What Triggers Eczema in Children

One of the most valuable things you can do for your child with Eczema is to look for things that seem to activate or worsen symptoms. Children with Eczema have sensitive skin, and symptoms may intensify with just a single exposure to irritants.  

There is no specific cure for Eczema. Medications only control or reduce the symptoms. So, aside from topical medications, the best way to manage this condition is through skincare and avoiding triggers.

What is an eczema trigger?

Eczema triggers are things or environmental factors which can provoke or worsen eczema symptoms. Avoiding triggers is essential to prevent future flare-ups, but they can be tricky and vary for each child. Therefore, it is best to identify what triggers your child's symptoms before avoiding them. You may also consider talking to your doctor about allergy testing to determine possible allergic triggers for your child's Eczema.

Here are the most common Eczema triggers on children:

Dry Skin

People with Eczema generally have dry skin because their skin cannot retain enough moisture. Dryness of the skin makes them sensitive to specific triggers, causing their skin to get itchy and sore. 

Here are some tips to keep their skin hydrated:

  • Bathe daily and moisturize skin with a fragrance-free moisturizer 

  • Re-apply moisturizer two to three times a day

Skin irritants

Skin irritants found in soaps, detergents, shampoo, bubble baths, dyes, perfumes, and other chemicals can make skin dry and itchy. In addition, certain clothes (e.g., made from wool or polyester) and tobacco smoke can irritate skin and cause eczema symptoms.

What can you do to prevent your child’s exposure to skin irritants?

  • Use mild, fragrance-free, and dye-free laundry detergents and fabric softeners

  • Use mild soaps, free from perfumes, dyes, and alcohol

  • Wear 100% cotton loose-fitting clothes

  • Lessen exposure to other chemicals known to irritate their skin (e.g., perfumes, air fresheners, candles, incense)  

  • Prohibit smoking inside the house

Heat

Eczema symptoms can get worse during hot weather. When a child experiences heat and sweats, they can feel itchy and start to scratch.   

Here are ways on how to prevent overheating and eczema flares:

  • Select clothes made of soft and breathable fabrics (e.g., cotton)

  • Avoid multiple covers at night

  • Turn on the air-conditioner or fan when the home temperature is high to prevent sweating

Allergens

Allergens such as pet fur, pollen, mold, and dust mites can trigger eczema symptoms. The best way to protect your child is to avoid exposure to these allergens. 

Try these easy tips on how to make your home allergy-proof:

  • Wash linens and pillowcases weekly

  • Clean the room every week

  • Take out all rugs and carpets

  • If you have a furry pet, vacuum regularly

Food

The food your child eats may cause eczema flares. Artificial additives in some food (e.g., synthetic preservatives, coloring, and flavoring) may induce allergic reactions and worsen Eczema symptoms.

What can you do to prevent your child from food-related Eczema triggers?

  • Identify and list the foods which seem to trigger Eczema

  • Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes

  • Choose an organic diet. Organic food does not contain artificial food additives that may induce allergic reactions and trigger Eczema symptoms.  

For related articles about Eczema, check out the following:

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information included in this material is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice for any concerns about health and nutrition.


References:

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