Eczema is a common condition amongst children, with an estimated 1.3 million sufferers in the UK. Eczema is much rarer in adults as most children grow out of it over the course of time; the majority of children will not suffer with the condition after the age of twelve.
Causes of eczema
Most cases of eczema are caused by a negative reaction to an allergen (this is known as atopic eczema); there are several different triggers which can cause eczema to flare up; these include:
- Animal hair
- Dust mites
- Changes in temperature
- Certain skin creams or lotions
- Certain materials (commonly wool triggers eczema)
- Certain foods
Symptoms of eczema
The most common sign of eczema is patchy, irritated skin; this is usually itchy and may cause the skin around it to become slightly inflamed. Other symptoms include a rise in the temperature of the skin and redness in patches of the skin; symptoms are usually made worse if the child scratches the skin.
Eczema is usually treated with medication, which may come in the form of creams and lotions. It is important to keep the skin moist and try to avoid triggers as often as possible. Try to encourage your child to leave any eczema patches they have well alone, as this will help the area to heal and prevent any further flare-ups.