Eczema is a red, extremely itchy rash. The rash often starts on the cheeks at 2 to 6 months of age. The rash is mostly on the inside of elbows, wrists, and knees.
Eczema is a type of sensitive, dry skin that runs in families. Eczema is triggered by contact with things like soap or chlorine. Hot baths can also make it worse. In 30% of infants with eczema, flare-ups occur within 2 hours of eating certain foods such as cow's milk, eggs, or peanut butter.
Steroid creams are a way to treat the itch of eczema. Most children need 2 types of steroid creams: one preventive cream to treat mild itching and another stronger cream to stop a flare-up once it has started.
Preventive steroid cream. Apply this cream as directed to any spot that itches. Also use it for mild flare-ups. After the rash quiets down, use it for another week. Always take the cream with you when you travel and make sure you buy more before you run out.
Rescue steroid cream. Apply this cream as directed for severe itching or rash. Never apply this more powerful steroid cream to the face or genital area.
An antihistamine medicine is needed at bedtime for itching that is keeping your child from getting to sleep or causes your child to wake up during the night.
Wear clothes made of cotton. Avoid scratchy clothes. Do not overdress your child. Avoid triggers that cause eczema to flare up, such as too much heat or cold, sweating, dry air (use a humidifier), chlorine, swimming pools, harsh chemicals, and soaps. Never use bubble bath.