Secrets of Caring for Eczema: Dos and Dont’s

Avoid perfumes, colorings and preservatives

Take care in what products you apply to your child’s skin. Your child’s skin is sensitive and needs to protected from harmful additives that may cause irritation. Generally speaking products containing perfumes, colorings and preservatives will be more likely to irritate the skin and trigger an eczema flare up.

Avoid soaps

Normal soaps are very drying and damaging to sensitive skin. A young child who has no signs of actual dirt on their skin will often only need to be washed with water. However if a cleaner is required choose a non-soap product that has been designed for sensitive skin.

Talk to your child

Having eczema can often make a child feel outcast from other children, especially as they get older. Talking to your child, explaining their condition to them and encouraging them to take an active part in the care of their skin will often help them to cope with their eczema and feel more comfortable being around other children.

When your child starts school it is also advisable to discuss the condition with your child’s teacher. Chances are the teacher will already be familiar with eczema and will be only too happy to help with your child’s care at school and to discuss the condition with the other children.


Eczema is often triggered by different foods. When introducing new foods to young children it is always advisable to go slowly and monitor the skin as you go to ensure that a new food introduced to the diet does not trigger the eczema.

When older a food diary is often helpful to identify foods that are already in the diet that may be causing a problem. A food that triggers eczema in a young child will not always be a problem forever. It is worth trying the food again several months later to see if the sensitivity is still present.


Sometimes it is necessary to add supplements to your child’s diet to help control their symptoms. The most common supplement to be used is an omega 3 supplement that will help to reduce the inflammation as well as the itching and redness.

Treatment Options for Childhood Eczema

It’s all Trial-and-Error

First and foremost when treating a child with eczema you should moisturise the skin. Children with eczema always have very dry skin and applying a moisturizer daily or more often will help to control the symptoms and reduce the risk of the skin becoming cracked and an infection developing.

Add bath oil to the bath

The skin can be moisturized by adding a bath oil to the bath water or applying a moisturizing emollient directly to the skin immediately after bathing and during the day.

In conjunction with moisturizers a specially formulated cream designed to control the symptoms of eczema should be used. There are many such creams available ranging from the traditional steroid creams to the new prescription non-steroid creams and the natural creams.

Most natural creams can be bought over the counter and used for as long as the eczema is present. Unlike the steroid and prescription non-steroid creams, which are designed for short-term use only.

Take the Time to Experiment

Due to the individual nature of child eczema creams to treat the condition will have a varying effect on each individual. What works well for one person may be of no benefit to another. This means several creams may need to be tried before a suitable one is found for a particular individual.

The only way to completely control a child’s eczema symptoms is to identify and remove all triggers. Unfortunately, this is not always possible however identifying and removing as many triggers as possible will significantly reduce the symptoms and make the overall condition easier to control.

Causes of Eczema

Eczema Affects Everyone Differently

Some people are born with an inherited tendency to develop eczema. Normally harmless substances in the environment will trigger an outbreak of eczema in people born with this tendency.

When eczema will first be triggered and how severely substances will affect the skin is difficult to say as everyone born with this tendency is different and reacts differently.

This can make identifying triggers and controlling symptoms difficult. A process of elimination is usually needed to establish individual triggers. This can be a long and drawn out process.

Although all people react differently and different substances will affect each individual differently there are some common substances that are most prone to triggering an eczema flare-up:

  • Dust mite
  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Environmental and seasonal changes
  • Stress
  • Some foods (especially egg, cows milk, shell fish, peanuts, wheat, nuts, rice, codfish, food additives and some fruit)
  • Alcohol and coffee.