Children’s eczema – atopic eczema
Red, thickened, itchy patches on the skin are symptoms of atopic eczema, called infantile eczema in children. The cause can be an allergy or hypersensitivity reaction, but usually the origin of the eczema is unclear. The tendency to develop eczema is partly hereditary.
Atopic eczema usually appears during the first year of life. The rash is usually situated on cheeks, neck, chest, stomach or diaper area. Eczemas during the first years can be caused by sensitivity to certain food, for example cows’ milk, eggs or fish. The initial skin irritation can also be triggered by chemical substances, like in clothes, or physiological challenges to the skin, like a hot tub or clothes with a rough structure.
Many children outgrow these symptoms at one to two years of age, but may instead develop an itchy eczema in other regions, such as the arm and knees. At preschool age, there is a growing proportion of children with other types of eczema, such as contact dermatitis. If your child is showing a tendency to develop eczema, dry the skin with gentle pats after bathing, rather than rubbing. Protect the sensitive skin from excessive heat or cold. Lubricate the affected areas with unscented, moisturizing cream.