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Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
Eczema is not caused
by skin being dirty.
Cleaning the skin too
often can make the
Eczema is common among babies. Eczema is a skin rash that can affect any part of your child's body: face, hands, arms and legs.
This rash (also called atopic dermatitis) is very itchy. It causes dry, scaly skin that often has a pinkish base. Eczema cannot be spread. It is usually worse in the winter, when the air is dry.
Try to keep your child from scratching the itchy rash. This may cause the rash to open and become infected.
Symptoms of eczema are:
- dry, pink, scaly, itchy patches of skin
- skin that is sensitive to the touch.
How to make your child comfortable
There is no cure for eczema, but there are ways to control the itching and the rash.
- Have your child soak for up to 15 minutes in lukewarm
water in a tub. Follow that by putting on a lot of skin
moisturizer that doesn't irritate her skin (such as
Eucerin®, Cetaphil® or Aquaphor®).
- Clip your child's fingernails so she can't scratch. If that doesn't work, have her wear lightweight gloves or mittens.
- Wash new clothes before wearing them. Use clothing made out of cotton.
- Consider giving your child an antihistamine. Call your
health care provider for a recommendation.
Common eczema medicine
There is one common type of eczema medicine: a corticosteroid cream or ointment (hydrocortisone 1%) that is spread on the skin. Although the cream can be bought over-the-counter, most children with severe eczema will benefit from stronger creams that your health care provider can prescribe after he examines your child at the clinic.
When to call your health care provider
Call your health care provider if your child is not better
in seven days or if the eczema is crusty or is draining.