Did you know that about 1 in 10 kids develop eczema? As you can tell by the statistic, eczema is very common children, often appearing before age 5 (this is true for about 90% of all eczema sufferers). Eczema goes away by adulthood in about half of all people who had it in childhood.
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a dry, itchy, scaly patch on skin. Children are often affected differently than adults, but we will focus just on how it affects children in this blog post.
Who gets it?
This skin condition is primarily seen in children, with 10-20% of all children worldwide having it. It does exist in adults as well, in about 1-3% of all adults. Eczema occurs in all skin colors. There is usually a family history of eczema/atopic dermatitis, hay fever or asthma.
What does it look like?
Eczema can look like a rash with red bumps that are rough & scaly, or just an itchy, somewhat scaly patch of skin. It may bubble & ooze or become thick & leathery (usually due to constant scratching).
Eczema typically appears on the scalp or face (esp. the cheeks). It is pretty rare in the buttocks area on babies because the area typically stays pretty moist, so a rash in this area is likely regular diaper rash. Eczema may appear in infants as young as 2 months old who cannot explain what is bothering them or even really scratch, so in addition to any patches on the skin, symptoms may include: rubbing against bedding/carpeting/etc., trouble sleeping, and skin infections (typical, due to rubbing & scratching)
In children ages 2 & up…
It typically appears in the creases at the elbows or knees, but is also common on the neck, wrists, ankles, and the creases between the butt & the legs.
How do I treat it?
Eczema cannot be cured, only treated to make the symptoms less problematic. As mentioned above, about 50% of children with eczema will continue to have it into adulthood, but the symptoms are usually milder. The condition disappears in the other children.
If you think your child may have eczema, please come see Dr. Beverly or Alisa or your own dermatologist to determine the best course for treatment. Your dermatologist can help discover any triggers that are inflaming or exacerbating the eczema and make recommendations based on your child’s specific history & case. He or she can also make sure you use the right treatment for your child so that the skin does not become even more irritated. Your dermatologist will be the one to know which treatments are right for your child.
The AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) has a great video on YouTube with tips & information about how to care for skin with eczema.
Or, connect to the text version (which also has the video)
For More Information:
American Academy of Dermatology – Atopic Dermatitis
American Academy of Dermatology – Eczema (For Kids!)
American Academy of Dermatology – Eczema Handout (For Kids!)
EczemaNet by the AAD: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/index.html