Your Child with Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of eczema. This chronic itchy rash often persists throughout childhood and perhaps also into adulthood. It is caused by a combination of genetic inheritance and environmental triggers.

If your child has been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, you can help prevent or reduce the number of outbreaks.

Block the Most Common Triggers

Managing this condition will take time and observation to detect the situations or substances that cause atopic dermatitis to flare up. Together with your doctor, your child and other family members, you can establish a routine. The goal is to diminish the effects of these common triggers, such as when the temperature changes, so your child can be as comfortable as possible.

Dry skin: Keep your child’s skin hydrated. Have him use mild, neutral pH soaps like Dove (the unscented white bar) for washing. Follow with creams such as Moisturel, Aveeno, Curel, or Purpose, among others.

Irritants: Avoid dressing your child in scratchy, tight clothing. Stick with light-weight, breathable fabrics. Watch out for common household products like laundry detergents and surface cleaning products. If you notice a pattern of outbreaks after their use, remove them from your shopping list.

Sweating: Sweating is a natural irritant to children with atopic dermatitis. Make sure your child wears only lightweight clothes to bed and keep a moderate room temperature throughout the home. After your child has been playing or exercising, cool her off with a cool shower or bath, and be sure she moisturizes afterward.

Allergens: Dust mites, pet dander, and seasonal pollens are common triggers. For starters, keep pets off your child’s bed, encase the mattress in a cover, and avoid using down bedding. Also, vacuuming the floors frequently is another effective practice.

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