Eczema is a common problem whereby the skin develops an inflammation that causes a painful and itchy rash to develop. This disease may affect anyone at any age, but it is particularly prevalent among very young children. An individual with eczema may experience very itchy, red, irritated, crusty, or thickened skin.
Its exact cause is unknown; however, studies suggest a genetic factor to its development. There is also no known cure for eczema, but dermatologists recommend the use of various treatments to alleviate the symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Eczema?
The symptoms of eczema can vary depending on the patient’s age. The condition may begin during infancy, childhood, puberty, the teen years, or even adulthood. Listed below are some signs you can expect from the particular age groups:
Symptoms in Infancy and Childhood
An infant with eczema may first experience rashes on their scalp and face, especially on their cheeks. These rough, red, and scaly rashes will leak fluid after bubbling up.
These rashes also cause an unbearable sensation of itchiness, which may interrupt the infant’s sleep. If the skin condition progresses, it may also appear on other parts of the baby’s face and body.
Eczema most often tends to develop sometime after infancy, before the age of 5. In older children, it typically develops on the knees, elbows, neck, wrists, ankles, and behind the ears. The rashes may lighten or darken in color and can become thick.
Signs During Teenage Years and Adulthood
Eczema in teens and adults may either be adult-onset eczema or childhood eczema that reemerged. The symptoms are more evident on the creases of the elbows, knees, or the nape of the neck.
The rash that forms tends to cause a permanent itch as well as dehydrated skin. Rashes that appear in this age group are more prone to skin infection than are young children with the condition.
Possible Treatments for Eczema
This skin disease is treated in order to alleviate the symptoms and to promote healing of the damaged skin. Different age groups generally receive different types of treatment.
Infants do not usually need to take medication for their condition. Instead, doctors recommend the use of topical ointments. The ointment or cream must be applied immediately after bathing to help control eczema, since dryness can exacerbate the condition. However, if this is not sufficient, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications or suggest the use of hydrocortisone cream.
Children who have eczema need to keep their skin well-moisturized and to avoid irritants. Just like infants, children must continue to apply skin cream or ointment several times a day to control the condition. Other treatments include topical steroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics in case of infection.
For most teens and adults with eczema, it is recommended to apply ointments and creams to the affected area before bedtime. These products may become greasy and feel irritable during the day. Teens and adults may also opt for topical corticosteroids and antihistamines.
At any age, the best way to control eczema is by observing proper skin hygiene and avoiding possible skin irritants.
Eczema Treatment in South Florida
With convenient locations throughout South Florida, from Miami to Coral Gables to Palm Beach Gardens, our experienced medical staff at Children’s Skin Center aims to provide patients of all ages with quality skincare as a key part of their overall wellness. Every individual needs personalized care for eczema or other dermatological needs, including annual skin checkups.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling (305) 669-6555 or you may also request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to seeing you and helping you get your eczema under control.