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How can I keep my child's eczema under control?

The following checklist offers dermatologists’ tips that can help you reduce eczema flares. Before long, you’ll find that you know exactly what to do to reduce flares.

Use eczema friendly skin care and medicine

    Bathe your child as recommended by your child’s dermatologist.
    Apply eczema friendly moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing — and whenever your child’s skin feels dry.
    Continue to use ONLY fragrance-free products on your child’s skin.
    Avoid rubbing your child’s skin, which can irritate it and cause a flare.
    Dress your child in loose-fitting cotton clothing.
    Apply medicine as directed.

Important note

If a child has eczema that flares often, applying medicine to prevent eczema flares helps reduce the amount of medicine used overall.

Avoid triggers

Continue to help your child avoid things that cause the eczema to flare.
Watch for new triggers.
Notice what your child was doing before a flare. Was school stressful? Was skin care skipped due to a busy schedule? Did your child get overheated? Try to avoid this trigger in the future.

Continue to see a dermatologist

Is your child’s eczema out of control? A phone call or appointment with your child’s dermatologist can help.
Keep all follow-up appointments with your child’s dermatologist. As your child grows, eczema changes. It tends to develop on different areas of the skin. Triggers can change, too.

As eczema changes, some parents worry. Many fear their child has a different skin condition. It’s important to know that eczema tends to look different and appear on different areas of the body as the child grows.

Follow a plan

Keeping your child’s treatment plan nearby will let you know how to treat your child’s eczema as it changes. Sometimes, moisturizer may be all your child needs.

boy and mom and laptop

Related AAD resources

Armstrong, A. “Optimizing topical therapy for atopic dermatitis.” (2014, August). In Lio PA (Chair), “What's boiling over: Atopic dermatitis and other eczematous conditions.” Forum presented at the Summer Academy Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Chicago, IL.

Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. “Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Dec;71(1):1218-33.