Does My Child Have Eczema?

How to tell if your child's rash is really eczema, and how to treat the skin condition if it is.

Problem: A new study finds that eczema -- a dry, red, scaly rash that typically appears behind the knees, inside elbows, and on the cheeks and neck -- is increasing among young kids. And it only gets worse in the winter.

Solution: First, make sure it's really eczema, says David E. Bank, MD, director of a dermatology center in Mount Kisco, New York. Mild eczema is typically itchy, red, dry skin, though severe eczema may be bright red and crusty. But if there's no family history and your child has never had it before, see your pediatrician because it could be another rash or skin condition. If it is eczema, the best thing you can do is keep the skin moisturized. Apply a mild, fragrance-free cream or mineral oil throughout the day and especially after baths, while the skin is still damp.

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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