Although people use the term 'eczema' to refer to many different skin issues, the name medically refers to a persistent red rash on the skin. The condition affects many young children, and recent studies show that there may be a connection between environmental irritants, food allergies, and the presence of eczema in infancy or early childhood. If your child is struggling with this itchy skin condition, here's a look at some tips to help you try to narrow down the source of the problem.
How to Identify Your Child's Eczema Triggers
There are many things that can lead to flare-ups of eczema. Your dermatologist can conduct some allergy testing to help you narrow down some of the potential sources, but that testing can take time and you may want to try to identify household irritants more quickly, if possible. Here are a few things you can do to help you isolate what may be causing the problem.
Start With a Journal
Keep a notebook with a list of all of the things your child comes in contact with or eats on a daily basis. Include any soaps, lotions, chemicals, detergents and liquids, too. Along with these daily lists, make note of any flare-ups or improvements. Over time, you'll start to see patterns develop of worsening symptoms with certain products or foods.
Limit Exposure to Skin Irritants
Make every effort to limit your child's exposure to skin irritants, like detergents, perfumes and abrasive fabric. Sensitive skin and severe allergies can be a harsh combination for kids, so the more proactive you can be about limiting exposure, the easier it will be on your child.
Keep Respiratory Allergens at Bay
You can also reduce allergen exposure for home-bound respiratory allergens. Vacuum as frequently as possible to limit dust, pet hair and pollen particles in the house. Add dust covers to pillows and mattresses, too. That will help limit the allergen particles around the home.
Don't Underestimate Diet Issues
Food allergens have been connected to eczema, so make sure you discuss this with your child's pediatrician. Use the journal you've kept to show the doctor any common correlations between food choices and skin problems. The sooner you can identify food allergens, the sooner you can adjust your child's diet to limit the occurrence of eczema problems.
With the routine care of a dermatologist from a place like Desert Dermatology, an attentive pediatrician and the information presented here, you can help your child control eczema and avoid allergens.