Limiting Eczema Flare Ups


From the very beginning of my daughter’s short life, she has had eczema. It is almost always there; as much a part of her as her strong-willed personality. Along with her glasses, I almost can’t picture her without it. Her eczema flare-ups are not limited to one part of her body, she can break out anywhere, but the toughest areas have always been her ankles, wrists and the back of her legs.


ec·ze·ma: a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically having no obvious external cause.

If there is something that claims to help, heal or calm eczema we have tried it. In the last year, we were finally granted a referral to the local Driscoll’s Dermatology department, and it was the best thing that has happened to us. They gave us Eucrisa for her sporadic face flare-ups and a strong prescription cream for her body. We finally had something that would clear her skin, her ankles were finally not cracked and red, and she wasn’t constantly scratching and bleeding. Through the end of the year, I felt like we had turned a corner and that maybe she was finally “growing out of it” which is a term her doctors use often.

eczema flare ups

Then summer hit, and because I thought we were in a better place I was not as vigilant about the things I normally do to limit her flare-ups, as a result, she has broken out head to toe.

I wanted to share with you some of the things that have helped us in the past keep flare-ups to a minimum in the heat of summer, or anytime there is a drastic temperature change.

  • Keep skin moisturized through the day. The best lotion I have found is Cetaphil
  • Keep them hydrated, lots of water.
  • Oatmeal Baths, I am sure there is a clever DIY for this but I typically will buy these Aveeno pouches to add to her bathwater. 
  • Keep bath temperatures lukewarm, no extreme temperatures. {this one is even more important in the winter}
  • When in the sun, keep her covered with a hat and swim shirts.
  • Always use sunscreen but be careful about which ones you use, the best one to use for sensitive skin {in my opinion} is Neutrogena, I have used the SPF 100 in the spray can for the last two summers. Anything else I have tried – even those who claim to be made for sensitive skin – make her red all over in minutes. 
  • Rinse off immediately after swimming or playing outside.
  • Use Dye and Fragrance-free cleansers for everything. Laundry, baths, hand-washing, ect.
  • Be upfront with anyone watching him/her, I always let babysitters know what is OK to use on her skin, and if there is a current flare-up, I give them a heads up so I do not get the frantic “she has a rash” call. 
  • And most importantly, if you have a prescribed cream make sure to use it according to the schedule, even if you haven’t had any recent flare-ups. {A lesson I learned the hard way!}

If you are struggling with eczema flare-ups with your little ones, or maybe even yourself I have found help through the National Eczema Association website, also I HIGHLY recommend the Driscoll Dermatology department, (or your local dermatology office) they will be so helpful!

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