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What types of treatments might be prescribed for my child's eczema?

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If your child is diagnosed with eczema, you will likely be given a prescription for one or more of the following types of medications:

Corticosteroids: These prescription-requiring medications are applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and ease itch. There are many on the market, some more potent than others. A low-dose over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream is available in most pharmacies.

Antihistamines: A dose of prescribed antihistamine may be safely given to help your child cope with the intense itch that eczema causes. Whether or not they actually stop the itch, these medications do help a child to ignore under-the-covers itchiness and to sleep through the night.

Antibiotics: All the scratching can introduce bacteria into the skin and boost infection risk. Should an infection develop, your child may be prescribed an antibiotic in order to kill off any offending bacteria.

Calcineurin inhibitors: These creams keep your child's immune system from releasing the chemicals that trigger inflammation and the redness and itching that occurs. These medications are used after other treatments have been tried, and should not be used by children under 2 years of age or continuously.

Colloidal oatmeal: This form of oatmeal (which allows it to be dispersed properly in the bath water) is often prescribed to be used in the bath when the eczema is extensive and itchy. A before-bed bath in itself can also be soothing.

Emollients and hydrating creams and ointments: Using these helps to keep the area soothed and moisturized. Ointments are a bit more effective than creams. Look for these ingredients:

  • glycerin
  • propylene glycol
  • petrolatum
  • alpha-hydroxy acids
  • lanolin
  • mineral oil
  • urea

Soapless cleansers: These "soaps" are effective at cleaning the skin without the irritation sometimes caused by traditional soaps.

Use these medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor or dermatologist and as instructed by a consulting pharmacist. Keep up the treatment as long as recommended, as this condition generally lasts for a while and stopping medications too early may cause another flare-up. If treatments show no sign of helping, return to the doctor to see if the condition might be something different such as psoriasis. The two conditions can look similar.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Eczema-in-Infants-and-Children