Always avoid soap and bubble-bath as much as possible. Use a "Soap Free Wash" such as QV, and non-soap shampoos such as Dermaveen.
Use QV BathOil: but avoid "QV flareup" as this contains irritating antiseptics which can make things worse.
Use the Steroid Ointment your Dermatologist has prescibed regularly once or twice per day.
Use it until all the red itchy patches have gone. Put this on the skin before the moisturizer.
Use plenty of moisturizer twice a day: "Dermeze" is the best.
If the eczema gets very bad- especially if it gets weepy, crusted or develops pimples - it may be infected and you will need to mix Bactroban in with the steroid ointments. If infection doesn't clear within a few days, you may need some oral antibiotics from the GP.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is a genetic skin condition that causes dry, red patches of itchy skin. It can run in families and often goes along with hayfever and asthma.
WILL KIDS GROW OUT OF IT?
Not all kids will grow out of eczema but it usually gets better with age.
IS STEROID OINTMENT SAFE IN KIDS?
Steroid ointments have different strengths- they can be very weak, or very strong. Hardly any steroid cream actually gets into the system so the side effects are usually only in the skin. If a very strong steroid ointment is used on the face, armpits or groin for a very long time- you can get "thinning of the skin" but this is VERY VERY rare. If used properly, steroid ointments will not cause any long-term skin problems. If very bad eczema is left untreated, it can scar.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TYPES OF STEROID CREAMS AND OINTMENTS?
Every steroid comes as both a cream (white colour) and an ointment (clear). Usually ointments are much better than creams for eczema because they don't contain any preservatives, and they help to moisturize the skin.
Every steroid has a chemical name e.g. "Hydrocortisone" and a trade name- e.g. "Sigmacort". It is always best to bring all the different ointments you are using to the appointments to avoid any confusion.
IS ECZEMA THE SAME AS FOOD ALLERGY?
No. Many kids break out in hives if they are allergic to food- usually within 30 minutes of eating something. This is a completely separate problem to Eczema. If you think your child might have a food allergy you may need a referral to see an immunologist for further tests. Kids with eczema do not need any special allergy tests or blood tests.
SHOULD I CHANGE MY CHILD'S DIET TO TRY TO GET RID OF THE ECZEMA?
No. Food that causes an obvious allergy should be avoided but strict elimination diets are not helpful. It is important that kids eat a healthy, balanced diet.
SHOULD I AVOID COWS-MILK FORMULA FOR MY BABY?
Some doctors feel that using a "hydrolysed" (partially broken down) cows-milk formula like "Nestle NAN-HA" is better than ordinary formula but it is much more expensive. Talk to your GP or a dietitian about this if you have any questions.
IS IT OK TO GO SWIMMING IN THE POOL?
Yes- but it is best to have a shower straight afterwards, and put some moisturizer on.
CAN I TRY OTHER HERBAL CREAMS ON THE SKIN?
"Natural" remedies for eczema have chemicals in them that your child may be allergic to. These can make eczema worse.
SHOULD I BUY A SPECIAL WASHING POWDER?
No. Use an ordinary washing powder, but make sure clothes are well rinsed- especially if hand washing. Don't add anti-fungal laundry rinse as this can be irritating.