Will My Child Out Grow His Eczema?
Of new cases of child eczema each year, 65% are diagnosed in babies less than one year of age.
It is this age group of child eczema suffers that are the most difficult to treat, and for which the risks are the most serious.
Like other diseases of childhood such as asthma and allergies, it is possible for infants to outgrow child eczema.
With child eczema, symptoms typically first begin at 2-4 months of age. For reasons we’re not yet sure of, common items such as soaps, detergents, and rough clothing bring on an exaggerated reaction and distressful symptoms known as a “flare up”. Known for periods of symptoms, alternating with periods of remission, child eczema outbreaks most often begin with intense itching and a dry rash.
Without swift treatment, aggressive scratching leads to redness, swelling, and scaling of the affected areas, the skin becomes thickened and begins to crack. The cracked skin then begins to weep, causing further inflammation and more itching. This cycle is an endless one, and the broken, moist skin soon becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Breakouts may be widespread, affecting large areas of the body or smaller areas of the face, hands, feet, bends of the arms, and backs of the knees. It is often the crankiness of the infant, along with the cracked, oozing skin that sends parents to the pediatrician for answers.
Child Eczema could be outgrown?
For some infants with child eczema, the condition continues into adulthood. According to the National Institute of Health, 60% of children diagnosed with child eczema will struggle with flare ups throughout life. The child eczema disease sometimes disappears with age, though the patient may always have drier, more sensitive skin. The child who continues to exhibit the symptoms of child eczema have a higher incidence of allergies and hay fever. Some children experience a period of symptom free years, only to have a relapse in teenage years when stress levels are high and hormones are in full gear. The symptoms often reappear in response to a new makeup or skin care cream.
Child Eczema Symptoms
Although the symptoms of child eczema can be difficult and uncomfortable, the disease can be successfully managed. Doctors work with parents to help them identify triggers and form a plan to avoid or limit them. Daily skin care with creams or ointments specifically formulated for treatment of child eczema help to retain moisture, prevent flare ups, reduce itching and promote healing of affected areas. Oral medications can help reduce inflammation and persistent itching. Adherence to a treatment plan allows babies to live, grow, and develop normally. Hence child eczema must not be taken for granted.