Frequently asked questions

Find all the answers to the most frequently asked questions on atopic eczema.

At what age does atopic eczema appear?

Atopic eczema usually appears before the age of six months and improves before adolescence in 80% of cases.

What are the signs?

Dry skin, red patches and itching.

Why do some children have eczema?

The main causes of eczema are an atopic predisposition (family) and certain environmental factors. If one of the parents is atopic, the risk of the child being atopic is approximately 50%. The term "atopy" refers to a number of diseases, such as eczema, asthma and seasonal rhino-conjunctivitis. The risk increases if both parents are atopic. When the skin comes into contact with irritants such as wool or heat from a radiator, redness may appear.

In what areas does eczema usually appear?

In infants: on the most exposed areas - the cheeks, forehead and chin
In children: inside folds - elbows, behind the knees, on the upper side of the feet, hands, the torso or neck
In adults: the face, neck and hands.

What happens to eczema when a child grows older?

After the age of seven, close to 80% of children see their eczema disappear. However, dry and irritable skin will persist throughout their life. On the occasion of stressful events or conflicts during adolescence, eczema may reappear.

Should we be afraid of dermocorticosteroids?

No, dermocorticosteroids are the benchmark treatment for atopic eczema flare-ups. (As long as the inflammation is present, one application per day on the inflamed lesions only - use dermocorticosteroids again upon reoccurrence.) The doctor's prescription must be followed. When the treatment is followed properly, the results are spectacular. The itching disappears in a few days and the undesirable effects are very rare in practice.

Is eczema contagious?

No, eczema is absolutely not contagious. Children suffering from this disease must be allowed to play normally with their friends

Should a child suffering from eczema see a psychologist?

Atopic eczema is not a psychological disease. However, the severity of the pathology and its impact on the quality of life of the patient and his or her family may at times be such that psychological care is required.

Can children be vaccinated if they suffer from eczema?

Yes, there are no contraindications, unless the child has a very severe flare-up. (N.B. not on the eczema patches.)

Should the child's family and those around him or her be told that the child has eczema?

Yes, it is crucial that the child's teacher be informed because she will know how to explain what eczema is in children's words, which will reassure the child and allow him or her to cope with his disease. She will know what measures to take: to place the child away from the radiator and to check that he or she isn't wearing too many clothes.


Can a child suffering from eczema swim in the pool or seawater?

A child who suffers from eczema must imperatively be monitored and treated by a doctor. He or she can swim, but chlorine and salt may irritate his or her skin. After swimming, the child should rinse off, dry without rubbing and apply a moisturizing cream to the entire body.

Can a child suffering from eczema play sports?

Yes, all children can play sports. However, sweat causes scratching. Regardless of the activity, the child should systematically rinse off, dry without rubbing and apply a moisturizing cream to the entire body.

Is sun good for children suffering from eczema?

Although eczema improves during the summer, certain protective measures should be adopted: shade, clothing, hat, very high protection sun cream … (and recommendations from the child's dermatologist).

Can children suffering from eczema have pets?

Many children dream of having a pet. In any event, animals with fur or hair (dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters …) should not sleep in the child's bed or on the sofa. The house must be vacuumed at least three times per week. (Ask your doctor before purchasing a pet.)

Can certain foods cause eczema?

Yes, certain foods can trigger flare-ups in sensitive children. The main foods are: cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat flour, fish and shrimp. With the globalization of dietary habits and the diversification of food products, the list now includes kiwi, nuts and sesame. When in doubt, consult an allergist.