Saturday, 10 March 2012

Protecting against Eczema Flare-ups in Children

Protecting against Eczema Flare-ups in Children

Eczema is usually a tough problem to deal with. Normally, it doesn't have any cure. The one thing that you can do about it is to manage the problem and help manageits flare-ups. With children, this can be a toughercondition to manage because of the absence of medicines available especially to children below two years old. And unlike adults, children cannot be relied upon to help control scratching, that might exacerbate the problem even more. Infections on the skin can make the issue harder to treat. Also, it is often wrongly identified as harmless diaper rash and heat rash.

Eczema starts off as an itchy red rash. In time, it will become dry, scaly and will have lesions. The rashes are often found on the face, the arms and the legs, simply in the creases of the elbows, knees and ankles. Usually, eczema is caused by an allergen or an irritant, often a chemical that your baby has come into contact with in his surrounding. The culprit for most cases are laundry detergents, bath soaps and other chemicals that the sensitive skin of your infant cannot take. Most babies with eczema have parents who are extremely allergic too. It is also not uncommon for asthmatic children to have flare-ups of eczema.

Although medicines are now being given to children for the remedy for the problem, it is not always recommended. Usually, they are given topical steroids or immunomodulators. This is due to medicines can have side effects especially for infants and those below two years old. Prolonged use, even in older children, can cause the thinning of the skin and stretch marks to appear.

Prevention is still the easiest way to manage the problem. Flare-ups can be controlled if eczema is caused by a known allergen or irritant. Simply take out the allergen or irritant and the episode of itchiness will be gone. Among the common causes for eczema flare-ups besides soaps are dust mites, food allergies, as well as some types of fabrics. Besides identifying the original source of the rashes, parents can also help control the problem by keeping the skin of the baby well-moisturized. This assists prevent the dryness of the skin and eventually scaling and lesions. Be careful though when doing this because as stated before, some products that have chemical on them can actually cause the flare-ups. In order to be sure, check with your doctor and ask for advice on what products in the market that you can use for your child.

Usually, the greasy type of moisturizers work best with preventing flare-ups. An illustration of these ointments are Vasline and Aquaphor creams. Do not use lotion or oils as they may only worsen the itchiness.Flare-ups may also be harder to control when the air is very dry during summer and during cold weather. Winter season is especially “conducive” to eczema flare-ups. Be ready for this and make sure that the skin is well-moisturized. It will be good to keep a cream on you all the time so you can treat the eczema flare-up at its first sign.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Contact Dermatitis – The Eczema You Can Avoid

Contact Dermatitis – The Eczema You Can Avoid

Like occupational dermatitis, contact dermatitis is another form of eczema that can be avoided. This type of eczema is mainly caused by contact with everyday objects (shampoo, food, water, jewelry, etc.)

When the contact results in irritated skin, it is called irritant contact dermatitis. If there is an allergic reaction on the skin after contact, the eczema is called allergic contact dermatitis.


The reaction to allergic contact dermatitis is immediate and fast – developing only a few hours after the allergen touches the person’s skin. The result is an itchy, swollen and red skin.

There will be blisters if the reaction is severe enough. In addition, these blisters may break and the skin may flake and crack later.

Long exposure

In long-term exposures, the skin becomes thick, red and scaly. More than that period and the skin darkens and becomes leathery. Things get worse once irritant contact dermatitis has developed. Exposure or contacts with even mild substances (baby shampoo or even water) can irritate the skin and make the condition real bad.


There are more than 3,000 allergens known to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Some of the more common ones include antibiotic ointments, clothing (dyes and fire retardants) and shoes (the leather, glue or rubber).

Concrete is often the cause of chronic hand dermatitis. The reaction to concrete sometimes can persist long after contact was made.

Fragrances in perfumes, make-ups, and skin and hair products can be a cause for allergic reactions. Products labeled “unscented” can still cause reactions because they do have scents, only these are masked. (Seek out products marked “fragrance free.”)

 There are many metals that can cause allergic reactions all around us – nickels (found in jewelry and food including tomatoes, chocolates and nuts), mercury (dental fillings), gold, chromate (for tanning leather) and many others.

Other irritants include plants (poison ivy, poison oak), UV light exposure, and perspiration (combined with metals).

Irritant contact dermatitis develops when a substance destroys the skin cells it is in contact with before the skin can repair itself. These include detergents, soaps, cleaners, hair dyes, solvents, oils, paints, and many more.

Risk factors

The first serious risk factor for contact dermatitis is the person’s medical history. Risk is higher for people with a history of atopic dermatitis or some other form of allergic-related illnesses.

Younger people are more susceptible to allergic contact dermatitis. Those with repeat exposures will have a higher risk than someone who’s never been exposed. Some people in certain jobs have a much higher risk than most people. These are the health care workers, hairdressers, food handlers, bartenders, and many more. Also, females tend to have a slightly higher risk than males.


Of course, the first commandment is to avoid all substances that cause the irritation or allergy. Dermatologists can help patients develop strategies to work around them – wearing gloves, using barrier creams, etc.

Treatments include applying emollients and moisturizers, taking oral antihistamines, and using topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

In more severe cases of contact dermatitis eczema, doctors can prescribe oral or injectable corticosteroids for short-term relief. Since the causes of this form of eczema are known (most of them, anyway), would-be patients has the chance to avoid them.

Basic Facts and Truths about Eczema

Basic Facts and Truths about Eczema

Most parents find it hard to deal with any problems and sicknesses that are experienced by their kids. It is even harder to deal with conditions that have no cure such as eczema. The best thing that they can do in this case to help their kids is to look for ways to avoid further flare ups and to make sure that their children stay away from any factors that may trigger the condition. This is a recurrent skin problem that is likely to occur during infancy and early childhood. Most kids will outgrow the common symptoms, but some of them will carry these through adulthood. There are only limited numbers of adults who will develop the case for the first time. Aside from physical and emotional causes, the problem can also be caused by genetic factors.

This problem is an itch that when scratched, it will develop into rash. The solution to the problem is to make sure that the sufferer won’t scratch or at least, avoid scratching the affected parts. It comes in severe forms when the condition is developed during infancy. Children who have this problem may also develop other types of allergic diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Diagnosing the Problem

Laboratory testing cannot diagnose this kind of skin problem. These three factors must be present for the diagnosis to be made. First off, the sufferer must be atopic. They may come from a family that has similar allergic diseases. The patient must also experience pruritis or the medical term for itching. This is the only way to trigger the rash and if one doesn’t experience any kind of itching, then it is very likely that they don’t have this kind of skin problem. Due to itching, rashes will also appear. These may cause redness on the skin, blisters, bumps and the scaly look and feel.

Infants will likely develop the problem on various body parts that include their cheeks, back of scalp, chest, legs and arms. The diaper area is typically spared because they aren’t able to scratch the part. For adults and older kids, the problem typically develops behind the knees or in front of the elbows. To make sure that itching will be lessened, you have to determine what causes such. This may be due to infections, allergies, irritants and stress. When suffering or if one is prone to develop the problem, it is recommended that they stay away from using harsh chemicals on their skin, strong soaps or wearing wool fabrics and polyester. You must also avoid conditions wherein your body will be subjected to too much heat and sweating.

People who are suffering from this skin problem are prone to develop other skin infections that are caused by fungi, bacteria and other viruses. To help you deal with eczema, especially if your kids are suffering from this, you must get them looked at by the right professionals. Only the doctors can recommend the most suitable solution for the itchiness according to the severity of the problem.