Dealing with eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition characterized by intense itching, redness, and occasionally small bumps or scaly flakes of skin. Eczema also is called atopic dermatitis, and children usually develop symptoms prior turning five years old.
It is not clear what causes eczema or if it is preventable. In babies, the front side of the body is typically affected, including the cheeks, fronts of arms and scalp. Older children often develop itchy, red areas in the creases of the elbows and knees.
Unfortunately, there is not a test to diagnose eczema, but medical providers are comfortable making the diagnosis by the appearance of the skin. If your child has been diagnosed with eczema, the following are a few of the options your child's provider may prescribe:
- Moisturizing creams and ointments
- Steroid creams, which tend to decrease the inflamed, red sites. Use these as directed because they are not usually meant to be applied to the entire body or for extended periods of time.
- Oral steroids. These are medications used to calm the inflammation and decrease the effect of the immune system.
- Rarely, light therapy using ultraviolet light.
- Antihistamine medications also known as "allergy pills" can also be used for eczema.
Brad McClellan, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist at Huntsville Hospital
Dr. Brad McClellan has been a Pediatric Hospitalist at Huntsville Hospital Women's and Children's Hospital since 2016. He completed medical school at University of South Alabama, followed by his pediatric residency at University of Louisville/ Kosair Children's Hospital. He has a special interest in children's kidney disease, nutrition, transplant medicine, and high blood pressure. He has been involved in research in high blood pressure and vitamin D. When not at the hospital, he enjoys playing with his children, gardening, listening to music, and cycling. He is originally from Anniston, Alabama.