Eczema is a non-contagious skin disorder, which has some extremely uncomfortable symptoms. There are different types of eczema. The one that mostly affects babies and small children is referred to as atopic dermatitis. Children who are below the age of five are at a higher risk of developing this eczema. Parents often prefer home remedies over medical treatment for eczema in children simply because children of this age group have very delicate skin.
Causes and Symptoms
The exact cause behind this disorder in children is not clearly known, but it could be hereditary. It can be triggered by some food allergies. It is more commonly found in children with dry, sensitive skin. Sometimes, their skin may get irritated on exposure to irritants in the form of chemicals present in soaps, detergents, lotions, smoke, etc. Environmental factors like heat and changes in temperature can also be responsible for this skin problem.
The first visible sign of this condition is itching and reddening of the skin. The skin irritation intensifies when it comes in contact with clothes and bedding. Then, skin rashes show up which appear as dry, thick scales or small skin bumps. In the initial stage, the rashes are found on the forehead, cheek, and neck, but later on, they may spread to other parts of the body as well. The rashes may start oozing out if the child scratches them hard. As a result, the skin may stay damp all the time, which makes it susceptible to bacterial infection.
There are medicinal treatments for this skin problem in children and babies. However, the problem with these medicines is that the symptoms relapse after the medicines are stopped. Moreover, they cannot be used for a long time because of their side effects. For this reason, parents want to treat it at home. Following are a few such simple home remedies:
This is an excellent way to provide relief to the constant itching sensation. Take a soft wash cloth and dip it in ice-cold water. Squeeze out all the excess water from it and then place it over the affected skin.
Give a bath to your child with warm water to which one cup of table salt has been added. Warm water has a soothing effect on the skin sores. Make sure that the water is not hot because hot water can make the skin drier, which in turn would worsen the symptoms.
Grind some oats in a blender and put it into a muslin tea bag. Place this tea bag into the warm bath water of your child in order to ease off the excessive itching sensation. However, do not give a long bath to your child.
To keep the skin in a well-moisturized condition, petroleum jelly is the best option available to you. Most of the body lotions that are available in the market contain fragrance and other irritants which are not suitable for your child. Apply the jelly soon after the bath when the skin is still not completely dry. You should apply it thrice a day for best results.
Apply olive oil all over your child's body. This will have a moisturizing effect on the dry scaly patches of eczema. It will also prevent further spreading of the rashes to other parts of the body.
Sandalwood and Camphor
Take one teaspoon each of sandalwood paste and camphor powder, and mix it well. Apply this paste on the scaly patches in a thick layer. Wash off after around 15 minutes. The medicinal properties of sandalwood helps reduce the skin inflammation. This will show marked improvement in the skin condition of your child within a few days of regular application.
The main aim of all the aforementioned natural remedies is to stop the skin irritation as early as possible. Moreover, to prevent the skin from getting scratched you must keep the fingernails of your child in a properly trimmed condition. Also, make your child wear soft-cotton clothes, which are suitable for sensitive skin.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.