Baby and Toddler Sickness: Eczema

Baby with eczema

What eczema is, the causes and symptoms of it, and treatment options for the condition.

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a skin condition characterised by dry, red, itchy patches that commonly occurs behind the knees, and on the arms, hands, neck and face. Eczema varies in severity. It is not contagious – your child can’t give it to another person and they can’t catch it from someone. Skin sensitivities, allergies, family history of the condition, and asthma or hay fever are contributing causes.

If your child has eczema, you can help manage the condition by:

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  • Using plenty of moisturiser on their skin.
  • Eliminating products that irritate their skin (like soap and those with perfumes).
  • Keeping the skin clean.
  • Making sure they aren’t getting too hot or too cold.

Visit your doctor if your child’s condition doesn’t improve with treatment, if it worsens or becomes infected. They may be able to prescribe topical steroid treatment to help and can give further advice.

For more advice on keeping kids healthy, visit kidshealth.org.nz.

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