Millions of people deal with skin problems, from acne to skin cancer. For children, skin issues often mean atopic dermatitis, or eczema. This condition affects around 9.6 million children, and 80% of people with eczema first experience it during childhood.
Eczema brings a variety of unpleasant symptoms that come and go, possibly for years. If your child is suffering from eczema flare-ups or other skin problems, Dr. Javier Zelaya and the experienced team at Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, can help.
What is eczema?
This chronic skin condition is a form of dermatitis (a term for inflammatory skin conditions) that weakens your skin’s ability to retain moisture, resulting in dry, itchy skin. Children with eczema often have a purple, brown, or gray rash that can appear anywhere on the body.
Anyone at any age can get eczema, but it often starts in childhood and can persist for years. It isn’t contagious and often flares up due to environmental factors.
Eczema causes and symptoms
The problems with barrier function can cause eczema and make it easier for environmental allergens, bacteria, and other irritants to create issues for your skin.
As a result, your child can experience symptoms that include:
- Dry, cracked skin
- Small, raised bumps on darker skin
- Oozing and crusting of the skin
- Thickened skin in affected areas
- Darkened skin around the eyes
- Raw, sensitive skin from constant scratching.
Complications of eczema include asthma, hay fever, skin infections, sleep problems, and even depression and anxiety.
How can your child get help for eczema?
If your child has eczema, making a few changes to their daily routine can prevent or reduce flare-ups. These changes include:
- Frequent moisturizing (at least twice daily)
- Taking warm showers for about 10 minutes daily
- Using soaps and cleaners free of irritants that can trigger eczema
Avoiding external triggers that can cause a flare-up also might help. Common triggers include rough wool fabric, dust mites, pet dander, mold, pollen, irritating chemicals, and cold, dry air.
At Skinworks Dermatology, we offer a variety of medications and treatments to help address your child’s eczema, such as light therapy, wet dressing therapy, moisturizers and sunscreen, medicated topical creams, anti-itch medications, and antibiotics to fight infection.
Eczema can be a painful, frustrating condition for your child, but we can help them find relief. To make an appointment with Dr. Zelaya, call one of the Skinworks Dermatology locations in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope, or book your visit online.