March 1, 2020

Eczema

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that caused dry, red, itchy skin in all age groups.  Eczema will come and go based on a number of factors.  Approximately 65% of patients with eczema developed it as an infant.  However, many children outgrow eczema before kindergarten age.

The mainstay of treatment for eczema is moisturizing.  We recommend using a fragrance free cream or ointment every day.  When there is a flare you may have to apply several times per day.  There is some debate about frequency of bathing, it depends on your child.  We often do not limit the number of baths per week based on eczema but recommend putting on a thick coat of moisturizer after every bath or shower.  We also recommend using sensitive soaps in the shower and laundry to avoid skin irritation.

If moisturizer alone is not controlling the dry skin and/or itching, then you should speak with your pediatrician at MVP.  We may recommend topical steroid, topical immunomodulators, and/or oral antihistamines.  Sometimes we also need to discuss topical or oral antibiotics if there is any concern for secondary skin infection.

Finally, although eczema is not usually related to allergies it is possible so you should speak with us if you notice a new introduction in your child’s diet or environment triggered or exacerbated the eczema.

Some other resources include:

American Academy of Dermatology
https://www.aad.org/diseases/eczema

National Eczema Association
https://nationaleczema.org/

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