Managing Eczema Infections
An eczema flare-up can be, by itself, absolutely horrible. It itches uncontrollably, your skin is red and sensitive, you constantly have to resist the urge to scratch. When you are in the middle of a flare-up, everything else in your life can seem to fade into the background. When your eczema child is in the middle of a flare-up,they can take your entire focus. Everything you do is to help them through it and get to the other side of the flare-up with as little discomfort as possible. But there is always the possibility that your flare-up can get far worse, especially if the irritated skin is scratched away. You could possibly develop an infection.
Infections are caused by a buildup of bacteria in a part of your body. The usual culprit for eczema infections is Staphylococcus. It quickly multiplies on your infected and irritated skin, causing your eczema symptoms to become much worse. Instead of just flaking away, your skin could develop a yellowish crust and start weeping clear fluid or even pus.
How do you deal with an eczema-related skin infection? Well, the best way is to prevent one from happening at all. If properly treated, mild to borderline severe eczema flare-ups can be prevented from developing an infection. The main method is to avoid scratching. Scratching damages the already irritated skin, completely breaking the skin barrier and allowing Staphylococcus to get in and start to multiply. As difficult as it is for an adult not to scratch, it is infinitely more difficult for eczema children. Younger children may not understand why they aren’t allowed to scratch, and the temporary relief from the itch might be too much for them to resist. Even if they can resist during the day, their subconscious mind will almost definitely scratch during the night. This can lead to some blood on the sheets in the morning and a complete rupturing of the skin barrier. The best way to prevent this kind of scratching is to use an Eczema Rescue Suit.These incredibly soft suits are made specifically to calm eczema flare-ups. They are especially effective when combined with wet wrap therapy. In terms of preventing infections, the suit completely covers all of your eczema child’s skin, limiting their access. They also have hand covers, which also prevent scratching.
If you or your eczema child does develop a skin infection, it needs to be treated right away. If it is a very mild infection, a topical, over-the-counter antibiotic might do the trick. If it’s much worse than that, you may need to take your child to your doctor and have them prescribed an oral antibiotic to help fight it. If you start to notice a golden crust develop on the eczema irritated skin, go to your doctor immediately. If it is a recurring issue, you might want to ask your doctor for a prescription with a few refills. Bleach baths are also a great way to prevent infections during and after an eczema flare or recent infection. Here is a great article on bleach baths for eczema http://www.adrescuewear.com/blog/bleach-baths-for-eczema/
Eczema-related skin infections are not fun to deal with. They make the pain of eczema much, much worse and scratching will greatly exacerbate the condition. Take precautions to prevent any infection from developing and, if one does, start antibiotics right away. After just a few days, the infection will subside, the flare-up will be over, and you will be well-prepared for the next time.