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What to do if a 2 year old has eczema?

Q: My 20 month old son has eczema since he was 4 months old. He has red, itchy patches that keep coming up in new areas- right now they are on the chin and on the thighs. What are the possible treatments? Are there any non-steroidal creams as alternative to what I am currently using? When he visited India, his eczema vanished for the entire duration of stay. What can i do to help? Being vegetarian, I have concerns about him getting enough fat (the omega-3)in his diet. Do you have any suggestions? I give him whole milk thrice a day and also ghee/butter often, but how much of the latter is ok to give?

A:Your son is probably having atopic dermatitis in which skin is usually dry and itchy leads on to eczema. First thing you need to do is apply Vaseline or oil (almond or coconut) immediately after bath. Oilatum emollient is available in India, 2-3 tea spoon in a mug of water and then put over child after bath. In addition, he may need a course of antibiotic like cloxacillin and topical steroid like mometasone or fluticasone. Nonsteroidal preparation is tacrolimus available as Tacroz in India applied twice daily. Any exacerbating factor like clothing -woolen and synthetic to be avoided, diet may have role, any mattresses in home holding dust, etc. Consult a dermatologist for more details.

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