What is it?
Eczema is an inherited, chronic itchy skin condition that usually appears in early childhood. Some children have very mild eczema and others have severe eczema (known as atopic dermatitis).
What does it looks like?
Patches of skin become red, dry, scaly and itchy and may weep. Sometimes blisters will appear and weep, and become infected. In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp.
What causes it?
Eczema is caused by a person’s inability to repair damage to the skin barrier due to a mutation in the gene called filaggrin. Filaggrin is important for formation of the skin barrier, and those susceptible to eczema have only one copy of this gene, instead of two.
What to do about it?
A daily bathing routine is necessary to treat skin dryness. Immediately after bathing and at least twice daily, a fragrance and soap-free moisturiser, such as QV baby moisturising cream, should be applied to the skin. Anti-inflammatory medications, like topical steroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors, are used to treat inflammation. Occasionally, oral anti-inflammatory agents are needed to treat the most severe cases.