While the exact cause of eczema remains unclear, it is believed to result from a hyperactive response of our immune system to an irritant.
- It often occurs together with allergies and frequently runs in families.
- A family history of hay fever or asthma is frequently reported.
- For some children and young people this will be a minor condition but for some it can seriously impact on their quality of life.
- Eczema presents as an itchy skin condition that is often dismissed as minor.
- However the discomfort from itching and the sudsequent loss of sleep should not be underestimated.
- It is often said that children will 'grow out' of childhood ezcema, but a significant number do not, so therefore it is important that it is managed well at home and at school.
- Severe itching
- Cracked and inflammed skin
- Disturbed sleep and concentration due to severe itching
- Food allergens e.g. egg, inadvertently taken, may provoke acute ezcema
- The key treatments are topical hydration of the skin using emolients (medical moisturisers) and the avoidance of allergens that may trigger eczema.
- Regular use of emolients to keep the skin hydrated is very important.
- Rapid treatment of infection should the skin become infected.