Eczema is an inflammation (rash) on the skin. It is often red, dry and sometimes itchy and usually the cause is unknown.

Try these idea.

  • Try to find out what makes it worse (eg wool, soap).
  • If wool makes it worse, try putting cotton singlets under woollen ones and cotton tops under woollen jerseys.
  • If perfumed soaps make it worse, use bath oil instead. You can discuss bath oils with your Plunket nurse, other well child health provider, doctor or chemist.
  • Keep your child warm, but not hot. Overheating can often make the eczema worse.

If your child scratches the eczema, try to keep their fingernails short. You can use an emery board to remove sharp edges. Gloves may help at night or at sleep times. If the eczema is on your child’s arms or legs, dress them in long pants or tops with long sleeves.

Discuss creams and ways to improve the eczema with your doctor or Plunket nurse.

An emollient moisturising cream used on the skin helps to keep it moist. Hydrocortisone cream (1per cent) is also safe to use.

More information

Allergy New Zealand Raising the awareness of allergies in New Zealand


For help and advice call PlunketLine 0800 933 922, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If your child is sick please call Healthline, 0800 611 116, New Zealand's 24-hour telephone health advice service. All calls are answered by registered nurses.
In an emergency phone 111.
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