Eczema


Eczema is a skin disease. The first sign of eczema tends to be patches of dry or red, itchy skin. Scratching the skin damages its surface and can worsen the rash.

Sometimes, eczema is called atopic dermatitis. It usually begins very early in life. It is common in infants and young children, and most people who get eczema will have it before they turn five years old. It is rare for eczema to appear for the first time as an adult.

Eczema tends to come and go, often without warning. A treatment plan that includes skin care can reduce flare–ups and ease much of the discomfort.

What causes Eczema?

No one knows for sure what causes eczema. Dermatologists and other scientists are studying possible causes. We do know that eczema is not contagious. This means that your child did not catch eczema from anyone and cannot give it to anyone.

Scientists also know that a child is more likely to get eczema, asthma, or hay fever. This means that genes may play a role in causing eczema. Other factors that seem to contribute to a child developing eczema are living in an urban area and / or living in a cold or dry climate.

How can I tell if my child has Eczema?

If your child has eczema, you will see dry, scaly or red patches on your child’s skin. In infants, these patches often appear on the scalp, forehead, and cheeks. Patches are especially common on an infant’s cheeks. Eczema is itchy, so you may see your baby rubbing against bedding or carpeting to relieve the itch.

When eczema begins between two years of age and puberty, the child has dry, scaly patches in the creases of the elbows or knees. Other common places for the patches to appear are the neck, wrists, ankles, and the crease between the buttocks and legs. No matter where the dry, scaly patches appear they tend to be very itchy. The skin will look inflamed and sore.

Patches of eczema can crack, leak clear fluid, and crust. Infections can develop it germs enter the body through broken skin. Repeatedly scratching the itchy patches can cause the skin to look and feel leathery. For some people, sweating can lead to flare-ups.

If you suspect that your child has eczema, you should see a board-certified dermatologist. Many skin diseases cause a rash. An accurate diagnosis is important.

How is Eczema diagnosed?

A dermatologist can often diagnose eczema by looking at the child’s skin. The dermatologist will look closely at the dry, scaly patches and/or rash. Your dermatologist also may ask some questions, such as when the dry, scaly patches first appeared and whether any close blood relatives have eczema, hay fever, or asthma. This is often all that is necessary to diagnose eczema.

If allergy testing is necessary, your doctor will tell you.

How long will my child have Eczema?

For many children, eczema goes away with time. Some children no longer have eczema by the age of two. About half the children who get eczema, however, will have eczema as an adult. In adults, eczema may be mild.

There is no way to know whether the eczema will go away or become a lifelong disease. Early treatment can prevent the eczema from getting worse. The more severe eczema becomes, the more difficult it can be to treat.

How is Eczema treated?

A dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.

Most treatment plans consist of:

  • Skin care
  • Medical therapies
  • Tips to avoid flare-ups

It is important to follow the treatment plan prescribed by your dermatologist. Too often, people try to treat eczema on their own by avoiding what they believe is causing the eczema. The truth is no one thing can control eczema. Successfully managing this condition requires following a treatment plan.

Eczema is a skin disease. The first sign of eczema tends to be patches of dry or red, itchy skin. Scratching the skin damages its surface and can worsen the rash.

Sometimes, eczema is called atopic dermatitis. It usually begins very early in life. It is common in infants and young children, and most people who get eczema will have it before they turn five years old. It is rare for eczema to appear for the first time as an adult.

Eczema tends to come and go, often without warning. A treatment plan that includes skin care can reduce flare–ups and ease much of the discomfort.

What causes Eczema?

No one knows for sure what causes eczema. Dermatologists and other scientists are studying possible causes. We do know that eczema is not contagious. This means that your child did not catch eczema from anyone and cannot give it to anyone.

Scientists also know that a child is more likely to get eczema, asthma, or hay fever. This means that genes may play a role in causing eczema.

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