Recognizing and Treating Eczema
At only 18-months-old, my son was unable to tell me of his uncomfortable itch that began to show up all over his body. That wouldn’t, however, stop him from aggressively itching the same areas over and over again until they were red.
After a while, those itchy spots eventually became more noticeable to me and I began seeking out treatment for these areas of dry, patchy skin. I later learned this was called eczema.
In cases of eczema that go untreated, victims may continue to scratch those areas of the skin until they bleed, and then ultimately turn into scabs.
In most cases, however, eczema is found in younger people and with the right treatment, can be totally eliminated. Unfortunately, some people continue to carry symptoms of eczema through their lifetime.
For my son, he suffered for nearly a year with a moderate case of eczema before we were able to discover the right treatment. In his case, his eczema was present on the back of his legs and knees, creases of his elbows, and a few other less severe spots.
We began by treating the rash-inflamed area with steroid creams prescribed by our pediatrician. We also included an over-the-counter 2.5% hydro-cortisone cream.
In some cases, doctors might also prescribe antibiotics to deaden the infection-causing bacteria, or antihistamines to help minimize the itching. Concerns and questions should be directed at a physician or pediatrician because some treatments should not be given to infants.
Over time these creams would provide temporary relief for my son, but nothing worked as a long-term solution.
Eventually, after I began working as an Asthma and Allergy Nurse, I had my son tested for seasonal, as well as food allergies. With the testing, we discovered that he was allergic to eggs and upon elimination of eggs from his diet his eczema cleared up.
Speaking as a parent, we finally realized we had to spend the time and do the research to guide us to get the right information. We learned about the eczema condition and its symptoms and how to get our children treated properly.
Interestingly, the exact cause of eczema is really unknown. However, it has been shown that eczema can be linked to families with a history of allergies and/or asthma. For some, simply being exposed to soap or detergents or having contact with animal allergens can cause a flare-up or outbreak.
Even a common infection like a cold, or increased stress, can worsen a condition of eczema. Good news is that eczema is not contagious and can’t be spread from person to person.
Though at 18-months-old, my son couldn’t explain the discomfort he felt from his eczema, with a bit of research and a partnership with my son’s pediatrician and allergist, we were able to manage his itching and set the whole family at ease.