An Itchy Matter

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April 24, 2010

PROBLEM A new study finds that eczema-a dry, red, scaly rash that typically appears behind the knees, inside elbows, and on the cheeks and neck-is increasing among young kids. And it only gets worse in the winter.

SOLUTION First, make sure it's really eczema, says David E. Bank, MD, director of a dermatology center in Mount Kisco, New York. Mild eczema is typically itchy, red, dry skin, though severe eczema may be bright and crusty. But if there's no family history and your child has never had it before, see your pediatrician because it could be another rash or skin condition. If it is eczema, the best thing you can do is keep skin moisturized. Apply a mild, fragrance-free cream or mineral oil throughout the day and especially after baths, while the skin is still damp.

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