Allergies do not just cause children to wheeze and sneeze but may also show up on your child’s skin. The reaction can come in several forms and for several reasons. In this blog, we have discussed few common skin allergies in children and how to treat them.
Meaning of allergy
The children described above may show signs of an allergic reaction. Here are common allergy triggers that include:
- Insect stings
- Animal dander
- Some food
Any child can develop allergies. It happens when the immune system overreacts to a usually harmless substance.
When your child eats, touches, or breathes in an allergen, the immune system releases histamines. It causes symptoms of an allergic reaction. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from person to person. Allergens can also affect your child’s skin, respiratory tract, and other organs.
Common skin allergies
Below are few common skin allergies that you can find in children:
Around 10% of children from around the world suffer from eczema. It is common if your child has hay fever, food allergies, or asthma or if any of these conditions runs in the family.
Doctors are not sure what causes this skin condition. In infants, it shows up as a rash on the head or face. Later, it may spread to the torso and arms. The skin is often itchy, dry, and easily irritated. Symptoms may include:
- Skin infections that may be caused by scratching
- Leathery, thick patches that may show up over time from rubbing and scratching. Common areas include abdomen, chest, back, nape of neck, creases of legs or arms, or cheeks.
- Dry skin
- Scratching may damage the skin and lead to more itching
- Red rash
When your child gets a rash after touching something they are sensitive to, it is called allergic contact dermatitis. Symptoms include:
- Leathery, scaly, thick patches on the skin that develop over time
- Skin rash or redness
- Severe itching
Swelling and hives
Hives are itchy patches or red bumps on the skin. They can last for a few minutes to a few hours and can come and go over a few days. The triggers include:
- Viral infections
- Pet saliva or dander
- Insect stings and bites
- Medicines, especially antibiotics
- Foods like strawberries, nuts, seafood, soy, wheat, peanuts, milk, and eggs
- Sometimes, hives may appear without a known trigger.
If your child is suffering from them, they may also get another type of swelling called angioedema. It shows up on soft skin, like around the genitals, mouth, and eyes. It usually doesn’t appear on its own without hives. Hives are not dangerous, but if your child has difficulty breathing or their tongue or throat has swelled, seek emergency medical help as soon as you can.
Tips to treat allergies
Breaking the itch-scratch cycles is the key. If you want to keep the skin clean, healthy, moist, and itch-free, try these tips:
Dry the drool
For babies who spit, drool may be a cause of constant skin irritation.
You can use dye-free cleansers, soaps, and fragrances. Harsh soaps can dry out the skin and break down its protective barrier.
Clip nails short
Babies and most kids can’t fight the urge to scratch that itches. It won’t make the itch go away, but it more likely makes raw, infected skin.
Use lukewarm (not hot) water and avoid bubble baths. Keep baths short (three-five minutes). A lengthy soak can dry out the skin.
Moisturize after a bath
Let the skin dry or gently pat it. You can use cream or ointment and do not be afraid to slather it on often. Ointments are more effective than creams, while creams are more effective than lotions. Lotions tend to be watery; oily ointments stick better and are better moisturizers.
Dress them in soft cotton fabrics
Rough clothes can make them itch and may cause scratches.
Spot the infection and treat it
If you find any symptoms of skin infection, like, pus or very red, crusty, hot, raised, or sore skin – call your doctor.
Skin allergies may happen at any age, but according to CDC, it’s most common in young children. Thankfully, the severity tends to decrease with age. However, it is crucial to address any unusual skin changes in your child early, before complications might ensue. Proactive measures are key to preventing recurring skin allergy symptoms in children.
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