Eczema is a common childhood condition affecting the skin and leaving behind crusty, flaky, or red patches that appear dry or rough, and which your child may find itchy. Rather than a single condition, there are several types of eczema, though four of these are most common in children.
Eczema looks and acts differently as your child gets older, and there’s a good chance that they’ll outgrow the condition by the time they start school. In the meantime, however, choose an eczema specialist like the doctors at Katy Pediatric Associates to help your child cope with the discomfort of these inflammatory skin conditions.
The 4 types of childhood eczema
Though there are seven types of eczema that can affect people of any age, four types of the skin condition are most common in children.
1. Atopic dermatitis
The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis affects 13% of American children under 18. Frequently, children with atopic dermatitis also have asthma and hay fever, a combination sometimes known as the “atopic triad.” The rash from atopic dermatitis can be lighter or darker than normal skin color, and it often forms at the creases of elbows and knees. Babies may develop a rash on their scalp and cheeks.
2. Contact dermatitis
As the name implies, contact dermatitis results when a substance touches your child’s skin. There are two subtypes. Allergic contact dermatitis triggers an immune system response, while irritant contact dermatitis immediately affects the skin. A rash from contact dermatitis may produce itchy bumps called hives, and skin in the area can become thick and scaly.
3. Seborrheic dermatitis
Also known as “cradle cap,” seborrheic dermatitis affects areas of the skin with lots of sebaceous glands that produce the skin oils that provide a protective layer on the skin. The back, nose, and scalp are the most commonly affected areas, but it can also form lower on the face, in the diaper area, and in various folds around a baby’s body. Skin rashes include a yellow crust along with red skin, or there may be white or yellow flakes. Cradle cap usually vanishes around the age of six months, but dandruff might continue even into adulthood.
4. Dyshidrotic eczema
Blisters on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands identify dyshidrotic eczema. These blisters can be itchy, and large blisters occasionally form, which are often more painful. After the blisters pass, affected skin can feel dry and spongy. This skin condition seems to be connected to seasonal allergies. Children can develop this type of eczema, but it’s usually more common in adults, with women affected more often than men.
The reasons why your child develops any type of eczema isn’t known, but it’s suspected that genetics and exposure to eczema triggers likely combine to create these skin rashes. Your doctor at Katy Pediatric Associates can determine the type of eczema and help you recognize your child’s triggers. Contact the office by phone, at 281-492-7676, or through the online link on this page. Your child has plenty of treatment options to minimize the impact of eczema, so book your appointment today.