It is important to note that eczema is a common skin condition that can cause inflammation and harsh irritation. An individual with this skin condition can experience the symptoms if he/she has dry skin. In most cases, the skin is inflamed, hot and itchy and can even appear red in color and irritated.
Emollient creams and lotions are prescribed for eczema and dry skin. The simplest form is a combination of water and oil. There are some emollients that might contain small amounts of antibacterial chemicals or steroids.
There are emollient products that range in their consistency from being thick or fluid and even though they provide a cooling and soothing effect on the condition, the pastiness of the thicker varieties can oftentimes make them annoying to children. It is vital to look for a product that the child can tolerate once applied.
If the child has dry skin, it makes him/her prone to eczema and once the skin barrier is broken, he/she is at risk for infection and further irritation from the allergens. Scratching will also cause the body to release histamine which further aggravates the symptoms.
How to use emollients
- Make sure that your hands are clean as well as the child’s if he/she is going to help with the application since skin with eczema is prone to infection.
- Dab the cream over the affected area and smooth it in a downward direction so that the hair follicles are not irritated.
- Once the cream is applied, make sure that all bowls and other equipment are washed in soapy, hot water and kept only for use with the eczema treatment.
- It is vital to use emollients after a shower or bath. Gently dab the skin dry and seal the moisture into the skin by applying an emollient.
- Many soaps strip the skin of its natural oil, thus a prescribed emollient will be used in the bath.
Topical steroid creams
In some cases, it is oftentimes needed to apply topical corticosteroids since they help minimize the inflammation in the skin.
Many individuals are concerned when steroids are used as a treatment option. Remember that these steroids play a vital role in managing various conditions including eczema.
Topical steroids have been proven to be safe but it is vital to carefully follow the instructions on the package. Steroid creams should only be applied to the inflamed areas of the skin. One finger tip of the cream is enough to cover an area of skin as twice the size of an adult’s hand.
Oftentimes, specialized garments or called as “wet wraps” can be used. These are used if a child has not responded to the usual topical application of emollients and steroids. The wet wraps are also beneficial if the child suffers from itchiness at night.
Calcineurin inhibitors can be used as an alternative to steroid creams. Just like steroid creams, they minimize skin inflammation and reduce the itchiness. Take note that these creams are suitable for use on every part of the body.