Skip to main content

Introduction - 2 min read

How can Eczema Care Online help me?

Eczema Care Online will help you and your baby or child to keep their skin healthy and support them to live well with eczema.


The website has been developed by people with eczema, parents and carers of children with eczema, and a team of health experts using the most up-to-date research evidence. We have spoken to over 200 people with eczema and their families to find out what is most important and helpful to them.


If you’ve visited before, click here

Chapter 1

What else can I expect from Eczema Care Online?

There will be quotes throughout that are based on the tips and experiences that parents of children with eczema have given us.

These have been checked by people with eczema to make sure they will be useful for you.

You’ll find out more about:

  • Eczema and its treatment
  • How to make treatment times easier
  • Diet and allergy
  • Bath time
  • Dealing with scratching
  • How to involve your child in their eczema treatment as they get older

We've been looking after her eczema for years and thought we knew it all, and were really surprised by the helpful new tips we found. 

Jordan and Lucy

In this section, we have pulled together the key information that families of children with eczema have told us was most helpful for them. 

Chapter 2

Frequently asked questions about eczema

Click on any of the questions below to find out the answer:

What is eczema?

Eczema is a condition that makes skin itchy. In lighter skin, eczema may look red. In darker skin, eczema may look grey, purple or brown. The skin can be dry and sometimes flaky. This should improve as you get control of eczema.

How common is eczema?

Your child is not alone.  Five million people in the UK have eczema and 1 in every 5 children have eczema. The good news is that it often gets better with age. By their 11th birthday, 2 out of every 3 children will be better.

Will my child's eczema ever go away?

There is currently no cure for eczema.

The good news is that eczema tends to get better with age. 2 out of 3 children who have eczema will be better by the age of 11. In the meantime, there is a lot you can do to control eczema so your child can enjoy life.

Taking a few small steps can make a big difference to the quality of life of your child and family.

What causes eczema?

There is no single cause of eczema, it can be caused by a mixture of things.

  1. Eczema can run in families

  2. The immune system over-reacts

  3. The skin works less well as a barrier

Things can make eczema worse such as soaps or washing powders.


What does it mean that 'eczema can run in families'?

We know that eczema can run in families. This means that children are more at risk of getting eczema if their mum, dad, brother, or sister has eczema.

Children are also more likely to get eczema if their family members have asthma, food allergies, or hay fever.


What does the immune system have to do with it?

The immune system is our body’s defence system. It helps us to fight infection. This system works in a different way in people with eczema. It ‘over-reacts’ to things that would not normally harm us.

Is there a link between eczema, allergies and hay fever?

We know that people with eczema are more likely to get asthma, food allergies, and hay fever.

This does not mean that everyone with eczema will get these health problems. Also, not everyone with these health problems will get eczema.

What can make eczema worse?

In people with eczema, the body may react to:

  • Soaps, shower gel, shampoo, bubble bath or washing powder
  • Grass, pollen, dust, animal hair
  • Clothes that are not soft, smooth, and breathable
  • Being too hot or too cold
  • Moisture on the skin, like sweat, dribble, wet/dirty nappies, runny nose

I think of it as a labour of love. I know that if I keep using his creams and everything it keeps the eczema under control, although it can be a complete pain. 

Chapter 3

The skin barrier and eczema

Our skin is a natural barrier that stops things from getting into our bodies and keeps water in the skin. In someone with eczema, this skin barrier works less well. It lets moisture out, making the skin dry.

It also lets in things that irritate the skin, such as soap and washing up liquid. This can cause the skin to react, making it itchy and sore.

Watch this video to find out more about the skin barrier in people with eczema.


It upsets me so much when I see her scratching but now we know what we're doing she does it much less than she used to.

Chapter 4

Two treatments used well

Many people can feel confused about how to treat eczema. It can be hard to know what treatments to use and when because eczema changes over time.

There are two main treatments for eczema

Flare control creams (usually steroid creams) - To get control 

Moisturising creams (‘emollients’) - To keep control 

Both treatments are needed. This is because they help control eczema in different ways. 

When these two treatments are used well, they will treat most eczema.

These treatments come as creams, lotions, ointments or gels, but when we group them together we will call them 'creams'.


Flare control creams(usually steroid creams)

What are they for?

These creams are used to get control of eczema. They are:

•    Used to treat flare-ups where the skin is more sore or itchy than normal

•    Normally prescribed and are usually steroid creams (topical corticosteroids). Sometimes they are TCIs (Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors)

Most children with eczema will need to use flare control creams at some point. 


Use them as soon as there is a flare-up.

How often?

During a flare-up, apply a thin layer once a day until the eczema is under control. 

How much to apply?

As a rough guide, put on a thin layer, just enough to cover the eczema flare area.

How long for?

Use them for two days after the eczema is under control. If you need to use flare control creams for longer than 3 or 4 weeks, then it would be good to discuss this with a health professional.

Are they safe?

Yes. Studies show that flare control creams are safe when used following the instructions above. They should be applied to the affected skin only. They are usually used for just a few days or weeks at a time.


Moisturising creams(emollients)

What are they for?

These creams are used to keep control of eczema. They help to:

  • Stop eczema flare-ups by keeping out things that may irritate the skin
  • Make the skin soft by locking water in the skin
  • Stop itching

Most people with eczema will need to use moisturising creams every day.

How often? 

The drier your child's skin is, the more often they should use a moisturising cream. 

How much to apply?

Put on a thick layer. Moisturising creams cannot be overused.

How long for?

Always. Use moisturising creams even when your skin is clear will prevent flare-ups in the future.

Are they safe?

Yes. Moisturising creams are very safe. They are used by millions of families with eczema across the world. Sometimes people find they irritate or sting. You may need to find one that works for you.

As soon as we started using moisturising creams more regularly, I noticed that his skin really improved and he had much fewer flare-ups. 

Chapter 5


Answer these questions for suggestions on where to go next...

If you know what your looking for you can go straight to the homepage by clicking the link below

Skip to homepage


Is your child's eczema itchy?


Does your child have patches of dry skin?


Is your child's eczema sore?


Is your child's eczema redder or darker than usual?

Suggested for you

Flare control creams

Flare control creams are used to get control of eczema flare-ups. They contain medicines to make the skin less sore and itchy. This helps the skin heal. Most people with eczema will need to use flare control creams at some point.

Suggested for you

Moisturising creams

Moisturising creams form a barrier over the skin to protect the skin and keep control of eczema. They help to stop eczema flare-ups by keeping out things that may irritate the skin.