Eczema is an allergic reaction, or
hypersensitivity of the immune system, which attacks the skin. The skin becomes dry, inflamed and itchy, so the natural reaction is to scratch, which causes more inflammation, leading to a vicious cycle. Eczema is a common skin condition in children under 5 years old.
Eczema can be caused by genetics and is triggered by exposure to certain foods, clothing and substances in the environment.
Dry, inflammed and itchy skin, often inside the elbows or behind the back of the knees
There is no cure, but the condition usually can be controlled with topical creams and lifestyle changes to avoid triggers.
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears recommends parents "soak and seal" their child to help soothe eczema. Give your child a short bath no longer than 10 minutes in warm, but not hot, water. Then, pat dry and seal the moisture into the skin with a medicated cream or ointment recommended by your pediatrician.
Dr. Sears also says feeding your child foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and flax seeds can help prevent flare-ups. Parents also should use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and avoid wearing perfumes.
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