Could Your Child Have Eczema?  Tips for Understanding and Treating Eczema.

Could Your Child Have Eczema? Tips for Understanding and Treating Eczema.

Could Your Child Have Eczema?

What Is Eczema? What Causes Eczema?

Eczema or the medical term atopic dermatitis affects approximately 20% of the population in the U.S. and 6.4 million children under the age of 7.

Eczema is a chronic disease which means it has no cure and can only be managed. Symptoms of eczema are itchy, reddened, cracked and dry skin. Eczema affects both males and females equally, as well as people from different ethnic backgrounds. Studies and doctors are reporting a rise in the diagnosis of eczema worldwide.

Eczema also has a genetic factor which means if a parent has eczema than their child has a higher risk of developing the disease.

Approximately 80% of atopic eczema cases start before the age of 5, and many start in the 1st year of life.

A study from Scotland reported that children with severe eczema feel their quality of life is greatly affected similar to chronic illnesses such as epilepsy, kidney disease and diabetes and many are not aware of the suffering involved with eczema.

Young children with eczema are at a much higher risk of developing asthma and this is called The Atopic March. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered a substance secreted by damaged skin circulates through the body and triggers asthmatic symptoms in laboratory mice. This discovering might help doctors and scientists understand the link between eczema and asthma.

What are common symptoms of eczema?

Eczema is chronic so symptoms are always present but during a flare of eczema the symptoms get worse.

Below are some common symptoms of eczema (without a flare):

Broken skin in places.

Cracked skin.

Extremely dry skin.

Itchy skin that becomes raw where scratched.

Increased nighttime itchiness.

Skin thickens where scratched often.

Skin is red and inflamed.

Inflamed skin develop blisters and weep (ooze fluid).

Reddish/brownish-gray colored patches develop on the skin.

Small, raised bumps develop on the skin.

Common areas for eczema are on the hands, feet, arms, behind the knees, ankles, wrists, face, neck, and upper chest. Eczema can also develop around the eyes and on the eyelids. It is common for babies to have eczema develop on their face.

An eczema flare can also include the below symptoms:

Increase in itchiness.

This increased itchiness causes more scripting and the skin will become redder, raw and extremely sensitive.

The skin will develop a warm sensation.

The eczema will become much more scaly and drier.

The raised bumps will grow in size and may leak fluid.

Blisters may appear.

The eczema may become infected with bacteria.

Flare ups can last days to several weeks.

Patients with mild eczema will have small areas that itch. Severe eczema has large areas that are very dry, inflamed and itching is intense. The areas may ooze fluid.

A vicious itch-scratch cycle can set in and cause major sleep deprivation. Studies report families with an eczema child can often have poor family relations, poor work performance and eczema children can develop learning disabilities at school all from lack of sleep from the itch-scratch cycle.

What should you do if you suspect your child has eczema?

Make an appointment with your child's doctor. Dermatologists and allergists can be very helpful in diagnosis and treatment.

Visit the National Eczema Association at http://nationaleczema.org. They are a wonderful resource.

To purchase ultra soft anti-itch eczema clothing visit http://www.adrescuewear.com

Photo credit: Xtream_i / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtream_i/369076559/">Xtream_i</a> / <a href="http://foter.com/re/d06337">Foter</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">CC BY-NC</a>