Diagnosing Eczema in Children

Eczema is the term which commonly refers to irritable skin conditions that can cause rashes and even lacerations.  Most children suffer from rashes during their infancy; diaper rash or a rash from too much dribbling and this can be easily cleared up.  Eczema tends to cover more serious rashes that are exacerbated by scratching, allergies or even diet. 

Signs of eczema in children often include dry, itchy red patches or bumps on the surface of their skin usually beginning on the face.  It can spread to other areas and become crusted and even ooze pus.  Other signs of eczema in children can include scaly rashes in certain areas and itchy dry skin.  The rashes may not be continuous to they are almost certain to reoccur.  It can be hereditary but it can also be triggered by pet hair, harsh soaps, scented lotions, air conditioning, dust and even mold.

There is no specific test to diagnose eczema in children.  Doctors will prefer to use family history as a guideline.  Hay fever and allergies may provide a hint but the doctor will also perform a physical examination.  A doctor can also help to diagnose eczema in children by ruling out other causes that may lead to a similar skin condition.  An allergist may perform certain tests to discover if the symptoms are caused by an allergy and foods may need to be eliminated from the diet in order for a doctor to make a diagnosis.

Treating Eczema in Children

Treating eczema in children once it has been diagnosed involves using steroid creams to the affected areas on a daily basis.  These creams are prescribed individually so it is not a good idea to use a cream subscribed for somebody else.  There are also over the counter and prescription medications and ointments that do not contain steroids which can be used alone or in conjunction with steroid creams.  Antihistamines can help to control the effects of hay fever and allergies while a treatment of antibiotics may be necessary to treat any infections that may have occurred by scratching the inflammation.  In serious cases, ultraviolet lights may be used to help eradicate the infected areas.

Parents can also assist in the treatment of eczema in their children by taking some simple measures such as avoiding hot baths, harsh soaps or scented lotions and using milder detergents.  Patting the skin dry with a soft towel and dressing children in soft loose clothes that allow the skin to breathe can also help.  Keeping the area cool and dry and avoiding using the central heating too much can also help flare ups as can keeping the pollen, dust and animal hair in the home to an absolute minimum.  These methods can help keep eczema in children less irritable and easier to live with.