How do I look out for signs of infection?
Your doctor or nurse should give you a written plan of what to do if your child's eczema does become infected.
Children with eczema do not have the same natural protective barrier as children who don't have eczema, which means their skin is more likely to become infected. By looking out for the signs of infection you can get the medical support you need, when you need it. There are two main types of infection:
These are usually caused by the bacteria staphylococcus and/or streptococcus and are easily treated with antibiotics. Your child can take these by mouth or applied as a medicated cream.
- Spots containing or discharging pus
It is unlikely to respond to their current treatment
Or it may be getting rapidly worse
Yes, they may feel:
- Generally unwell
Contact your GP surgery to make an appointment
Tell them you suspect your child has a bacterial infection
Like bacteria, there are many different viruses that can cause an infection. The most important one to look out for is called Eczema herpeticum, which is caused by the herpes virus, the virus that also causes cold sores. It needs to be treated very quickly so the infection does not spread.
- Clusters of blisters like early cold sores
- Circular ulcers 1-3mm across may join
together to make a larger crusty ulcer
It will be rapidly getting worse and painful
Yes, they will feel:
- Generally very unwell
Contact your GP surgery immediately and request an urgent appointment
Tell them that you suspect that your child has Eczema herpeticum
If your child is using open containers of emollient, like a tub, this can become contaminated. If your child's eczema has been infected, you should throw away any open containers and get new ones. Why not ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for an emollient that comes in a pump dispenser, as this cannot become contaminated (unless you open it up!).
Why not download our reminder guide on spotting the signs of infection
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