Questions about eczema

At what age does atopic eczema appear?

Atopic eczema usually appears before six months and improves before adolescence in 80% of cases.

What are the signs?

Dry skin, red spots and itching.

Why do some children have eczema?

The main causes of eczema are an atopic predisposition (family) and certain environmental factors. If one of the parents is atopic, the risk of the child being atopic is approximately 50%. The term topia refers to a series of diseases, such as eczema, asthma and seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis. The risk increases if both parents are atopic. When the skin comes in contact with irritants such as wool or heat from a radiator, redness may appear.

In what areas do eczema normally appear?

  • In newborns: in the most exposed areas such as the cheeks, forehead and chin.
  • In children: in the inner folds such as the elbows, behind the knees, in the upper part of the feet, hands, torso or neck.
  • In adults: the face, neck and hands.

What happens to eczema when a child grows up?

After seven years, about 80% of children have eczema gone. However, dry and irritable skin will persist throughout his life. Due to stressful events or conflicts during adolescence, eczema may reappear.

Should we be afraid of dermocorticosteroids?

No, dermocorticosteroids are the reference treatment for outbreaks of atopic eczema. It is applied as long as the inflammation is present, one application a day in inflamed lesions only. Dermocorticosteroids should only be used when there is a prescription from the doctor. When the treatment is followed correctly, the results are spectacular. The itching goes away in a few days and the undesirable effects are very rare in practice.

Is eczema contagious?

No, eczema is not absolutely contagious. Children who suffer from this disease should be allowed to play normally with their friends.

If a child suffering from eczema, should see a psychologist?

Atopic eczema is not a psychological disease. However, the severity of the pathology and its impact on the quality of life of the patient and his family can sometimes be such that psychological attention is required.

Can children be vaccinated if they suffer from eczema?

Yes, there are no contraindications, unless the child suffers from a severe crisis.

Can a child suffering from eczema swim in the pool or sea water?

A child suffering from eczema should be monitored and treated by a doctor. You can swim, but chlorine and salt can irritate your skin. After swimming, the child should rinse the skin with water, dry without rubbing and apply a moisturizer for the whole body.

Can a child suffering from eczema play sports?

Yes, all children can play sports. However, sweat can irritate the skin, and make the child want to scratch. Regardless of the activity, the child should rinse systematically after finishing the activity, dry without rubbing and apply a moisturizer for the whole body.

Is the sun good for children who suffer from eczema?

Although eczema improves during the summer, certain protective measures must be adopted: stay in the shade, wear appropriate clothing, hat, very high protection sunscreen … (and follow the recommendations of the child’s dermatologist).

Can children suffering from eczema have pets?

Many children dream of having a pet. In any case, animals with fur on their skin (dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters …) should not sleep in the child’s bed or on the sofa. The house should be vacuumed at least three times a week. (Consult your doctor before buying a pet.)

Can certain foods cause eczema?

Yes, certain foods can trigger eczema attacks on sensitive children. The main foods are: cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat flour, fish and shrimp (those that are usually related to allergies). With the globalization of dietary habits and the diversification of food products, the list now includes kiwi, walnuts and sesame. If in doubt, consult an allergy specialist.


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