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Tips for managing eczema and dry skin

We see eczema flare up at this time of year due to the cooler temperatures.  Read below to find out how you can help care for your child’s dry skin.

What is eczema?

Eczema is an inherited form of very dry skin.  It is often seen in those who also have allergies or asthma.  It can be present in infants, children, and adults.  Usually, by teenager years, eczema is much improved or resolves.  It is not an allergy but can be made worse by exposure to allergies. Unfortunately, eczema is a chronic condition, but there are many things that can help improve symptoms.  We encourage you, your child, and your provider to work together and make a plan to keep your child’s eczema well controlled. 

Signs and Symptoms

Those with eczema present with very dry skin, mostly noted on the flexural surfaces (in the elbow and knee creases).  Sometimes the patches of dry skin are circular and other times there are more widespread patches of dryness.  The dry skin is often very itchy, and this may affect ability to sleep well.  When skin is itched we can occasionally see bacterial skin infection occur. 

How is the diagnosis made?

Through a detailed history of symptoms and evaluation of skin, your provider can determine if eczema is present. 

Prevention and Treatment

The mainstay of treatment is keeping skin well hydrated and preventing exacerbations. There are a few helpful tips below from our local Specially For Children Dermatology office.

It is also important to avoid allergens and other environmental factors that make your child’s eczema worse.  These could include pollens, dust, mold, smoke, animal dander, dry cold air, excessive heat, skin care products that contain alcohol, and certain fabrics (such as wool).

When these steps are not enough, talk with your provider who may recommend medications for itching and/or a steroid cream to help with eczema flare-ups.

How to choose soap and moisturizer

Soaps:

Moisturizers:

Other Information

If your child's eczema is not improving, or is worsening, talk with your provider about your concerns.

References

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Eczema.aspx

 

 

 

 

Author
AHK Advanced Practice Provders Our AHK APP's include: Annie Croft, Pam Dietrich, Erin Moore, and Nikki Nutter,

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