Itching, redness and more: Does your child suffer from eczema?
You’ve tried all the remedies, yet your child is still experiencing eczema-prone skin. Here’s why it happens, and what you can do about it, Mum.
Eczema is the most common skin condition in infants, children and adults in Singapore – with 85% of people affected having an onset before the age of five. Does your little one have eczema? If your answer is yes, then you already know that it can be a challenging condition to manage. “What is the best skincare regime to relieve itch and redness for eczema-prone skin?” you might ask. “And will it ever go away?” With the right knowledge and care, it’s possible to give your child relief.
Dr. Rachael Teo, Consultant and Dermatologist at The Dermatology Practice at Gleneagles, describes eczema as “itchy, scaly, red patches on the skin, and can occur on any part of the body, but the common areas being the face, skin fold areas such as the neck, front of elbows and behind the knees.”
Eczema occurs in persons who have the inability to keep their skin naturally moisturised, which eventually leads to dryness and itching. Yes, those red, itchy patches on your child’s skin are caused by a lack of moisture.
Dr. Teo continues to say that it’s due to a “mutations in the FLG gene, which instructs a key protein in the skin called filaggrin to maintain the normal healthy skin barrier. A defective barrier allows allergens and bacteria to enter the skin more easily, and results in an immune response leading to inflammation.” Scratching damages the skin further and leads to a downward spiral that only makes the condition worse.
While eczema might look like a rash, thinking that it’s contagious is a misconception, says Dr. Teo. She further states that excessive or incorrect usage of topical corticosteroid creams on children can cause side effects.
“In general, the potency of steroids creams used in children is milder. If used without proper supervision, it is possible that very young children may absorb sufficient steroid into their bloodstream to cause growth retardation and other problems,” says Dr. Teo. Although this sounds scary, it is usually not a cause for worry. Dr Teo explains, “This is generally rare, especially if the child is being closely managed by a dermatologist who will monitor the quantity and potency of creams used.”
Irritants, which are different for each person, can trigger eczema. Pinpointing the exact irritant can be tiring for the parent, and unavoidable for the child. At times, it can seem like irritants are everywhere. “Some environmental triggers include extremes of weather or coming into contact with rough clothing material,” Dr. Teo explains.
Being bothered by a condition such as eczema can get in the way of your child’s sleep schedule, due to the itchy feeling keeping him or her up. Dr. Teo also explains that red patches on visible skin areas such as the face may lead to teasing in school.
It’s a fact that there is no cure to get rid of eczema for good, but there is a way to manage it effectively. “The mainstay of treatment is topical application of medicated creams and moisturisers. Moisturisation is the cornerstone of eczema treatment. And it has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the need for topical steroid in eczema,” says Dr. Teo.
When searching for the ideal moisturiser, it’s safer to err on the side of judgment. Read the label carefully to check if it’s free of additives, fragrances, and other ingredients that might cause inflammation on the skin. “Non-soap-based cleansers that are neutral or low PH, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic are best,” Dr. Teo says.
Cetaphil PRO AD Derma relieves itch and redness for eczema-prone skin. This gold standard skincare regime contains Filaggrin TechnologyTM, which helps replenishes the filaggrin breakdown products that strengthen and hydrate your child’s skin. Including Cetaphil PRO AD Derma into your child’s bathtime is quick and easy. Start by giving your child a short bath in lukewarm water using Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Restoring Wash, and pat — not rub — the skin gently with a smooth towel. After drying, apply Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Moisturizer onto slightly damp skin, to lock in the moisture right away.
Eczema is often a lifelong condition, but your child need not endure unnecessarily the itch and redness of eczema-prone skin. Breaking the itch-scratch cycle in eczema-prone skin is possible with the right skincare regime.
Cetaphil PRO AD Derma products are available at all retail and hospital pharmacies as well as RedMart.
MedicineNet.com. Eczema www.medicinenet.com/eczema/article.htm