Eczema often starts within a child's first five years and typically lasts into childhood or adolescence. Occasionally, it can stretch into adulthood. Consider this guidance from the National Eczema Association for managing your child's eczema:
- Know the triggers of eczema. Eczema flares occur when the skin is very dry, when it comes in contact with irritating substances or allergic triggers, or when the skin is infected. Eczema tends to be worse in the winter when the air is dry and tends to improve in the summer when it is more humid. This is why it's important to consistently moisturize to keep skin from drying.
- Bathe with care. Warm, not hot, baths are generally preferred over showers, but make sure to limit the time spent bathing. Epsom salts, wash cloths, and other abrasive cleansers should be avoided because they can be irritating to the skin and worsen eczema. The use of soap and bubble bath should be limited; look for cleansers that are marked "soap free" or "gentle cleansing."
- Moisturize after bathing. Moisturizers should be applied at least twice daily — in a thick layer. Generally two types of moisturizers are recommended for treating eczema: ointments and creams. It is most important to moisturize the skin promptly after bathing (within 3 minutes) to prevent evaporation of moisture from the skin.