Daily Skincare for Eczema
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects approximately 1 in 8 children in the US. Eczema is an itchy inflammation of the skin. It usually develops in early childhood and is more common in people who have a family history of the condition. The main symptom is a rash that typically appears on the arms and behind the knees, but can also appear anywhere.
If your child has eczema, you are all too familiar with those dry, itchy spots that can sometimes keep them (and you) up at night. Although prescription treatments are often needed to manage flares, there are simple changes that you can make to your child’s daily skincare routine that can go a long way in reducing the frequency and severity of these episodes.
The following tips will help to improve the hydration of your child’s skin, which is one of the most important aspects of eczema management.
- Use lukewarm water for baths or showers. Hot water can dry out the skin more quickly and also promote itching.
- Use a gentle non-soap cleanser. This avoids stripping away of the skin’s natural oils. Fragrances and dyes are also common triggers for eczema flares.
- No bubble baths!
- Pat skin dry. Do not scrub.
- Apply moisturizer liberally from head to toe immediately after a bath or shower while the skin is still damp. This creates an artificial barrier that helps to seal in moisture and prevent excessive evaporation of water from the skin.
- Re-apply moisturizer at least once daily. For children with eczema, the skin is unable to retain moisture well and it needs to be replenished. For better results, spritz lightly with water before applying.
- Choose thick, unscented moisturizers. Ointments and creams have a higher oil content than lotions and are therefore more effective at sealing in moisture.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room during the winter months.
- Encourage your child to drink a lot of water.
If your child’s eczema continues to flare despite the above measures, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible in order to explore additional treatment options and avoid complications.