How eczema changes with age
Eczema can affect you differently depending on your age. The best way to treat it can differ too.
- The number of eczema sufferers has been rising steadily in the united kingdom for some years, and now stands with 1 in 5 children plus 1 in 12 adults.
Eczema isn’t catching.
The most common form of eczema is definitely atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis. Atopic is the word used to explain allergic conditions such as asthma plus hay fever.
Around 90% of eczema cases occur prior to the age of five.
Half of children affected by eczema will be almost clear of it by the age of six. Three-quarters will be free of it by the time they may be teenagers.
Occasional flare-ups are usually possible in adulthood.
Relieving eczema within babies
In babies, eczema tends to appear like a red rash on the cheeks, distributing down to the neck and nappies area.
Even though it’s natural to be concerned about using steroid creams on your baby, they may be very useful for short periods. Just be sure to consult your GP prior to using these creams and never use them on a baby’s face.
It could be difficult to get the dose (amount) associated with steroid cream correct. It’s usually measured in fingertip units (FTU). 1 FTU can treat an area associated with skin twice the size of an adult’s full hand and fingers.
Avoid using too little steroid cream as this can prolong flare-ups and means you may require more treatment within the long-term. Once the flare-up has cleared, stop using the steroid.
Use cotton bedding and clothing to reduce the itching, and keep your infant’s nails short and clean to lessen the damage from scratching.
Read more about eczema within babies.
Relieving eczema in young children
By the age of two, a child with eczema will probably have the rash on their neck of the guitar, elbows, arms, ankles and behind the knees.
In children over two, antihistamines may help. Antibacterial ointments may also be useful if the eczema becomes infected. Your GP may also consider prescribing a medicine to control any swelling of the skin.
Distraction is the best way to help your son or daughter during eczema flare-ups. Keep your child as busy as possible with routines to reduce the distress caused by eczema.
Read more about eczema in young children.
Reducing eczema in teens and young adults
Eczema generally improves as children reach their particular teens. It’s important that they continue moisturising. Teenage boys, in particular, don’t like using emollients (non-cosmetic moisturisers), and young ladies starting to use cosmetics and fragrances may have a reaction.
This is also the age when young adults may start smoking and drinking, both of which can cause eczema flare-ups. The stress of exams, first jobs and new careers can also be a problem. Late nights and a lot of coffee are not good for eczema.
Many young people are very active and eczema should not interfere with sporting activities. Sweating can irritate eczema, yet this can be reduced by wearing loose natural cotton clothing and exercising in awesome weather.
Teens should avoid swimming during a outbreak and always use emollient before engaging in the water. They need to shower soon after and reapply emollient.
Relieving eczema in the over-40s
Flare-ups often disappear by this age, but most former eczema sufferers remain prone to dry epidermis, so you should continue to use emollient.
Having varicose blood vessels can increase your risk of venous eczema. Speak to your GP for advice.
Read more about how to look after your skin.