Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a type of skin condition affecting many children worldwide. It is a common condition that causes dry, bumpy, and itchy patches of skin. Although there is no cure for eczema, pediatric eczema treatment is an essential step in managing this condition successfully and in preventing complications.
In this blog, you can learn more about the role inflammation plays in your child’s eczema and the treatment options available to help alleviate symptoms.
What is Eczema?
If your child is experiencing symptoms such as dry, itchy skin, rashes, or redness, it may be due to eczema. Eczema is a form of dermatitis, which is a general term for a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the skin. Eczema can be caused by a variety of factors, including contact with environmental allergens and family history. Fortunately, eczema is not contagious.
Eczema weakens the skin’s barrier function, which is responsible for helping skin retain its moisture and protecting the body from outside elements. Symptoms of the condition can flare up from exposure to an irritant or allergen, such as air pollutants, smoke, detergents, or certain fabrics. Other factors such as weather and stress can also exacerbate symptoms.
The Connection Between Inflammation and Eczema
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs in the body as a response to infection or injury. However, in the case of eczema, this immune response becomes overactive to certain triggers in the environment and creates chronic inflammation in the skin. This is because the immune system believes that these small irritants are foreign invaders, much like a virus or bacteria, that can cause harm to the body. As a result, the body’s natural defense system is activated and the immune system responds by creating inflammation.
This constant state of inflammation can cause various symptoms, primarily seen in the form of rashes, itching, and redness on the skin. Eczema in children may show up in various areas of the body, such as the face (primarily the cheeks), elbows, and knees.
Understanding the link between inflammation and eczema is essential to proper pediatric eczema treatment. Many treatments aim to reduce inflammation and improve the skin’s overall health. It is important to manage eczema, because if left untreated, eczema can lead to complications such as weeping eczema, infection, and scarring. It can also result in discomfort and sleep disturbances due to constant itching.
Pediatric Eczema Treatment Options
There isn’t a cure for eczema, but the good news is there are effective treatments available to help manage the symptoms. In addition to this, many children outgrow this condition or experience significant improvement as they get older.
If your child has symptoms of eczema, you should consult a pediatric skin specialist or dermatologist to get the right eczema treatment for your child. A pediatric skin doctor‘s primary goal is to find the most effective solution to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. They will most likely recommend a skin care regime for your child, which often will need to be continued even after the eczema has healed. Some commonly prescribed treatments for eczema include:
Topical medications such as corticosteroid creams, ointments, or lotions can help soothe inflammation, treat dry areas, and ease the itching or oozing associated with eczema. Depending on the severity of the condition, your pediatric dermatologist may prescribe a stronger or milder steroid cream.
At times, a pediatric dermatologist might suggest coal tar compounds as a treatment option for a child’s eczema. Coal tar is available in a variety of formats such as creams, gels, ointments, and bath solutions. Utilizing coal tar preparations may help mitigate inflammation symptoms like redness, heat, and swelling, in addition to relieving intense itching and reducing skin thickening.
In some cases, when eczema does not respond well to topical steroids, pediatric dermatology specialists may prescribe topical immunomodulators. These medications work by suppressing the immune system’s overactive inflammatory response, helping to control eczema symptoms.
Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy involves applying a topical medication to the affected areas, followed by wrapping the area in moistened gauze or bandages. The wrap is then covered with a dry layer to keep the moisture intact. This allows the medication to penetrate the skin better and provides relief for severe itching.
Other options for pediatric eczema treatment include light therapy, which uses ultraviolet light to alleviate inflammation and reduce symptoms. Pediatric dermatologists might also prescribe oral medications such as antihistamines, anti-inflammatory medications, or antibiotics, if necessary.
Prevention and Daily Skincare
Aside from medical treatments, parents can also take preventive steps to manage their child’s eczema. Daily skincare is essential and should include:
- Moisturizing the skin often to keep it hydrated
- Avoiding irritants and allergens that may trigger flare-ups
- Using mild, fragrance-free soaps and laundry detergents
- Dressing your child in soft, breathable fabrics
- Keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching, further irritation, and infection
Inflammation plays a significant role in the development of eczema in children. Understanding this connection is crucial for effective pediatric eczema treatment. Consulting with a pediatric dermatologist and following a proper skincare routine can help manage symptoms and improve your child’s overall well-being.
With the right treatment and prevention methods, eczema can be effectively managed, allowing your child to live a comfortable and happy life. So, if your child is experiencing symptoms of eczema, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice and take necessary steps towards managing this condition. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are key in managing eczema effectively.
Pediatric Eczema Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
If you notice any symptoms of eczema in your child, don’t hesitate to consult a pediatric dermatologist. At Happy Skin Pediatric Dermatology, we diagnose and treat a wide variety of skin conditions, including eczema.
Our expert pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Samantha Casselman, provides undivided attention and comprehensive healthcare when you need it most. To schedule an appointment or learn more about the services we offer at our practice, please give us a call at (602) 837-3376 or use our convenient online appointment request form.