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It is a chronic allergic skin disorder, causing intense itching and/ or oozing. Infantile Eczema commonly affects skin of the scalp, face, back of the neck or skin creases of elbows and knees,

Sex or Age most Affected

May begin between 1 month to 1 year. It usually subsides somewhat by age 3, but it may flare up again at any age.

Signs & Symptons

Skin affected by eczema has the following characteristics:

  • Itching (sometimes severe).
  • Small blisters with oozing.
  • Thickening and scaling due to chronic inflammation.


An allergic reaction to a wide variety of things, including:

  • Foods such as eggs, wheat, milk or seafood.
  • Wollen clothing.
  • Skin lotions and ointments.

Risk Increases With

  • Family history of other allergic conditions, such as hay fever, asthma or sensitivity to certain drugs.
  • Clothing made of synthetic fabric, which traps perspiration.
  • Weather extremes, including humidity, severe cold and severe heat (especially with increased sweating).


No specific preventive measures.

Diagnostic Measures

  • Observation of symptoms.
  • Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
  • Laboratory studies, such as blood and skin tests to identify allergies.

Possible Complications

  • Intense itching causes injury to the skin that leads to Bacterial infection.
  • Life-threatening infection from a smallpox vaccination.
  • Cataracts (for unknown reason).

Probable Outcomes

Variable. Some children outgrow eczema. Others are resistant to treatment, and eczema may persist through puberty. However, symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment.
Skin irritation from any other cause can trigger a flare-up or aggravate existing eczema.


General Measures

  • Provide loose, cotton clothing to help absorb perspiration.
  • Keep fingernails short and put soft gloves on at night to minimize scratching. Scratching worsens eczema.
  • Bathe less frequently to avoid excessive skin dryness. Soap and water may trigger flare-ups. When bathing, use special non-fat soaps and tepid water. DON’T use soap on inflamed areas.
  • Lubricate the skin after bathing, best by a few drops of mustard oil.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Avoid anything that has previously worsened the condition.


NEVER without prescription. Your doctor may prescribe

  • Ointments containing coal tar or cortisone to decrease inflammation. These may help more if used at night under occlusive plastic dressing. Ask your doctor for guidance.
  • Antihistamines to decrease itching.
  • If infections occur, antibiotics for their control.


No special diet. Eliminate any food known to cause flare-ups of eczema.

Contact your Doctor

  • Your child develops symptoms of eczema.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop.

Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects. Excessive use of cortisone drugs is dangerous, and antihistamines frequently cause drowsiness. Now certain antihistaminics are available which do not cause drowsiness, your doctor is the best judge.