There is a misconception that eczema causes allergies. In this blog, I would like to explore this topic. In this blog post, I will be focusing on atopic dermatitis also known as atopic eczema. There are different types of eczema, but this is the most common form of eczema common in children. In most cases, the child often develops this before their first birthday. It is a long-term condition and can improve as the child gets older.
So, what is atopic eczema? This is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. Some children have small patches of dry skin while others have widespread inflamed skin all over the body. For inflamed skin, there are different indications depending on the skin colour. For people of darker skin tone, purple or grey colour may be observed whilst for people of lighter skin tone it becomes red. It is important to note these subtle differences as it’s normally generalized as the skin colour being reddish in colour.
Which part of the body is affected? Atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, but it most often affects flex points of the body including inside the elbows, back of the knees as well as the hands, face and scalp.
What causes atopic eczema? This is where things become slightly complicated as people have different schools of thoughts and understanding in this area. The exact cause of eczema is unknown as there are different factors that contribute to atopic eczema. Let’s start with the name, ‘atopic’ means sensitivity to allergens. This suggests that there is a trigger or various triggers involved in atopic eczema. Current understanding suggests that it could be hereditary and develops along other conditions like asthma and hay fever. Other triggers of atopic eczema include soaps, detergents, stress, and weather. In some cases, food allergies may play a role in young children with severe eczema. Should food allergies be involved, the doctor may require the parent to keep a food diary to identify the food trigger.
Should you seek medical advice? YES! If your child has symptoms of atopic eczema, it is important to see your General Practitioner (GP) who will be able to diagnose atopic eczema through observation, medical history and asking various questions. The doctor will follow on with recommendations to help relieve the symptoms. This may improve over time. The management of eczema can involve reducing scratching and avoiding triggers, use of emollients and topical corticosteroids and of course, a good skin care routine.
To learn more about emollients download our flip book on eczema here
To learn more about skin care routine for eczema watch our video here
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Disclaimer: Pls note that this blog is designed to inform and help parents as well as people working with children with allergies have a better understanding of allergies especially food allergies. It is not a treatment plan or medical advice for individual children. It is important to seek advice for your child from your General Practitioner, family physician or paediatrician.