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Diagnosed With Eczema

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Babies, Health , Tags: eczema, steroid cream, treatment

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Eczema is a dry, itchy skin condition that affects 15-20% of children during their early years, normally appearing before their 2nd birthday.  Most will grow out of it by the time they reach the teenage years.  Eczema  cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and eased with various treatments.

What causes it?

Scientists really don't know for sure but it seems to run in families.  The different types of eczema are:-

  1. Atopic Eczema: This means a tendency to develop conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, asthma and hayfever. In extreme cases the dry patches can crack and ooze blood or fluid. Most children tend to be affected around the knee, elbow, neck and face areas.
  2. Contact Eczema: Some children get flare-ups at times when their eczema is worse. This can be triggered by chemicals that come in close contact with the skin: washing powders, fabric softeners, bubble baht or shampoos. This is referred to as Contact Eczema.  Some children with Atopic Eczema can also have Contact eczema and the two can exist together.
  3. Allergic Eczema: This refers to localised flaring up of eczema due to an allergic reaction, for example because of the nickel in jewellery or watches.

Eczema in children can be very distressing as they find it incredibly hard not to scratch and therefore infect the dry areas.

What Can Be Done?

  • If your child has a Mild form of Eczema - Use an emollient lotion, cream and if necessary a course of steroid cream. Use bath emollient and avoid using perfumed products on your child.
  • If they have a Severe form- Steroid creams may be prescribed by your doctor and they may be referred to a specialist dermatologist for other treatments or drugs.

Dry bandages may also be used, and a technique known as wet wrapping. This is where bandages are soaked in steroid cream and then placed on the affected areas with a dry bandage wrapped on top. This is done to encourage the emollient to soak into the skin.

Homeopathy and complementary medicines can be used as indeed can Chinese herbs.  These treatments are not necessarily proved as being successful but may provide comfort.

Nappy Rash - What Can Be Done?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: barrier cream, cream, hydrocortisone, nappies, nappy rash, sore, treatment

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Nappy rash is common, affecting up to one third of babies, making the skin sore and irritated, sometimes covering the skin in tiny pink or red spots which may be raised raised and very painful.  The reason nappy rash occurs, is that the baby's skin is in a constantly warm and airless nappy, and comes in contact with urine or faeces.

Nappy rash is most common in babies aged between nine and twelve months old.  The important thing is to assess how serious the nappy rash is and to care for it and treat it accordingly.

If the skin is simply a little red and sore-looking...

  • This can be treated with careful and gentle cleaning and the use of a barrier cream.  Have a chat to your health visitor or pharmasist for advice. Zinc cream, zink oxide and petroleum jelly are suitable.
  • Leave the nappy off as long a possible - let your baby have a kick around on an absorbent towel or mat.
  • Avoid using soaps or shop-bought wipes.  Simply use water and cotton wool.
  • Dab dry after a bath or wash, don't rub.
  • Change the nappy frequently.
  • Don't use talc as it can irritate the skin.
  • Try using a different brand or type of nappy - they are not all the same.

If the nappy rash is more painful and your baby is uncomfortable...

Firstly, make sure you follow the guidelines above to ensure you have a good routine when it comes to changing a nappy and cleaning the nappy area.  If the nappy rash is more severe it will upset your baby and your doctor will prescribe something that will help.

  • Corticosteroids reduce inflamation and help with itching and redness.
  • Hydrocortisone creams may be applied once a day and can clear up he problem very quickly.  It can be used for seven days only.
  • Anticandidal medicines treat fungal infection and come in various forms.  These have to be used for at least seven days after the rash has cleared to ensure effective treatment.

Keep an eye on progress and if in any doubt, go ot your GP or health visitor.

Dealing with Nits and Lice

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: lice, lifecycle, nits, shampoo, treatment

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Yeugh - nits and lice are unpleasant, but don't panic if your children develop an infestation!  Lice spread easily between children playing in groups so unfortunately, infestations aren't uncommon.  Nits are the eggs that hatch into lice.  The first you may hear is by note from your nursery that lice are going round, or of course you may notice your children scratching their heads as they sooth bites from lice.  Lice don't fly or jump but they crawl quickly making them difficult to spot.  Use a fine comb to see if your child is suffering from nits - a fine comb will help to pull them out and help you to confirm an infestation.

You can buy lice shampoos to treat the critters at any pharmacy.  Lice lay eggs which hatch in 7 - 10 days, and then in a further 7 - 10 days, the young lice grow into adults and will start laying their own eggs.  To remove them with shampoo, you will need to apply once at the first sign of infestation, and then once more around 7 days later when any existing eggs have hatched - shampoo doesn't treat nits (the eggs), only the lice.  Further applications may be required either because the treatment didn't work, or your child may become reinfected from their nursery groups.

You should also wash any items that your child's head has had contact with since the infestation.  Wash their bedding to remove lice from that, and wash anything else that their head may have come into contact with in the run up to the infestation.

The whole idea of nits and lice is pretty unpleasant, but it's a fact of growing up, so be aware that your child may get infected, keep a lookout for early signs, and don't panic if your child gets infected.  Millions of other children are in the same situation and there are no long term effects.


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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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