How Do I Choose the Best Eczema Treatment for Children?

A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, red, dry, and cracked.
Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, red, dry, and cracked.

The best eczema treatment for children involves preventing the eczema flare-up in the first place. If the child does suffer an outbreak of eczema, or atopic dermatitis, you can treat the condition with a topical corticosteroid, usually prescribed by a doctor. The type of eczema treatment you choose should depend on how severe the outbreak is. For example, you may choose to use an over-the-counter corticosteroid for a mild rash, while you may want to a get prescription from a doctor for a rash that is large, bleeds, or that doesn't respond to other treatments.

Avoid using perfumed laundry detergents when treating children with eczema.
Avoid using perfumed laundry detergents when treating children with eczema.

Although you may not be able to prevent your child from getting eczema because it usually is an inherited condition, you can prevent flare-ups in children. Eczema usually occurs when a child has dry skin and is exposed to some sort of allergen or irritant. An eczema treatment for children includes moisturizing the child's skin regularly to reduce flare-ups. Apply the moisturizer to the child's skin after bathing.

Another way to keep skin from drying out is to avoid using soap or detergents that will irritate the skin. Bathe the child using tepid water. Don't rub the child's skin when drying; instead, pat it gently.

A child with eczema should wear cotton clothing.
A child with eczema should wear cotton clothing.

Avoiding irritants is another effective preventative eczema treatment for children. Wool clothing can irritate the skin and lead to a breakout, as can perfumed products and smoke from tobacco products. Have the child wear cotton clothing and sleep on cotton sheets. Avoid using perfumed laundry detergents to wash his clothes.

Should the child suffer a flare-up, topical corticosteroids are often used to treat the condition. The corticosteroids help prevent itching and reduce the rash. Although you can get an over-the-counter corticosteroid, you should always talk to your child's doctor before using the cream, as there may be side effects. There are also reactions that can occur if you use the cream too long or use a corticosteroid that is too strong. Stop using the ointment once the rash clears up.

Children with eczma should be bathed using tepid water and mild soap.
Children with eczma should be bathed using tepid water and mild soap.

A few other types of eczema treatment for children exist. Antihistamines can help prevent itching. You should take a few other steps to keep the child from scratching the rash, such as clipping her fingernails or having her wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Should the rash become infected from scratching, the child may need antibiotics. Signs of an infection include a crust forming over the rash and an amber-colored fluid.

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    • Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, red, dry, and cracked.
      Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, red, dry, and cracked.
    • Avoid using perfumed laundry detergents when treating children with eczema.
      Avoid using perfumed laundry detergents when treating children with eczema.
    • A child with eczema should wear cotton clothing.
      A child with eczema should wear cotton clothing.
    • Children with eczma should be bathed using tepid water and mild soap.
      Children with eczma should be bathed using tepid water and mild soap.