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Family Matters: Eczema


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common condition that affects 10 percent of infants and children. It’s basically dry skin and nothing to worry about.

More scientifically, eczema is a skin condition that usually has two components: dry, easily irritated skin and allergies.

Children with eczema have a tendency toward dry skin and do not retain moisture well. Their skin can take on a dry, rough texture and be prone to irritation. Dry skin can be itchy, leading to scratching that can lead to more irritation. Eczema can really be a vicious cycle for your child.

Underlying allergies can be a big component of eczema, even if you’re not aware of what the allergies may be. Already dry and irritated skin is less able to handle an allergic reaction and heal itself quickly.

Eczema can look like dry skin, with red patches or white bumps, in localized sections or in folds of the skin. It’s rarely covering the body, but it can in severe cases.

The best way to treat eczema is to moisturize from the inside out! Make sure your child stays well-hydrated, and then use an over-the-counter or prescription topical cream, lotion or ointment on their skin regularly.

Avoid irritants like perfumed lotions or detergents.

Try to identify triggers, like foods or environmental factors that may cause flare-ups. Your pediatrician should be able to order allergy testing that can help you identify these things.


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