Teenage eczema is a common allergic condition. It affects people of all ages, making areas of skin very itchy, dry, crusty, scaly, and thickened. Any teen can have it especially allergies and asthma.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition in which the skin becomes red, scaly, irritated, and itchy. There are many types of eczema but atopic dermatitis is one of the most common ones.
When does it develop?
Most teens outgrow eczema in teenagers, however, it can also persist into adulthood. It most commonly develops on creases of the elbow, behind the knees, hands, scalp, around the eyes, or on the eyelids and nipples. Eczema severity can vary from teen to teen. It tends to come and go. When it’s getting worse, it is called a flare-up.
Signs of teenage eczema
- Dry, itchy skin
- Redness, scales, and fluid-filled bumps become moist and then crust over
- Itchy patches usually happen where the elbow bends, on the backs of the knees, on the inner wrists and ankles, and on the face, neck, and upper chest
Causes of teenage eczema
The exact cause of eczema is not known but it could be a difference in the way a teen’s immune system reacts to things. Skin allergies can lead to some forms of eczema. Teens with eczema may have asthma and some types of allergies such as hay fever. Also, eczema, asthma, and hay fever are known as atopic conditions. These affect teens overly sensitive to allergens in the environment. For some, food allergies may bring these on or make them worse. For others, allergies to animal dander, dust, pollen, or other things might be the triggers to skin.
Treatment for teenage eczema
- Prescribe medicines to put on the skin that soothes the redness and irritation like creams or ointments which contain corticosteroids.
- Steroid-sparing agents such as tacrolimus may be prescribed for mild cases.
- Oral antihistamines to decrease itching.
- Recommend other medicines to take by mouth if the eczema is really bad or getting it a lot.
- In severe eczema, ultraviolet light therapy can help clear up the condition.
Home remedies for teenage eczema
A scent-free moisturizer will prevent the skin from becoming irritated and cracked. Moisturize every day, ideally twice or three times a day. The best time to apply moisturizer is after the skin has been soaked in a bath or shower, then pat dry gently. Ointments (such as petroleum jelly) and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
Stay away from things that irritate the skin
Besides the known triggers, some things may be avoided like household cleaners, drying soaps, detergents, and scented lotions. For facial eczema, wash gently with a nondrying facial cleanser or soap substitute. Use facial moisturizers, makeup, and sunscreens that are oil-free.
Use warm water
Too much exposure to hot water can dry out the skin, so take short warm not hot showers and baths. Wear gloves if the hands will be in the water for a long period of time. Gently and thoroughly pat the skin dry, using a soft towel.
Clothes made of scratchy fabric like wool can irritate the skin. Soft cotton clothes are a better choice.
It’s hard to resist but scratching can make eczema worse and make it harder for skin to heal.
Sudden changes in temperature, sweating, and becoming overheated may cause eczema to kick in.
Take the medicines
Consult the doctor for a proper prescription.
Stress can aggravate eczema, so try to relax.
When to see the doctor?
- If the teen is uncomfortable and the condition is affecting sleep and daily activities
- If there are streaks, pus, or yellow scabs
- Experiencing symptoms despite treatment and home remedies
Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition and can be seen in teens. Seek immediate medical attention if the rash looks infected and accompanied by fever or other symptoms. Consult the doctor for treatment.
- atopic dermatitis in adolescence (nih.gov)
- eczema (atopic dermatitis) and your child | pediatric & adolescent medicine | Columbus, oh (pediatricandadolescentmedicine.net)