Adult and Pediatric Dermatologist Haleh Bakshandeh shares some eczema.

Haleh BakshandehQ: If my child’s skin is irritated, red and bumpy does that mean he may have eczema?
A: While there is no single test to diagnose eczema, a good medical history and a skin examination are usually all that is needed. In general, eczema does appear as itchy, irritated patches of skin, usually on the arm folds, neck, wrists and ankles. Often, there will be a family history of eczema, seasonal allergies, or asthma. In most cases, your pediatrician and/or dermatologist should be able to make the diagnosis in just one visit.

Q: Are there any things that make eczema worse?
A: Every child has different triggers for their eczema. For the most part, they can be recognized when cycles of ‘trigger and flare’ happen repeatedly. Some common triggers include, but are not limited to, scented soaps and detergents, pet dander, hot weather, synthetic clothing, and certain foods, such as dairy products, eggs, nuts, soy and wheat. If you are having difficulty establishing specific triggers, it may be worth doing allergy testing or just simply eliminating and reintroducing potential allergens slowly and methodically.

Q: How can I prevent eczema?
A: A good skin care routine and a few simple lifestyle changes may be the key to reducing eczema breakouts. The most important changes are short bathing times with a very gentle fragrance free cleanser and the application of a good moisturizer immediately after. Of course, avoiding common or known triggers are very important. Let your child be a part of the solution. Give him his own bottle of moisturizer just for him and let him slather it on.

Q: What is the best treatment for childhood eczema?
A: Even when you have done your best to avoid triggers, and use all the right products, sometimes eczema flares are inevitable. Your doctor may need to prescribe cortisone creams or anti-inflammatory creams. In addition to topical creams, sometimes antihistamines or even antibiotics may be suggested. It’s best for your dermatologist to come up with a plan that is tailored for your child’s needs. Although the chronic nature of eczema can be quite frustrating at times, the good news is that with some effort, eczema is a controllable condition and often improves or even stops as your child gets older.

Dr. Haleh Bakshandeh is a Board Certified Dermatologist that specializes in adult and pediatric dermatology in Beverly Hills.