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Entries in eczema (1)

Tuesday
Jul092013

Readers' Questions: Battling Eczema

Eczema, also known as the “itch that rashes,” is an extremely common skin condition among children and adults. The fancy medical term for eczema is atopic dermatitis, and both terms refer to chronic inflammation of the skin that causes a red, scaly, itchy rash and can be a real nuisance! Eczema can affect anywhere on the skin, but is most commonly seen in the elbows, behind the knees, and on the face. It can affect people of all ages, but frequently shows up in childhood. Some children do outgrow it with time, while others may continue to experience flares intermittently. Unfortunately there’s not a “cure” for eczema, but rather tons of different management strategies – both for calming down those itchy flares as well as preventing them from happening in the first place!

Preventing Eczema Flares

The #1 rule when it comes to eczema management (and preventing eczema flares) is MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! Seriously, you can’t moisturize too frequently (and honestly, most people probably don’t moisturize enough). You may hear different opinions on how often to bathe children with eczema, but a bath every day actually helps soften the skin and provide some hydration. Make baths short and use warm (but not hot) water. Also be sure to use an unscented soap (like Dove) or hypoallergenic soap (like Aveeno). I love to suggest the “backwards bath,” where you let them play in plain water at first and then soap them up and rinse them off quickly before getting them out of the tub (keeps them from sitting in the soapy water). Once they’re out of the tub, just pat them dry with a towel to keep the skin damp, then apply any medicated ointment your doctor has recommended followed by a thick coat of your moisturizer of choice.

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