Trying to figure out your eczema children’s flare up triggers can be one of the most difficult and frustrating jobs of an eczema parent. It can be a time consuming process that often reveals mixed results. Sometimes, an elimination diet can reveal that a certain favorite food is responsible for flare ups. Other times, it can seem like it was a whole lot of time and effort. If only there was a shortcut. Well, there is! Sort of.
There is a definite connection between allergies and eczema. Many eczema children who suffer from allergies, especially hay fever, also suffer from flare ups. Exposure to an allergen on the skin can cause contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction that results in symptoms almost identical to atopic dermatitis (garden variety eczema). The main difference is the cause. Other times, coming into contact with an allergen, whether it be a food or chemical, will cause a delayed reaction, only to appear a day or two after the exposure.
A scratch test administered by a doctor can help you track down allergies that might be causing contact dermatitis, and possibly also triggers for eczema. There are a few different types of allergy tests, but the most common is the scratch test.
Here, small scratches or pin pricks are made in the skin. A tiny amount of a variety of substances is put onto each of these scratches. If there is a skin reaction at the site of the scratch (generally an itchy welt), you can count that substance is something your eczema child is allergic to.
It's important to keep an eye on these scratches even after the test is completed. If your eczema child has a small flare up at the site of one of these scratches, you may have also found a trigger for contact dermatitis. An allergy test won't be able to tell you all of your eczema child’s triggers, but it will allow you to narrow down the most likely culprits.
After an allergy test, your eczema child's arms are likely to be a mess of red, itchy welts and possible eczema symptoms. If you already have them in an Eczema Rescue Suit or Eczema Top each night, their skin will be covered for wet wrap therapy using an Eczema-Safe Ointment. If they are a little too big for the Eczema Rescue Suit, or prefer a more localized option, our Eczema Sleeves would be perfect to cover the skin affected by the allergy testing and give it a chance to heal throughout the night.
Although there is a link between allergies and eczema, allergy testing isn't a silver bullet to help find potential triggers. It can, however, be a useful guide to find substances that your eczema child should avoid, which will result in an instant improvement in their overall health, that might be reflected in their eczema as well.