Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on August 24, 2023
Fend Off Dry Skin

Fend Off Dry Skin

1/10

You can keep eczema flares under control by managing the things that set flares off. Dry skin is a major eczema trigger. Moisturize your child’s skin often. Ointments like petroleum jelly may trap moisture better than lotions. Baths can dry out skin, so use warm water, not hot. Then put a good moisturizer on while your child’s skin is still damp.

Will It Go Away?

Will It Go Away?

2/10

Your child may not have eczema forever. For many kids, the itchy patches start to go away at about school age. Others may have eczema into their teens and as adults, though. Sometimes, eczema seems to have vanished only to reappear during puberty. Changes in hormones may be to blame.

Stop the Itch

Stop the Itch

3/10

Scratching can make eczema worse and cause patches of skin to get thick. Avoid itchy fabrics like wool. Keep their nails trimmed short. If they tend to scratch in their sleep, give them light, comfortable gloves to wear to bed. A wet, cool washcloth on irritated spots can ease the urge to scratch.

Help Kids Keep Their Cool

Help Kids Keep Their Cool

4/10

Sweating can cause eczema to itch, too. Stick with light, breathable fabrics like cotton. Try light layers so it’s easy for them to stay comfortable when temperatures change. Keep your house cool, especially their bedroom. Use lightweight sheets and bedspreads, too.

Allergy Attack

Allergy Attack

5/10

Allergies and eczema often go hand in hand. Ask your doctor if your child should be tested for food or other allergies. Avoid triggers like pets, especially in your child’s bedroom. Wash sheets often in hot water, and use dust mite covers on mattresses and pillows. Go without carpet and drapes, if possible. They trap allergens.

De-Stress

De-Stress

6/10

Stress can cause itching and redness for kids with eczema. Help your child identify stressful situations, like a big test at school or public performance. Then talk about ways they can manage that stress. Some ideas: Take a few deep breaths, meditate, think of something else as a distraction, or take a break.

What the Doctor May Order

What the Doctor May Order

7/10

Your doctor may prescribe a cream or ointment with a corticosteroid in it. These should only be used with a prescription because the dosage is specific to your child. Don’t use this for more than the prescribed amount of time. It can make the skin thin if it’s used for too long. Only put the ointment on areas of skin that have eczema.

Other Medical Options

Other Medical Options

8/10

If your child has allergies, antihistamines can sometimes help ease itching. If your child’s rash is severe or infected, your doctor may prescribe other medicine, too. But remember: Preventive care can go a long way to keep eczema from getting worse.

Control Infection

Control Infection

9/10

Keep an eye out for signs of skin infection, like:

  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Warmth around the affected areas of skin
  • Bumps or blisters

Kids with eczema are more likely to get infected. If your child has a skin infection like herpes or a staph infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for it.

Eczema and Emotions

Eczema and Emotions

10/10

Children with eczema may face teasing and embarrassment. And they may struggle with self-esteem. A support group or even a camp for kids with eczema and other skin conditions can be a great way to help your child make friends who understand what they're going through. The National Eczema Association has a patient conference and kids’ camp each summer.

Show Sources

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1)    Julia Smith / The Image Bank
(2)    Gustoimages / Science Source
(3)    Ian Boddy / Science Source
(4)    Tang Ming Tung / Flickr Collection / Getty
(5)    Laura Layera / Flickr Open / Getty
(6)    Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images
(7)    Nichola Evans / The Image Bank
(8)    Hemera
(9)    Julia Smith / The Image Bank
(10)   Kali Nine LLC / iStock / 360

SOURCES:

National Eczema Association. Atopic Dermatitis in Children," Bathing and Moisturizing," "Topical Corticosteroids: Myths & Facts," "Patient Conference."

Nemours Foundation: "Eczema."

Jessie and Julie Rasch Foundation: "Childhood Eczema: Research Report."