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Eczema in children

Eczema in children

Childhood eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, affects about 10% of all children. It is a very common skin disease. The exact cause of this eczema type is unknown, but its connection with asthma and allergic rhinitis is observed. These three conditions form so-called atopic triad. Half of the children affected by atopic eczema will probably develop one of these two concomitant conditions.

Atopic eczema manifests as red, itchy and scaly rash. Sometimes it may form blisters. It appears on legs, arms, hands and face. Scratching only worsens the condition and increases risk of secondary infections. It is very important to moisturize skin properly as this relieves itch.

Atopic dermatitis is not considered as an allergy, but it can be triggered by allergies. The word “atopic”, which is used as synonym for eczema (“atopic dermatitis”) means that the patient is overly susceptible to allergens in his environment. About one third of children with eczema will also have various food allergies. Thus, it is very important to test the child for common food allergies.

For the first time eczema usually manifests in children younger than 5 years. In about 60% cases, this condition appears when the child is younger than 1 year. About half of the children outgrow atopic eczema until they reach adolescence.

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It is important to know how to treat eczema in children properly. Dermatologist will prescribe the right treatment, which will include topical ointments and moisturizers. It may also involve topical steroids and oral steroids in severe cases.

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