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Eczema Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD NULL
December 30, 2020

What is Eczema?

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is inflammation of the skin that causes it to be itchy, bumpy and flaky.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but the condition is more common in children with allergies or a family history of allergies. Sometimes children with eczema also have asthma. If your child has eczema, it does not mean they have a food allergy. 

Symptoms of eczema include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Bumps
  • Skin color changes- skin can either become lighter or darker in areas of eczema

Eczema usually shows up differently depending on a child’s age:

  • Infants/small children usually have symptoms on the front of the arms and legs, the scalp and the face.
  • Older children typically experience symptoms in the creases of the elbows and knees, sides of the neck.

How is Eczema Treated?

If not treated, bad eczema can cause scarring. The foundation of eczema treatment is returning moisture to the skin.

Treatment plans for eczema should include the following:

Avoid triggers 

Eczema triggers may include:

  • scented soaps
  • detergents
  • fabric softeners and dryer sheets
  • heat and sweating
  • dry air
  • temperature changes
  • perfumes
  • wool/polyester

Moisturize

At least twice per day with a thick, oily unscented moisturizer. We recommend using:

  • Eucerin
  • Aveno
  • Vanicream
  • Aquaphor

Moisturize after bath time, applying moisturizer while the skin is still damp to seal in moisture.

Topical steroids

Steroid creams can be used for flare ups and extreme itching for a short period time along with regular moisturizing

Other Treatment Options

Alternative eczema treatments include:

  • Light therapy
  • Medicines that change the immune system 
  • Antihistamines like claritin and zyrtec can help if eczema is associated with allergies but usually does not help itching

Check in with K if…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming

See a doctor in person if…

  • Eczema is not improving or worsens despite treatment
  • Rash become painful or looks infected
  • Eczema seems to worsen in association with specific food
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.