Eczema: The Itchy Rash That Kids Keep Scratching
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common chronic skin condition. It is more common in children, yet can also persist into adulthood. It is characterized by itchy, scaly patches of skin, which can become red, cracked and sore if scratched.
Symptoms of Eczema
The primary symptom of eczema is intense itching and inflammation of the skin. The affected area may be dry and/or red, with thickened patches or scales present on the rashes. In some cases, blisters may also form and burst. The affected area can be uncomfortable and can cause difficulty sleeping. In addition, the constant itchiness and scratching can lead bacterial infections.
Common Causes of Eczema
Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, there are a few common triggers that can increase the chances of an eczema flare-up. These triggers can include:
- Dry Skin: Cold, dry weather and/or low humidity can lead to an increase in eczema flare-ups
- Stress: Stress can trigger an eczema flare-up, as the body is more susceptible to inflammation
- Allergens: Certain allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and certain detergents, can also cause eczema flare-ups
- Irritants: Synthetic fabrics and rough fabrics can also irritate the skin and cause eczema flare-ups
Treatment for Eczema
The most important step in managing eczema is avoiding triggers and forming a prevention plan. This can include drinking plenty of water, using moisturizing creams, and avoiding things that cause irritation.
In addition, medications such as steroids, antihistamines, and topical creams may be prescribed. Over-the-counter treatments, such as calamine lotion, may also help soothe the skin and reduce itching.
In severe cases, phototherapy or immunosuppressive medications may be considered.
Eczema is a common chronic skin condition that can make life difficult for children and adults alike. Fortunately, treatments are available to help manage the condition. With proper management and lifestyle changes, flares can be controlled and quality of life improved.