5 Do's And Don'ts For Treating Pediatric Eczema

Has your infant, toddler or young child developed blotchy, red skin or peeling and irritation? This could be caused by a common skin condition known as pediatric eczema. If your child has been diagnosed with eczema, your pediatric dermatologist may inform you that it is the most common skin condition skin specialists treat in their young patients. Although your child may outgrow the condition, it is wise to have a pediatric dermatologist prescribe treatment to relieve the discomfort. The following is a short list of do's and don'ts to help the symptoms of childhood eczema:

1. DO keep your child out of the sun whenever possible: Because eczema causes dry skin, direct exposure to the sun may aggravate this and dry out the skin further. To prevent dryness and promote healing when the skin tends to peel, apply a light, fragrance-free moisturizer after bathing.

2. DO NOT use harsh detergents or soaps that will irritate the skin further: It's best to wash your child's clothing with fragrance-free laundry detergent that is also free of dyes.

3. DO have your child tested for allergies: In some cases, childhood eczema may be caused by allergic reactions to dust, pollen or pet dander. If allergies are the culprit, keep your environment free of such triggers and see if the skin condition improves.

4. DO NOT allow your child to scratch his or her skin: Doing so may increase the risk of infection or cause further inflammation. It may also promote scarring. Ask your pediatrician about using anti-itch medication such as calamine lotion. Also, an effective treatment for relieving the itch is natural aloe gel. Pure aloe vera has healing, anti-inflammatory properties and may help sooth the irritation of eczema.

The doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids, used topically in the affected area. In more extreme cases of pediatric eczema, when other treatment methods fail, the pediatrician may prescribe an oral medication that is aimed to reduce inflammation. This should be used only as directed.

5. DO provide lukewarm baths: Bathwater that is too hot may aggravate the condition and cause further dryness of the skin. In addition, keep the length of the bath relatively short, not exceeding more than about 10 minutes or so.

If your child's condition worsens or he or she develops fever, this may be a sign of infection. In such as case, you should consult the doctor at once. For more help dealing with eczema, contact a dermatology clinic in your area.