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Understanding Eczema in Children


Eczema Overview 

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common chronic skin condition. It often appears during childhood, even as early as a few months old, and may continue through adulthood. It is characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed skin. Children with eczema are more likely to have other allergic conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and food allergies, sometimes known as the ‘atopic triad’ or ‘atopic march’.


Eczema Statistics

  • Globally, eczema affects millions of people, with varying prevalence rates in different regions.
  • In the United States, approximately 10-20% of children and 1-3% of adults have eczema (National Eczema Association).


What Causes Eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is not known, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 


Is Eczema a Big Deal?

Well, that depends. In some cases eczema can be extremely mild or short-lived. On the other hand, eczema may be severe, and can have a significant impact on quality of life. In children, eczema can potentially affect sleep quality, self-esteem, and school performance.


Common Triggers for Eczema Flare-Ups

  1. Allergens: Such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites.
  2. Irritants: Like harsh soaps, detergents, and certain fabrics.
  3. Dry Skin: Insufficient moisturization.
  4. Stress: Emotional stress can worsen symptoms.
  5. Climate: Cold, dry weather can exacerbate eczema.


Eczema Treatment

Managing eczema involves a multi-faceted approach: 

  • Moisturization: Keeping the skin well-hydrated with emollients.
  • Avoiding Triggers: Identifying and avoiding known triggers.
  • Medications: There are many different types of medication your doctor may recommend or prescribe including topical (which means they are applied to the skin) and oral (taken by mouth) medications. These may target skin inflammation, itching, or be for treating a secondary infection.   


Visit our Helpful Eczema Resources for a list of helpful websites and support pages for more information about eczema. 

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Medical Disclaimer:
The information provided on this website (including but not limited to text, graphics, images, videos, and other material) is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any health problem. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any changes to your healthcare regimen. 

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