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Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease that affects between 5 and 20 percent of school-age children. Preventing it, as well as controlling symptoms and avoiding flare-ups, are one of the concerns of parents, since dermatitis usually causes a lot of discomfort to children.
With the help of this manual by five international experts on the subject and the Association of Relatives and Patients of Atopic Dermatitis (ADEA), eczema and its effects on children can be controlled, and even prevented.
1- Prevent the child from scratching
Dermatitis produces an intense itch and therefore NOT scratching seems an impossible task. Scratching must be avoided. It can make the child feel relieved for a moment, but if it persists it can lead to the appearance of infections and secondary diseases that can even aggravate the disease itself.
To prevent the child from getting hurt by scratching, the first thing parents have to do is keep their nails, both hands and feet, trimmed. If the child resists having his nails cut, try to make an agreement with him. Soft and light gloves can also be put on children's hands. Placing a cold object or compress on the irritated area can also minimize the urge to scratch.
2- Maintain constant hydration
A hydration routine throughout the year is very important. Frequent use of moisturizers can help prevent dry skin. It is important to choose fragrance-free moisturizers and ensure that children use moisturizing gels or ointments on the joint areas, when they feel their skin needs it.
3- Remove the label from the clothes
When they rub against the skin of children the labels can cause the appearance of a dermatitis outbreak. Both wool and synthetic fabrics can irritate and itch children's skin, so it is very important to avoid labels, as well as tight, rough or scratching clothes.
To relieve irritation and itching caused by clothing, it is best to use liquid or powdered detergents that are hypoallergenic. As for children's clothing, they better be 100 percent cotton.
4- Inform the child's teacher
Itching and irritation from dermatitis can occur at any time, therefore, the child must be aware of his own ailment so that he can control the handling of the situation. For this reason, it is necessary to tell the child's teacher, so that he can help and understand him, and that the child also feels supported in his school.
5- Observe where and when outbreaks occur
Knowing the circumstances that can cause outbreaks of dermatitis in children can minimize their discomfort. Observation is necessary to identify triggers for dermatitis. If it is due to excessive sweating, the material of the clothes, if it is due to the direct use on the skin of a specific product or if it is due to contact with a pet, with some type of food, etc.
It would be ideal to keep a respectful diary to later teach it to the child's pediatrician, and thus develop prevention and / or treatment strategies.
6- Talk and educate the child
Depending on the age of the children, they can be educated according to what they manage to assimilate. It is necessary that in some way, they have control in the management of their dermatitis. They should be taught to dry and hydrate their skin well after bathing, to avoid scratching with their nails, very hot baths, and to be aware of what they have.
7- Consider the seasons of the year
Sudden changes in temperature can also cause damage to the kids skin. It is important that the child is properly dressed both in summer and winter. Both winter heating and summer air conditioning can dry out children's skin and lead to eczema or dermatitis. It is important that both the room and the sheets on the child's bed are well ventilated and airy.
8- Be careful with food
Foods like eggs, milk, citrus fruits, chocolate, peanuts, and some food coloring can trigger eczema flare-ups. It should be observed if any food is causing itching and irritation to the child. It is best to keep a healthy and balanced diet.
9- Bathe children daily
It is recommended to bathe children daily with special moisturizing products, without alcohol and without soap. Make sure that the bath water is lukewarm as very hot water can irritate the child's skin. And make it a quick bath to prevent your skin from drying out. To dry the child's skin, you should use the towel carefully and avoid rubbing your skin with it. After the bath, do not forget to hydrate the child's skin well.
10- Find and apply an appropriate treatment
Although dermatitis, for the moment, has no cure, it is very important to apply adequate treatment. If the child has an acute flare, the doctor usually uses corticosteroids. Once controlled, calcineurin inhibitors are used.
Once the outbreak has disappeared, the medication is gradually reduced, increasing prevention measures with intensive hydration and observation. It is advisable to follow the treatment indicated only by the doctors since each child is different.
You can read more articles similar to Decalogue to control childhood dermatitis, in the Skin Care category on site.