Dr Sarah Jarvis’s tips for dealing with child eczema

Kids love to spend up to 90 per cent of their free time outside during warmer months so when it comes to December and January, combinations of the cold winter wind, central heating and air conditioning can all antagonise the delicate skin of children and babies.

GP, Dr Sarah Jarvis warns: “At least one in six children gets eczema, and up to one in 12 GP visits relate to some form of skin condition. That’s over 250 GP hours or 48 days worth of surgery a year”

It can be difficult for parents to get the time they need from a GP appointment to help them deal with their child’s eczema, so Dr Sarah Jarvis in conjunction with Sanex, has some tips to help keep your child’s skin healthy:

1.  Heat, cold, too much exposure to water or a dry atmosphere (central heating dries out the air) can all make dry skin worse. So can wind – be especially careful with hands and faces, which are exposed to the elements.

2.  Avoid normal soaps and detergents for all children, but especially if they have dry skin. Both of these can strip the oils from your child’s skin, making it more prone to dryness and itching.

3.  Use a hypoallergenic soap substitute approved for children to wash their skin.

4.  Get into the habit of applying unscented or hypoallergenic moisturisers regularly. If you start early, your child may rather like having moisturiser massaged in.

5.  Your child’s skin is very vulnerable to the sun, and getting burnt hugely increases his risk of skin cancer in later life. It also dries the skin out. Always use a high factor (at least factor 30) sunscreen, and reapply it often, especially after swimming.