Pollen allergies in children are fairly common. Roughly 12 percent of children in the U.S. reported having some sort of skin allergy in the past 12 months, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. While pollen-induced eczema doesn't account for all of these skin allergies, it is a problem for many kids (and their families). That said, your child doesn't have to suffer. Treating allergic eczema is perfectly possible. How? Check out how you can help your little one's skin allergy feel better.
Know the Triggers
The most obvious way to treat eczema is to stop it before it starts. You already know that it's a pollen allergy. That means you're a step ahead of the game. Even though you know the trigger, it's not always easy to avoid it. During peak pollen times, the hot, dry, and windy weather may make allergies worse. If you see that the pollen count is high and the wind is picking up, consider keeping your kiddo indoors. If your child must go outside, avoid early mornings when the pollen count is typically the highest.
Avoid Harsh Cleansers
Harsh cleansers may irritate your child's skin, making their symptoms worse. Will gentle soaps or cleansers make the eczema disappear? No. It might not even alleviate the symptoms. But using cleansers that are mild won't aggravate your child's skin in the same way that others will. Consider using dye and fragrance free products or those that are specifically marked as gentle for dermatological conditions. If you're not sure which one to choose, ask the allergists for their pick.
Oil-containing lotions and creams may relieve some of your child's itchiness and reduce the redness. Keep in mind that an emollient lotion isn't a treatment for the underlying allergy. Instead, it's a way to help your child feel better. These are often prescribed by a doctor.
Wet Wrap Therapy
This alternative treatment was pioneered in the late 1980's by researcher Noreen Nicol. Like the name implies, it involves wrapping the child in wet cloth (or clothing). The theory is that it will soothe the child's skin. In reality, the treatment is more of a process. The child must soak in a warm bath for between 10 and 20 minutes. You then apply a moisturizer or topical medication (as prescribed by the doctor) after the child has been patted dry. The wet clothes are placed over the medication for the next two hours.
Steroid creams and oral allergy medications such as antihistamines can help the child feel better and reduce the symptoms. These should only be given as prescribed by a medical doctor. Yes, there are over-the-counter allergy medications you can buy. But you shouldn't play the role of expert and decide what to give your child. It's always best to talk to the doctor before giving your child any meds—prescription or not.
Whether pollen allergies in your area are on the rise (due to the weather/seasonal conditions) or your child has an extreme sensitivity, you need to find help. When it comes to eczema, your child's itchy skin doesn't have to stay. From the type of cleanser they use to prescription creams, your child has plenty of options that can help them to feel better.