How to cope with childhood eczema
Coping with your own skin issues can be bad enough, but when they affect your children it’s even more stressful. Many babies and young kids are prone to sensitive skin conditions such as eczema, and while you can rest assured most grow out of it, it can be difficult to deal with. Here, we take a look at the science behind the issue, share tips from experts and see what products are available to help.
First of all, what are the tell-tale signs that our little ones might be suffering?
“Atopic eczema often starts in young babies as a red, itchy rash on the face, scalp and body,” Dr Adam Friedmann, from The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, explains to Cover Media. “As the child gets older it usually starts to develop in areas with folds of skin, such as behind the knees or on the front of the elbows.”
Dr Friedmann explains that eczema is an inflammation of the skin characterised by redness, swelling and itching. In a chronic form regular scratching of the skin can lead to scaling and darkening of the affected area. Children often feel overwhelmed by an urge to rub or scratch the area and this can leave the skin broken and bleeding.
Eczema is sometimes related to other allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever, and can be exacerbated by a reaction to things such as fragrances, soap, certain foods or disinfectants.
It’s best to avoid using fragranced products on your child, and wash their clothes, towels and bedding in non-biological detergent as they are kinder to sensitive skins.
The right products can make all the difference when it comes to dealing with eczema.
“Moisturisers, gentle cleansers and bath oils can be of great assistance when caring for a child with eczema,” Dr Kerryn Grieve PhD, who develops products for QV Skincare, told Cover Media. “Be sure to use products that are fragrance free such as QV Skincare, as fragrance can aggravate the condition. A quality moisturiser should be pH balanced to the skin, and contain a range of moisturising ingredients including glycerin. Moisturisers help to manage skin hydration, reduce inflammation and reduce itch, overall making the skin more comfortable.
“The trick to managing eczema is to keep the skin hydrated and to get on top of any flare ups quickly.”
Avoid running baths that are too warm and be aware that vigorously rubbing your child with a towel afterwards can exacerbate the problem. To help calm skin while the kids splash around use fragrance free body washes and emollients – QV Skincare are a specialist provider of emollients for children with sensitive skin conditions - or soothing products such as Westlabs Kids Dead Sea Salts a few times a week.