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Treating Skin Allergy Symptoms in Kids

Breaking the itch-scratch cycle is key. Keeping skin healthy, moist, and clean is also important when treating a child’s skin allergy allergic reaction. Try these tips:

  • Dry the drool. For babies, spit can be a constant cause of skin irritation.
  • Be gentle. Use fragrance- and dye-free cleansers and soaps. Harsh soaps can dry skin and break down its protective barrier.
  • Clip nails short. Babies and most kids (and adults!) can’t curb the temptation to scratch that itch. Scratching usually doesn’t make the itch go away. And it makes raw, infected skin more likely.
  • Bathe. Use lukewarm (not hot) water and avoid bubble baths. Keep baths short (3 to 5 minutes). Soaking for longer can dry out skin.
  • Moisturize after bath. Air dry or gently pat skin dry. Use gentle lotion and apply liberally.
  • Dress child in soft cotton fabrics. Rough clothes can trigger itching and scratching.
  • Recognize and treat skin infection. If you notice symptoms of a skin infection -- pus or very red, sore, raised, hot, or crusty skin -- call your doctor.

Your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid cream for your child’s skin. Ask when and how to safely use it. Your doctor can decide if an antihistamine might help. Antihistamines can ease itching so kids scratch less. Some may also help your child sleep.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on November 12, 2012

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