Eczema is a common skin condition that affects children, and there are two types that are most commonly seen - atopic eczema and irritant eczema.
Atopic eczema is characterized by episodes of flare-ups and subsiding, and it usually starts before the child reaches six months of age. Sometimes, it's caused by specific allergens, but other times it can occur for no apparent reason, which sets it apart from irritant eczema, where there is always an allergen involved.
Fortunately, as children grow older, the episodes of atopic eczema tend to improve, and they often go away completely by the age of five. The primary cause of atopic eczema is believed to be an immature immune system that is learning to adapt to the environment.
Atopic eczema is more common in urban areas, likely because of the lack of exposure to microbes in the environment. The skin with atopic eczema is also less able to retain moisture, making it more reactive to the environment and susceptible to the itch-scratch cycle. It's crucial to keep the affected skin moisturized with products that don't contain fragrances, fillers, colors, or preservatives, as they can trigger the itch-scratch cycle.
While steroid creams can be effective in suppressing the reaction, they can also have harmful side effects on young skin. So, taking a natural approach may take longer to show results but can be a better long-term solution. Dealing with eczema can be a challenging cycle for both parents and children, and it requires patience and proper care.