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Hard to Control Eczema in Children

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Parenting Tips

If you are already doing every you should be doing to manage your child's eczema, including:

  • avoiding known triggers
  • controlling eczema flares with the short term use of a low or medium potency steroid cream or ointment or non-steroidal eczema medicine, such as Elidel or Protopic
  • using a moisturizer every day and within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower
  • not using hot water in the bath or shower and using a mild soap, like Dove or Oil of Olay, or a soap substitute, such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • washing your child's clothes with Dreft

and you still can't get it under control, you might consider that your child could have a secondary skin infection.

Many eczema experts believe that the Staph. aureus bacteria infects many children with eczema and can cause eczema flares and prevent them from getting under control. In fact, one study showed that more than 90 percent of patients with atopic dermatitis were colonized with the Staph. aureus bacteria.

That is why many doctors, in addition to prescribing a steroid cream or ointment or a non-steroidal medicine, such as Elidel or Protopic, for eczema, will also prescribe an antibiotic.

If your child is already on antibiotics and his skin still looks infected, then he could have the MRSA or resistant Staph bacteria on his skin and he may need a different antibiotic, such as Bactrim or Clindamycin, to get the infection under control.

A skin culture can also help to determine if your child's eczema is complicated by a bacterial infection and which antibiotic will help to treat it.

These tips were submitted by Vincent Iannelli, MD from Dallas, Texas

Reference: Atopic Dermatitis. Simpson EL - Med Clin North Am - 2006 Jan, 90(1), 149-167


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