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Does Eczema worsen with age?

Does Eczema Get Worse With Age?

It’s a question we hear a lot… Does Eczema worsen with age?  Or more hopefully:  Will I outgrow my Eczema?

The answer varies as much as the individual person, but chances are Eczema may always be a part of your life…but on different parts on your body!  That’s right. Eczema apparently likes a change of scenery.

Can A Child “Outgrow” Eczema?

In children, the good news is that it is possible to age out of Eczema.  By age three, roughly 2/3 of infant Eczema cases – also known as Atopic Dermatitis – have improved or entirely disappeared, perhaps leaving behind a lifetime tendency for dry skin.

From infancy until about 2 years of age, the eczema will typically appear on:

— the face (forehead, cheeks, chin)

— the chest

— the back of the head

Eczema tends to run in families, but parents may not remember having it or know how to handle the condition in their infant.  For tips on caring for a baby with Eczema, this article summarizes everything you need to know, from proper skin products to clothing to common triggers.

A few kids, however, will go on to endure bouts of eczema into their adult life.

Eczema in Teens and Adults

Now what if you have adult-onset Eczema?  Can you ever hope to outgrow Eczema the way most babies do?

Chances are that Eczema that comes on in adulthood is here to stay, and age can indeed make it worse.  As we age, our skin tends to get dryer, and dryness is an aggravating trigger.  So is stress, which is a classic adult trigger, necessitating stress management as part of a skincare plan.  Ironically, if an adult with Eczema opts to “baby” their skin with pure products that are typically marketed towards infants, they may find the relief their skin needs.

Among teens and adults, Eczema tends to appear on different parts of the body than in early childhood.  Classic areas include:

— Creases of the elbow

— Behind the knees

— Hands

— Scalp

— Around the eyes

— Eyelids

— Nipples

Because Eczema is a chronic skin condition that will flare up and calm down throughout your life, it helps to understand what Eczema is and what triggers your symptoms, understanding that your skin is a living, changing organ that will react differently as you age, as the weather changes, and even if you change your detergent or perfume!

If you are new to Eczema, it’s vital to dispel some of the common myths about eczema to properly manage it:

Aging with Eczema

Aging brings a host of changes to the body, and the skin is no exception.  We’ve discussed the most common type of Eczema, known as Atopic Dermatitis.  But if you notice your skin developing new symptoms, or flareups occurring in entirely new areas, it’s probably time for a trip to the doctor to reevaluate your situation.

There are actually seven varieties of Eczema, each with their own subset of symptoms. And once you have Eczema, it tends to mean your skin is vulnerable to other potential inflammatory developments.  This isn’t by any means a given that you will develop additional problems, but if your typical care is no longer working, it is time to take another look and possibly adapt your regimen to your body’s new needs.

While Eczema is considered chronic and cannot be cured, it can be managed at any age.  Aging with Eczema will teach you what works best for you, and the good habits of using pure soaps and lotions, fragrance-free detergents and clothes that let your skin breathe, will serve you well throughout your lifetime.  It’s also recommended to keep some daily Eczema body wash and eczema cream handy around the house.

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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