Eczema / Dermatitis
Eczema and dermatitis refers to the same condition. It is a non-contagious, inflammatory skin condition. The triggers include allergens such as pet dander and dust mites, cosmetics, soaps, detergents and weather changes. Most patients develop eczema before the age of 5 but it may also develop for the first time in adults. It is usually a long term condition. However, it may improve, or even clear completely in some children as they enter adulthood.
The location of eczema may change with age. In infants and young children, eczema is normally located on cheeks or knees. In older children and adults, symptoms commonly present on the hands and feet, arms and back of knees.
Symptoms of eczema include:
- A red rash or red patches on skin
- Dry, sensitive skin that might crack and bleed
- Painful blisters in severe cases
Treatment of eczema can help to manage symptoms and improve the condition over time.
- Emollients (moisturising treatments) – used daily for dry skin
Emollients are the mainstay of treatment for eczema as it helps to repair the skin barrier and prevent eczema flare ups. It can be used for both treatment and prevention of the eczema. Patients are advised to persist with emollient use even when symptoms subside.
Products include emollient cream and emollient wash.
You can find our range of products (eg. Aqueous cream, Shea Lotion, Neem Cream) here:
- Steroid cream and ointment – purchased from pharmacy / prescribed by doctor
Steroid cream should be used sparingly during eczema flare up (short term use only)
These are the steps you can take to prevent eczema flare ups:
- Take short, warm baths rather than long, hot baths which tend to dry out skin
- Use emollients several times a day especially after showering
- Keep room temperature as regular as possible
- Use unscented laundry detergent for sensitive skin
- Stay hydrated and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
- Wear loose clothing made of natural materials eg. Cotton
- Avoid alcohol nappy wipes. Use cloth with water and bath oil
- Manage your stress and emotional triggers
When to see a doctor
- Signs of severe eczema that might involve skin infections eg. Inflamed blisters, pus, yellow scabs
- Suspicion of concurrent severe allergies (recurrent widespread skin rash, eczema around the eyes, difficulty in breathing)
- Severe eczema in a children less than 12 months old
- Poor feeding, poor sleep, and failure to thrive in young patients
- Worsening of symptoms despite being compliant with treatment for 6 weeks or more