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What is Eczema?

Eczema is a common long term condition that causes the skin to become red, itchy, dry, and inflamed. Eczema can appear at any age and anywhere on the body. Eczema can sometimes occur due to genetic and/or environmental factors. Eczema is not curable however it is treatable and children can outgrow it. Eczema is most commonly managed with Emollient and Steroid creams/ointments, though these are not the only treatment plans available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are Emollients?
Emollients are non-cosmetic moisturisers that help to soothe the skin and give relief from itching and dryness. Emollient when used correctly can prevent eczema from ‘flaring up’. There are numerous types of Emollients/Moisturizers such as:
  • Greasy Emollient ointments (best for very dry skin)
  • Emollient creams
  • Emollient lotions
  • Emollient spray
What Emollients are the best?
  • There is no ‘best emollient’
  • The most effective Emollient is the one that the child or young person likes.
Is Eczema contagious?

Eczema is not contagious and therefore other members of the family or friends will not catch eczema from your child.
About Topical Steroid creams and ointments
Topical steroids come in the form of ointments and creams. Topical Steroids are often used to reduce inflammations and itchy during a ‘flare up’. The Paediatric Primary Care Nurses will support and guide families in how to safely apply Topical Steroids using the fingertip unit method.
Page last updated: 19 Mar 2021
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