ZocdocAnswersWhat is the best treatment for eczema in a four year old without resorting to prescribed creams?

Question

What is the best treatment for eczema in a four year old without resorting to prescribed creams?

My daughter is four, and has had eczema on her hands and arms for most of her life. We have used prescribed creams but it little good as far as itching is concerned. It seems that some of her flare ups could be caused by some diet elements. Her father also has eczema and still has it severely in the winter times. Once when she was sick and wasn't eating much for a couple of days, all of her eczema went away. That's why I believe most of it probably due to diet. I would like some suggestions in terms of what she could be allergic to? She doesn't have any normal allergies to foods so I can't figure out except for the flare ups on her hands.

Answer

Eczema can be difficult to treat, and you are right to suggest that in some cases it can be related to allergies. Some of the allergens that can worsen eczema include many food items (such as wheat, soy, eggs) but also many environmental things (such as mold, dust mites, and cockroaches). If your daughter is still having serious flare ups then I would suggest talking to your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. the prescribed creams that are used for eczema almost always work, except that sometimes it requires a few visits to get the combinations right, so followup with your doctor is very important. Additionally, soaking in the bath tub every day can be helpful, as it rehydrates the skin. After soaking, you can immediately dry your daughter off and apply a thick moisturizer to trap in moisture. The best moisturizer is hydrolated petrolatum, as it is thick and greasy and stays in place. In addition to this, a visit to see an allergy doctor might be indicated, and your dermatologist or primary care doctor can help you make this decision. An allergy doctor might be able to perform skin testing to help identify if there is a particular allergy that is associated with the eczema.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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