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5 Tips for Managing Your Child's Eczema Triggers

Dec 16, 2022
5 Tips for Managing Your Child's Eczema Triggers
More than 1 in 10 infants and children develop eczema, and the itchy rash can make life fairly uncomfortable. If your child has eczema, taking these steps can minimize the discomfort.

Your infant’s pristine skin is marred with a rash that makes your poor baby quite uncomfortable. The first thing to understand is that your child is not alone — more than 1 in 10 kids develop eczema between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old.

While there may be some comfort in these numbers, they don't help you manage the issue. To that end, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Elyse Julian, and the team here at Leading Edge Dermatology want to review a few tips that go a long way toward managing your child’s eczema.

A little bit about eczema

Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema routinely develops in toddlers and kids, largely due to genetics and/or environment.

As the body’s largest organ, your child’s skin will eventually cover an average of 22 square feet. In the meantime, however, your child’s skin is more vulnerable as it faces new substances every day and builds immunity. If your child’s immune system isn’t keeping up or is acting irregularly, it may register irritants more strongly, which is what creates the itchy rash on their skin.

Up to the age of 6 months, the rash typically appears on the face and scalp. After the age of 6 months, eczema starts to show up on their knees and elbows as your child begins to move around. Between the ages of 2 and 5, eczema tends to migrate toward the creases of major joints (elbows and knees) and on their hands.

There’s no cure for eczema, but there are many ways to manage the condition to keep your child comfortable and rash-free. 

Know the triggers

One of the most important steps you can take is to understand and manage your child’s eczema triggers. This means you need to pay close attention to what your child ate, what they were wearing, and even what they were exposed to weather-wise, before an eczema outbreak.

Once you start to see certain patterns, you can take steps to control the triggers to avoid flare-ups.

To better illustrate this, let’s take a look at five ways you can control some of the more common eczema triggers in kids:

1. Their clothes

It’s important to pay close attention to the clothes your child is wearing. You want to avoid wool and use only 100% cotton products. Be sure to cut tags out of all clothing and only wash their clothes in detergents that are designed for people with allergies (they won’t have fragrances or other harsh ingredients).

2. Keeping your child’s skin moisturized

Dry skin can be a big trigger for eczema. While we don’t have to worry about dry climates here in Florida, if you’re running a heater over the chillier months of winter, this can make the air much drier. Always ensure that your child is well hydrated and well moisturized (with hypoallergenic moisturizers).

3. Excessive heat and sweating

There are triggers that we do have to worry about here in the Sunshine State — heat and sweating. Excessive heat that makes your child sweat is a common trigger for eczema flare-ups, so be sure to do what you can to avoid long hours out in the sun.

4. Airborne allergens

Certain allergens can contribute to eczema, such as pet dander, pollen, and dust. It’s important that we work together to figure out whether your child is sensitive to certain airborne substances and then we can work toward avoiding these allergens. Installing an air filter in your home is a great first step.

5. Food allergies

Eczema can also be triggered by food allergens, such as whole milk. Here again, it’s important that we identify food allergies so that you can eliminate them from your child’s diet.

While all of this may seem daunting, the best first step is to come see us so we can design a specific eczema trigger management plan for your child. To get started, contact our office in Plantation, Florida, to set up an appointment.