Eczema Flare-ups in Children During Wet Season
Does your child have a rough time dealing with skin irritation during the rainy season? Parents in Singapore are likely to see several skin conditions ranging from dry patches, flaky skin, eczema flare-ups, insect bites to stings during the wet months of November to January.
The wet and humid weather is also the perfect condition for fungal infections that can cause itchy skin, skin rashes, and skin allergies, etc.
This is because of rising humidity levels and changing temperatures, which take a toll on the weak skin barrier function of children prone to skin allergies and flare-ups.
Moreover, invariable scratching can damage their skin and cause it to bleed, aggravate itching, and result in secondary bacterial infection. Consult a family physician to treat their eczema symptoms with prescription medications.
Common eczema triggers during monsoon are:
1. Mould Allergy
If your child’s allergies seem to get worse when it rains, he/she may be suffering from a mould allergy. Generally, they are not life-threatening, but it can impact their ability to lead a comfortable daily life.
A mould is a type of fungus that grows in the pressence of moisture, warmth either outdoors or indoors. The primary allergen is the mould spores that can eventually make their way into the air and then enter into the nasal passage, triggering an allergic reaction. This mould has been linked to asthma and food poisoning.
The problem worsens when the spores attach to a wet surface, and it begins to grow. Some of the common places both indoors and outdoors where you can find mould growth are your home, school buildings, and playgrounds, etc.
What is a Mildew?
Mildew is a sibling to mould, they are also referred to as surface fungus. They grow inside your house near the leaky walls and around the shower area. These mildew releases spores and are very small and gets carried in the air. Which can cause histamine-related allergy symptoms in your child, and adults. These moisture lovers grow rapidly especially when it rains a lot. Ensure to regularly clean damp places including refrigerator, wardrobe, shower area etc.
Also, use a dehumidifier at your home to control the humidity levels and try to keep them at 50% to 60% rather than 90% which is quite common in Singapore and increases more during the rainy season. It also helps to dry clothes during the wet season as it sucks moisture in the air.
2. Allergic Rhinitis
Allergy Rhinitis is caused by allergens that makes inflammation in the nasal passage and airways, the white blood cells become overactive to fight the allergens. The symptoms are very similar to the common cold. Where the common cold is caused by a virus, it can spread among family members.
Whereas allergic rhinitis is temporary and doesn't spread from one member to the other. It gets better when the person is isolated from the allergen.
Rhinitis or hay fever is most common among kids as their immune system is still developing. Allergic rhinitis is also observed in children on a seasonal basis. If untreated this can trigger asthma due to restricted airways to the lungs and may also trigger eczema flare ups.
Children with rhinitis may have itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, nasal blockage, and itchy throat. Common allergens are dust mites, pollen, mould, animal dander, etc. You can help to prevent the symptoms by consulting a doctor, identify the allergens, and eliminate them from your house. The very common culprit is changing in weather, humidity, and dust mites.
Children inhale more air as per unit of body weight than adults, that is also the reason why they are more prone to dust mites related allergic rhinitis especially in the wet season. They are normally present in air, rugs, duvets, curtains, carpets, and dampness.
Allergic rhinitis is normally treated with antihistamines. Consult a doctor about the dosage and usage.
3. Allergic Asthma
Allergic asthma symptoms tend to get worse during the rain and thunderstorm due to increased wind, high humidity, and more pollen grains in the air. The rain breaks the pollen into smaller units and the air carries them with the breeze. There have been many cases recorded in Australia in Nov 2016 and this phenomenon was called Thunderstorm Asthma.
Also, air pollution due to dampness, dust mites, mould, and pollens irritates the airways more and make them narrower. This triggers allergic asthma with symptoms like wheezing and coughing among kids and can also trigger eczema to flare up. This affects the quality of life.
Use an air purifier with HEPA filters in the rooms that help to trap all the allergens present in the air. This will let your child sleep well and wakeup without allergy symptoms of itchy eyes, inflamed nasal passages, and other allergy symptoms. That helps to lower the occurrence of asthma attacks.
How to handle allergic asthma symptoms?
- Consult the doctor and identify triggers, follow the asthma management plan.
- Have the asthma inhaler handy and stock on the prescription medications.
- A home-based nebuliser unit is handy.
- Avoid food that causes allergies during rainy days.
- Avoid outdoor activities and use air purifiers at home.
- Get in touch with the help support group for Asthma and allergies. Where you could talk to someone with the same conditions.
4. Dry Skin
Often, we tend to see the wet season as a good climate for our skin. After all, more water means more moisturising, right? not necessarily. Usually, rains signal high humidity levels that make your teenage kids skin tend to excessive oiliness.
If you miss out on religiously washing away the oiliness, it will trap dust and bacteria and lead to clogged pores. On the other hand, perspiration causes dehydration for the skin, which then tends to become drier during the monsoon season.
Also using harsh chemicals that are available in the body wash soaps and longer hot water showers followed by drying and scrubbing the skin with a towel can cause the cycle between oily and dry which changes the ph levels of the skin.
Prolonged stay in the air-conditioned environment will make the skin dry and this could start an itch-scratch cycle. To avoid this, especially during rainy days. It is essential to drink more water and keep your child well hydrated.
Also, use a gentle cleanser and apply moisturiser on the skin, after a shower. Skin absorbs moisturising lotions well after the shower, this will prevent the itch. Learn how to manage eczema symptoms in children here.
5. Dust Mites
In rainy weather, humidity is high in the air, which is an ideal situation for the dust mites to multiply in your home. Dust mites are small microscopic living organisms that are mostly found on pillows, bed covers, soft toys, carpets, etc. Exposure to dust mites droppings or faeces can cause upper respiratory infections in kids like asthma and people with weak immune systems.
How to eliminate dust mites?
The dust mites are killed by washing the cushion covers, and bed covers in hot water settings. On a rainy day, the washed clothes take longer to dry. Using a laundry dryer is an alternate option to make sure the washed clothes are dried faster.
If you don’t have a dryer unit. Check for the tumble dry option setting on your washing machine. This will help remove extra moisture from the fabric.
It is always advisable to wash the infested sheet covers separately to avoid cross-contamination. There are many laundry detergents available in the market that can be used to kill dust mites in hot water wash cycles.
Choose the laundry detergent that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, which also has a dustmite site formulation that is gentle on both fabric and the skin. which are gentle on the fabric also helps eliminates the dust mites most importantly it doesn’t irritate the skin of children with mild or severe eczema.
Clean the carpet regularly, wash and change the bed covers, pillow covers, and curtains regularly to reduce dust mite allergies in your child, wash the curtains once every month or two months once. To keep your little ones free from dust mite symptoms of red itchiness on the skin.
Keep the bookshelves covered with glass door, books traps most dust and also harbor dust mites to breed.
Finally, keep the rooms in the house well ventilated and also using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner will help to trap house dust particles that are smaller than 0.3 microns in size. removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns
All the above factors do contribute to eczema flare-ups. Atopic Dermatitis affects about 18-21% of children worldwide. Also, there is an increased incidence of atopic dermatitis and nappy or diaper rash during wet months. Especially newborns and toddlers during wet weather they tend to urinate frequently and are prone to diaper rashes due to skin irritation and wetness.
To reduce skin irritation, apply diaper rash cream every time you change the diaper. Your child may suffer from eczema that shows up as skin rashes and allergies caused due to skin irritation or external factors such as humidity and changing temperatures. Itching and scratching can further damage their skin, leading to bleeding, and secondary bacterial infections.
Eczema symptoms on your child will appear as red, dry, inflamed, and sensitive skin, itching and scaly patches of skin. Some of you may notice oozing or crusting around the swelling areas in your kid. Seek medical advice and get it medically reviewed by doctors.
Tips to Prevent Your Child’s Eczema Flare-Ups on a Rainy Season
- Stay away from allergens such as dust mites, pollens, and animal dander.
- Use a gentle cleanser to shower and dab the skin dry with a soft towel after a lukewarm bath, keep the showering hours not more than 10 min, Especially on the skin, folds behind the knees, underarms, and between the toes.
- Follow up by applying the moisturiser immediately to prevent their skin from getting dry that could lead to itchiness and irritation.
- A moisturised skin is a healthy skin. Use moisturisers on your child’s skin to prevent them from drying out.
- Refrain from using moisturisers that have fragrance and colouring agents as they considered the most common cause of aggravation of allergies.
- Consult with your doctor on any health care concerns.
- Don’t wear wet shoes for a long time this may cause fungal infections in your child’s feet.
- Drink more water especially during the rainy season.
- Take immunity booster food supplements to boost your child's immunity during the wet season.
- Using air purifier in the room for a good night sleep
- Get antihistamine medications ready if your child exhibit any allergic symptoms this helps to reduce the inflammation which in-turn helps in reducing the itchiness.
Reach a Virtual Doctor for Monsoon care
As discussed, your child may suffer from wet weather eczema flareups due to various factors. If you notice any rash or allergy-like symptoms in your child, it is advisable not to delay diagnosis. Consult a doctor online to prevent the risk of infection from common flu during the rainy season.
At Kids GainHealth, we offer the convenience of tele-consultation service and customers get qualified to join in as a member of our tele-consultation service from a minimum purchase of products $58 dollars onwards from our online store collections. The prescriptions are delivered at doorstep to the members of kidsgainhealth. To learn more about this service visit our members online tele-consultation that assists parents with children to avail healthcare service from the privacy of their home visit our website.