Eczema is happening to more children over the years, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Based on the survey conducted by the agency among households, the prevalence of eczema among children below 18 years old increased by 8% from 9% within 10 years starting in 2000. The incidence rate is similar for Hispanic and white children.
Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions characterized by the inflammation of the epidermis. Those who are affected by it develop small papules and redness of the skin. Later, the skin becomes crusty or scaly with a bit of oozing.
No one really knows for sure why eczema occurs, although some believe it is a combination of different factors including environmental and hereditary. Pollen is one of the recognized triggers of eczema while children whose parents or relatives have them also have a higher chance of developing the skin disease.
It may also be caused by irritants ranging from food to beauty or healthcare products, bacteria and fungi, changing temperatures, and hormones. Those who are under a lot of stress may also experience flare-ups or recurrence.
One study, meanwhile, suggests a connection between antibiotics and eczema. Prevalence of eczema among babies is as high as 40% if they are provided with antibiotics early in life.
Eczema is a chronic and lifelong skin condition that usually begins over childhood. It may then prevail all through childhood, but through proper management and avoidance of the triggers, it can be kept at bay for a long time.
One of the earliest signs of eczema is rashes, which may develop on the cheeks and scalps among infants and creases on the knees and elbows among children and early teens. Over time, these rashes can become bumpy and can vary in terms of color intensity. It's also common among sufferers to develop lichenification or the thickening of the skin.