Should a child who has eczema see a dermatologist?

 

Amy Paller, MD, a dermatologist, explains how you can treat mild eczema and when your child should see a dermatologist.

If your child has mild eczema:

  • Products that you can buy without a prescription to treat eczema may be all that’s needed.
  • Moisturizer is especially important. Using a cream or ointment will generally be more effective than lotions at relieving the dry skin.
  • Moisturizer should be applied at least twice a day.
  • A 1% hydrocortisone ointment can also be helpful.
  • Medicine that you can buy without a prescription should be used only when needed.
  • If you plan to use eczema medicine that you can buy without a prescription, talk with your child’s pediatrician before using it.

If your child has moderate to severe eczema

  • When eczema becomes moderate or severe, a child needs more than treatment you can buy without a prescription.
  • It’s important to work closely with a dermatologist to manage the eczema.
  • Dermatologists have experience treating patients with a variety of corticosteroids. They know how to manage these medications and other parts of the treatment plan, such as skin care and trigger avoidance, to best maintain control of the eczema.

Additional related content

Skin care: Does it help treat eczema?
What should I watch for if my child has eczema?
How do dermatologists control eczema?