In children with atopic dermatitis or eczema many factors can worsen the disease; these factors are also called as triggers. Trigger are factors in the child’s environment which irritate the sensitive skin of patients and cause symptoms to increase. It’s important to note that triggers worsen the symptoms of atopic dermatitis or eczema, and don’t necessarily cause atopic dermatitis or eczema.
What are the main triggers for atopic dermatitis or eczema in children?
The main triggers for atopic dermatitis or eczema are:
- Strong soaps and detergents: These should be avoided as they can dry, irritate and inflame your child’s skin. Mild non-soap skin cleansers should be used. Laundry detergents can also lead to problems in children with atopic dermatitis or eczema. Many detergents contain chemicals and fragrances that irritate the skin, causing dryness, itchiness, and redness. Double-rinse the laundry to remove any detergent residue in clothes.
- Long or hot shower or bath: hot water makes the skin dry, irritable and itchy. Use lukewarm water and limit bath or shower times to not more than 10 minutes.
- Heat and sweating: hot weather can also irritate eczema. Heavy perspiration can lead to itchy skin. Try and keep child in a cool place to limit sweating. Also, give plenty of fluids to maintain hydration.
- Fabrics like wool and polyesters: child’s skin might be sensitive to cloth materials like polyester or wool, which can trigger symptoms in a child with atopic dermatitis or eczema. Avoid wearing any fabric that appear to worsen child’s skin with atopic dermatitis or eczema. Else make the child wear an extra layer of cotton clothing under the wool/polyester garment to protect child’s skin.
- Perfumes, Skin care products and makeup: Scented soaps, lotions, perfumes, and other personal care products can irritate skin and trigger a flare in a child with atopic dermatitis or eczema. Some children’s with atopic dermatitis or eczema also have an associated contact dermatitis, where rashes occur after contact with a substance.
- Emotional stress: can lead to emotional imbalance in children which can worsen the symptoms or lead to atopic dermatitis or eczema flare up’s.