Children love to play and run around outside, especially in the warmer weather when the sun is out and everything feels fresh and alive. And what better way for our children to spend their days.
Unfortunately for some the summer months are a time of increased discomfort when their skin becomes extra prone to developing itchy rashes. These children have atopic eczema (also called atopic dermatitis).
One in five children have atopic eczema
Atopic eczema affects one in five young children and most commonly develops in the first year of life. An itchy rash usually appears on the face and scalp, spreading to the trunk and creases of the elbows, knees and wrists.
The skin becomes very inflamed and excessive scratching may lead to the skin becoming raw, crusted and weepy. Once broken, the skin is painful and is prone to infection.
Typically atopic eczema runs in families and is exacerbated by exposure to allergies. Flare-ups are individual according to what allergens each person is sensitive to. Many parents never determine a specific cause for their child’s eczema but will frequently notice similar features leading to a flare up in most cases.
Atopic eczema flare ups in summer
The summer months are one such feature. The air is warmer, children are more active and therefore more prone to sweating. These factors cause the skin to become hot and irritated leading to flare-ups.
Knowing that your child is prone to increased eczema flare-ups enables you to take steps to minimise the symptoms.
Simple steps to reduce atopic eczema
After your child has been outside running around getting hot and sweaty give them a cool/luke warm shower (never a hot shower) and immediately apply a moisturiser.
Take steps to prevent against sun exposure by ensuring children wear sun hats, long sleeves and long pants. Discouraging outdoor play during the hottest part of the day (10 am to 3pm) is also advisable.
If playing in water immediately wash off salt or chlorine after play and apply a moisturiser.
Summer should be fun for everyone. Help your child with atopic eczema to have fun and be carefree this summer.