How to Treat Eczema in Children

Atopic eczema is common in children and although it tends not to affect newborns, very occasionally some children are born with the condition. In the areas affected, such as the face, hands, armpits, elbows and groin area, the skin becomes inflamed, scaly and itchy and sometimes blisters form. The cause isn’t always known, but it often occurs as an allergic reaction and sometimes following immunization. It does tend to run in families with a history of asthma and rhinitis, or it can be linked to stress. Many susceptible babies suffer an attack when first introduced to solids. Children tend to grow out of this type of eczema as they reach adolescence.

What you can do

Stick to cotton clothing for your child and prevent them from becoming overheated, as this may make the eczema more itchy. Minimize contact with possible allergens, such as cer­tain foods if you think these may be a problem, pets, biolog­ical soap powders, down pillows and duvets (see Allergies). Use a gentle emollient cream to help prevent the skin from drying out.



A naturopath will make a detailed study of your child’s habit and lifestyle to determine possible causes of the eczema. They will then make recommendations to adapt that lifestyle and detoxify the body. This may include avoiding foods the body believes are toxic and may be allergic to, such as dairy, additives and colourings, wheat, soya and sugar. Herbal medicine may also be used to help with the detoxifi­cation. A herbal skin cream will also help to give temporary relief. Mineral salt supplements may also be recommended to help support the system, such as potassium sulphate and cal­cium or sodium phosphate.


The practitioner will check to see if there are any bowel or hydration problems which may be causing block­ages and if there are any nutritional deficiencies. As emotions can play a major part in triggering eczema, possible stress fac­tors for the child will be looked for and worked on. Angry, itchy eczema can be quickly relieved, but until the necessary lifestyle changes are made, it may take a while to disappear completely.

Traditional Chinese medicine

There have been some positive studies into the use of Chinese herbs and eczema. One study, continued in a follow-up survey, revealed positive results, with eighteen of the thirty-seven children monitored having 90 per cent reductions in eczema. By the end of the year-long study, seven children discontinued treatment without relaps­ing. The practitioner will assess the child as a whole and will take into account their diet and lifestyle as well as the prob­lem itself. Acupuncture to relieve the blocked meridians may be given, as well as doses of herbs, made up for the individual, to help resolve the problem of damp heat or dryness.


Acupuncturists see eczema as a symptom rather than a cause. They believe it is associated with three types of heat: damp heat, where the skin is itchy, hot and weeping; dry heat, where the skin is dry, red and itchy; and wind heat, when the skin breaks out and forms scabs, coming and going from different parts of the body. Treatment will depend on the child’s type of eczema according to these forms.


Do not exclude foods from your child’s diet without first consulting your practitioner or doctor.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: hypnotherapy, reflexol­ogy, aromatherapy, homoeopathy, herbal medicine, osteopathy.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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