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The right treatment

A two-phase dermatological treatment
The skin needs water and lipids several times a day (even in the absence of lesions) in order to restore the natural barrier protecting it from allergens. During breakouts, cortisone-based creams effectively reduce lesions. Prescribed by a dermatologist, these treatments greatly improve the atopic patient's quality of life when taken properly.

Emollient creams to fight dryness and restore the natural barrier
These creams must be applied several times a day to non-inflammatory areas. They fight skin dryness and soothe the skin, thus reducing itching. This everyday routine is also recommended to prevent outbreaks. Apply the cream even when the skin looks healthy.

Corticosteroid creams to stop the inflammation
During breakouts, corticosteroid cream should be applied to the inflamed areas in order to soothe and reduce damage and scratching. In some countries, cortisone is unpopular due to its supposed side effects: water retention, sleep disorders, a slower growth rate, etc. However, these phenomena only concern corticosteroids administered orally. When in cream form, cortisone remains on the skin surface. However, cortisone should not be applied to areas without lesions, as it thins the skin and may weaken it.

If allergy test results so recommend, for example, the doctor may add an antihistamine treatment to the creams.

The basis of the treatment to significantly improve the skin's condition

Refusing to give up on treatment
Some of the treatments often prescribed against eczema are never used or abandoned too quickly, even though they are the most effective solution against severe dryness and inflammatory lesions.
Fear of cortisone creams or inattention to the reappearance of new red patches can lead to chronic generalized eczema.
It is important to ask for help when you are struggling to deal with your condition or if the treatment is not effective.
Dermatologists help people to better understand the treatment and can adjust it to help you better follow it.
Do not hesitate to show your dermatologist how you apply the cream so that he/she can ensure your technique is suited to the treatment of your child's condition.

The cure: an environment dedicated to care
This treatment is based on the daily provision of thermal spring water by health professionals. Since the treatment extends over three weeks, it opens up a real possibility of wellness. Ever since the La Roche-Posay Thermal Center opened in 1905, it has treated over 415,000 patients. It now accommodates nearly 8,000 patients per year and eczema is the main condition treated within the center (33% of spa-goers).
In addition to the prescribed baths, showers and sprays with dermatological benefits, patients (and their companions) have the opportunity to interact with others and to relax, which is by far the best morale booster.

Advice for daily life

When breakouts are triggered, they seem insurmountable... In addition to treatments that will significantly improve the situation, a few simple tips can relieve itching, pain, sleep disturbances and prevent patients from feeling helpless.

The vicious circle of atopy

Although scratching provides temporary relief, it breaks down the skin's barrier function, thereby promoting the penetration of irritants and allergens which trigger further itching… And so begins the vicious circle of itching.

Reduce itching
Only proper treatment can prevent the itching, which leads to uncontrollable scratching and feeds the vicious circle of atopy.
In order to reduce the effect of scratching with infants, cover their hands with cotton gloves and ensure they are never naked: this will significantly reduce scratches. Turn babygrows and t-shirts inside-out to prevent the seams from scratching. Later, and this also applies to adults, make sure the nails are always cut and avoid synthetic and woolen fabrics at all costs.

Avoid incessantly repeating "Stop scratching yourself!". Most of the time, your child doesn't even notice... Rather give them a gentle caress, thermal water spray and a knob of cream to soothe the itching.
The urge to scratch can also be psychological: scratching a cloth or other person instead is a good distraction.

Reduce discomfort and relieve pain:
When red patches burn and lesions tug or swell, thermal water is a great help.

  • Keep the creams in the fridge so they are fresh when applied
  • Put cold and smooth pebbles on the lesions or use a fan to cool them down
  • The room's temperature should be kept at 19°C on average.
  • Place a thermal water spray and tube of cream on the nightstand

Wash carefully:
The hygiene of atopic skin requires special attention to prevent further irritation and tightness.

Hospital appointment
How to apply cortisone cream

  • Bath time should not exceed 5-10 minutes at 35 °C maximum (hot water causes itching). A few drops of bath oil provide comfort to atopic skin.
  • Give preference to showers (even for babies, as soon as they can stand)
  • Alternate with a brief cleansing session with little water or milk cleanser if the skin suffers from extreme dryness.
  • Use Syndet or extra-moisturizing, soap-free gel to wash the skin gently
  • Avoid using a washcloth
  • Rinse and dry without rubbing the body - rather dab it with a cotton towel.
  • Moisturize when the skin is still damp

Coping with stress
Stress is both a trigger for breakouts and a consequence of the illness, but it is not inevitable. Learning to control it can significantly increase quality of life. Yoga, relaxation therapy and massages are worth a try.

Adopt the routine... with a smile!

Tricks to relieve eczema

During breakout and remission periods, ointments are the key to well-being. Every day, throughout the year, your skin's comfort depends on the use moisturizers and lipid replenishers. This routine must be simplified, especially for children. Using a few animals, you can create a role-play scenario, for example, as is done during the ointment workshops developed at the La Roche-Posay spa center, which accommodates 300 children every year.

Encourage the child to play
with Lipi & Kara

Step 1
First, always wash your hands before applying cream. It is convenient to do so right after taking a shower, because your hands are already clean.
Step 2
Warm the cream by rubbing it in the palm of your hands: it will become more fluid and seep better into the skin.
Step 3
The face
Start by making large circles on your cheeks and then rub the little cat's whiskers, followed by your nose and forehead. We remove the small snail's antennas with the two index fingers, not forgetting to rub the eyelids and behind the ears.
Step 4
The neck and chin
Let's pretend you are a giraffe! You must take the time to apply the cream along the giraffe's neck, not forgetting the back of the neck... You just need to tilt your head forward.
Step 5
The belly
Draw the snail's shell by making several circles. As for the sides, put one arm in the air and use the other to apply the cream from top to bottom; then change arms.
Step 6
The arms
Think about a jumping animal (a chipmunk, rabbit or grasshopper, for example). Start from the hand, go up to the shoulder and jump to the hand again! Start again, but this time with your palm facing upward to moisturize the inside of the arms.
Step 7
The legs
Pick another jumping animal, then repeat the same movement as for the arms. Your hand is placed on the foot, moves all the way up and then jumps to the foot again. This applies to the front and behind of the leg. Lastly, put a thin layer of cream between your toes, which can be very dry.
Step 8
The back
Let mom and dad take turns to give you a little well-deserved massage!

Help your child to understand his/her illness: it is important not to dramatize the situation, especially where atopic children are concerned. Children are generally aware of the fact that they have eczema, but are unable to explain it (especially to their friends). Where does the disease come from, is it contagious and will they be cured one day? It is also difficult for them to assess the medium-term benefits of a good treatment and of monitoring their condition. Discuss it with them using teaching tools LIPI & KARA to assess their knowledge.

Encourage them to apply the treatment themselves; they can do so from the age of 3 or 4!
Our tendency to overprotect atopic children is natural. However, even very young children are able to take responsibility, thereby changing their habits and perception of the disease.
By adopting the ointment routine, first in a playful way, children will soon be able to do it alone at home, at their grandparents' house or when camping. Their breakouts will become less severe and less frequent, allowing them to be carefree once again. The routine will eventually become instinctive and parents will not have to insist.

Starting at 7 years old, children can also assess their own eczema and monitor the development of their condition from one week to the next. Using this tool, developed by the European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis, the patient can measure the severity of the lesions, symptoms, itching and sleeps disorders.

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