance and paraben-free.
- Soothes, replenishes and protects very dry and eczema-prone skin for long-lasting relief
- Unique combination of patented ceramide and Filaggrin technology is clinically proven to help strengthen skin's protective layer
- Soap free, fragrance free, paraben free, and hypoallergenic
- Relieves symptoms associated with Eczema, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and cradle cap
- Safe even for babies as young as three months
Hair Care and Body Wash
This organically-made, gluten-free Shampoo & Bodywash is made of Oatmeal and helps ease the irritation of baby's skin condition. This shampoo AND bodywash packs the double punch and takes care of cracked skin.
- Enriched with pure, organic calendula extract and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate irritated skin
Recommended for Laundry
With a neutral pH balance, this detergent removes stains but is also gentle to Baby's skin. Allergies are a very common cause for Eczema. Changing to hypoallergenic laundry product without any harsh chemicals might just be the solution for children's relief.
- Two 40-fluid ounce bottles of gentle baby laundry detergent
- Our 4x concentrated formula is a smart product choice at just $0.22 per load
- Specially formulated for baby laundry with powerful stain-fighting enzymes to help fight stains
- Gentle on sensitive skin; Free of phthalates, dyes, and artificial scents
- USDA certified 95% bio-based formula, lightly scented with essential oils and botanical extracts
A plant-based product with ingredients that prevent water loss in the skin.
- Safely and gently cleans your baby's face and body, while protecting it and leaving it feeling soft and comfortable.
- Specifically designed for babies and children with eczema-prone skin.
- Recognized by the National Eczema Association and clinically tested on eczema-prone skin under pediatric and dermatological control.
- Paraben, Phthalate and Phenoxyethanol free; Hypoallergenic.
Lock in That Moisture
This product that can be used on anything from eczema to bug bites and cuts. Glycerin and Panthenol make this ointment so effective in moisturizing, nourishing and protecting the skin. For swift eczema relief, apply this soothing mixture over a layer of avocado oil.
- One Essential Solution: Aquaphor is one essential solution for many skin care needs; use on dry, cracked skin, as a lip moisturizer, facial moisturizer, hydrating mask, minor wound care and much more
- For Dry, Compromised Skin: This Aquaphor Healing Ointment is designed specifically for dry, compromised skin and clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin
- Convenient Replacement: Use Aquaphor Healing Ointment as a replacement for a foot cream or hand cream to help heal dry cracked hands, cuticles and feet
- Ideal for Healing: Different from a body lotion or cream, this ointment is water-free, and soothes skin while creating a protective barrier that allows for the flow of oxygen to create an ideal healing environment
- Includes one (1) 14 ounce jar of Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant
While eczema does affect many children, up to 65% of them usually grow out of it by age seven. Don’t wait for eczema to spread or worsen before seeing a doctor—the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to treat.