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What are the best treatment options for children with eczema?
The main treatments for most forms of eczema are emollients (moisturisers) and creams and ointments, known as topical corticosteroids, that reduce the swelling and redness that occurs during flare-ups. If your little one has very severe and painful itching, antihistamine tablets or bandages are also sometimes used to help manage symptoms. The best treatment option for your little one will depend on the type and severity of their eczema symptoms and their age. Children who require strong steroid cream use on large areas of skin will often be closely monitored by health professionals. This is because frequent courses of strong topical steroids in larger quantities can sometimes affect growth and development.
It isn’t yet known how eczema can be prevented. However, at home there are a number of practical steps that parents can take to help reduce itching and prevent flare-ups from happening in their little ones:
- Use a cream such as an aqueous cream instead of soap to keep the skin supple and elastic
- Use cotton clothing, bed linens and feather free duvets and pillows where possible (eczema can be triggered or made worse by woollen or synthetic fabrics)
- Avoid fabric conditioners and only use non-biological detergents
- Keeping your child away from furry animals
- Vacuum and damp dust surfaces regularly to reduce exposure to house dust mites that can make eczema symptoms worse
- Keep your house well ventilated
- Avoid smoking inside the home
- Keep your child’s nails short to reduce scratching