Eczema is a skin disease. The first sign of eczema tends to be patches of dry or red, itchy skin. Scratching the skin damages its surface and can worsen the eczema.

Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. It usually begins very early in life. It is common in infants and young children, and most people who get atopic dermatitis will have it before they turn five years old. It is rare for eczema to appear for the first time as an adult.

Eczema tends to come and go, often without warning. A treatment plan that includes skincare
can reduce flare-ups and ease much of the discomfort.

What Causes Eczema?

No one knows for sure what causes eczema. Dermatologists and other scientists are studying possible causes. We do know that it is not contagious. This means that your child did not catch it from anyone

Scientists also know that a child is more likely to get it from a parent or another family member that has eczema, asthma, or hay fever. This means that genes may play a role in causing this disease. Other factors that seem to contribute to a child developing atopic dermatitis are living in an urban area and for living in a cold or dry climate.

How Can I Tell If My Child Has Eczema?

If your child has eczema you will see dry, scaly or red patches on your child's skin. In infants, these patches often appear on the scalp, forehead. and cheeks. Patches are especially common on an infant’s cheeks. It is itchy, so you may see your baby rubbing against bedding or carpeting to relieve the itch.

When eczema begins between two years of age and puberty, the child often has dry, scaly patches in the creases of the elbows or knees. Other common places for the patches to appear are the neck, wrists, ankles, and the crease between the buttocks and legs. No matter where the dry, scaly patches appear, they tend to be very itchy. The skin will look inflamed and sore.

Patches of atopic dermatitis can crack, leak a clear fluid, and crust. Infections can develop if germs enter the body through broken skin. Repeatedly scratching the itchy patches can cause the skin to look and feel leathery. For some people, sweating can lead to flare-ups.

If you suspect that your child has eczema, you should make an appointment to come in and see Dr. Bahr ( he is a board-certified dermatologist). Many skin diseases cause a rash, and having an accurate diagnosis is important for proper treatment.

How Is Eczema Diagnosed?

Our dermatologist can often diagnose this condition by looking at the child's skin. Dr. Bahr will look closely at the dry, scaly patches and may ask some questions such as when did the dry, scaly patches first appear? Or whether any close blood relatives have eczema, hay fever, or asthma? This information is necessary to diagnose the disease. If allergy testing is necessary, Our dermatologist will tell you.

How Long Will My Child Have Eczema?

For many children, atopic dermatitis goes away with time. Some children no longer have it by the age of two. About half the children who get it, however, will have it as an adult. In adults, eczema may be mild.

There is no way to know whether the condition will go away or become a lifelong disease. Early treatment can prevent the eczema from getting worse. The more severe it becomes, the more difficult it can be to treat.

How Is Eczema Treated?

Our dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs for your situation. Most treatment plans consist of: skincare, medical therapies, and tips to avoid flare-ups.

It is important to follow the treatment plan prescribed by Dr. Bahr. Too often, people try to treat it on their own. The truth is no one thing can control eczema. Successfully managing this condition requires following a customized treatment plan.

What Treatments Are Used? 

Many treatments can help control atopic dermatitis. Treatments you can try at home or purchase
over-the-counter include:

  • MOISTURIZERS: These products help to decrease dryness and scaling, so the skin feels more comfortable. Applying one of these after bathing and frequently throughout the day can help. Harsh soaps should be avoided. Our dermatologists can recommend products to use or avoid.
  • CORTICOSTEROID: Applied to the skin, this medicine helps to calm the skin and relieve itching. You can buy some corticosteroids without a prescription. However, since there can be side effects from using too much medicine or using it too often, it is best to see what Dr. Bahr recommends. Some patients need a prescription-strength corticosteroid.
  • ANTIHISTAMINE: This medicine may be prescribed when atopic dermatitis causes severe itching. Constant itching can cause many sleepless nights. Sedating antihistamines can help patients get the sleep they need.
    WET WRAPS: This therapy consists of soaking and sealing the itchy skin with warm, damp clothing. This can help the skin absorb medication and keep the skin hydrated. Our dermatologist can help you create a wet wrap routine that is best for your skin.
  • DILUTED BLEACH BATH: Skin with atopic dermatitis can develop an infection which can worsen itchiness and redness. A diluted bleach bath is thought to disinfect the surface of the skin and the bacteria on it. thereby reducing itching and redness. A bleach bath is created by adding a small amount of household bleach to bathwater. It is very important to follow Our dermatologist's advice and instructions on how to use this treatment safely.


Treatments you may receive from our dermatology office include:

  • CALCINEURIN INHIBITOR: This prescription medicine is applied to the skin to reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
    ANTIBIOTIC: If your child develops an infection, either an antibiotic taken by mouth or applied to the skin, can kill the bacteria causing the infection.
  • PHOTOTHERAPY: This is light therapy and may be added to a treatment plan when stronger treatment is needed.
  • SYSTEMIC IMMUNOMODULATORY AGENTS : When a patient has not responded to other treatments, dermatologists may consider other medicines. These medicines are very strong and your dermatologist will explain the risks and benefits.

Why See Our Dermatologist, Dr. Bahr?

When a child has atopic dermatitis it can be difficult for parents to know what to do to help ease a child's discomfort. There is so much conflicting information available. Dr. Bahr specializes in treating skin conditions and can help you make informed decisions.

Our dermatologist can tailor a treatment plan to meet your child’s needs. Research shows that sticking with the treatment plan can improve your child's health. It also can reduce the need for medication over time.

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