Try an oatmeal bath treatment when your child has a flare-up.
Keep the bath on the short side -- no need for pruneyfingered soaks.
Blot -- don't rub -- dry with a towel, and while the skin is still warm and steamy (usually within three minutes) rub in some "high-octane" moisturizer. Don't forget the face!
If your child is using a topical prescription medication, apply it to the warm and steamy skin BEFORE you apply the moisturizers. Just remember, the whole idea is to literally trap the bath moisture in the child's skin to keep it nice and dewy.
Twice a week, cut your sweetie's fingernails. Do it right after the moisturizing session, while the nails are soft from the bath. Long nails break the skin when the kids scratch and can cause infection.
Skip the perfume and powders. If your little one just can't live without a sweet smell enveloping her, sprinkle a little talc on her bedsheets.
5. Encourage your child to educate teachers and classmates about eczema (I simply can't hammer this nail enough).
This is not something to be suffered in silence. Teaching others more about this condition empowers your child and informs others.
Many classes have a special time each week for kids to share feelings and resolve conflicts. This would be a safe and protected time for your child to talk about her eczema and how she feels about it. The other kids can ask her questions, too.
Take a cue from your child and talk to the other parents in his class or playgroup. Trust me, you'll have mothers crying with gratitude for helping them to help their own children with eczema.
6. Help your child find a way to release stress and pent-up energy every day.
Stress is a common trigger for eczema. (I used to get flare-ups in college at finals time, and now it's part of my PMS package so I know of what I speak.) Playing tag, shooting baskets, catching a ball, or jumping rope may help your child avoid a flare-up and if you play too, could help you drop a couple of pounds.
A child who feels athletic has a better body image than a couch potato, and we all know any child could use that, whether they have eczema or not.
Some parents try to keep their kids out of swimming pools all summer in an effort to avoid the drying effects of chlorine and the sting of most sunscreens on eczema skin. Dr. Hebert and I suggest they rethink this. First of all, the chlorine can actually reduce some of the topical bacteria that can collect on the skin. You can minimize the drying effects of chlorine by taking a shower immediately after the plunge, followed by the moisturizing ritual that we so heartily recommend after a bath. And as for the sunblock sting, Dr. Hebert and I recommend sunscreens and blocks that contain only one active ingredient, titanium dioxide; these are very effective and don't hurt sensitive skin.