What Is Childhood Eczema?

Also known as atopic dermatitis, it is a common skin condition that affects many children in Singapore. It manifests as recurrent, dry, itchy red patches on the skin and is often associated with a personal or family history of other atopic conditions including asthma, allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis. Eczema in children can range from mild to severe, and potentially impact their quality of life significantly.

Causes of Eczema in Children

Several factors are believed to contribute to its development or may trigger eczema, including:

  • Genetics: Often runs in families, and children with a family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
  • Environment: Exposure to allergens, irritants, or harsh chemicals can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms.
  • Immune system: An overactive immune response to allergens or irritants may lead to the development of eczema.
  • Skin barrier: A compromised skin barrier that allows moisture to escape and allergens to penetrate can contribute to eczema development.

Symptoms of Eczema in Children

Childhood eczema is a chronic skin condition that usually begins in infancy or early childhood. It is characterised by patches of dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. The symptoms of eczema may vary from child to child, but some of the most common signs include:

  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Dry, rough, or scaly patches
  • Intense itching, especially at night
  • Blisters that may weep or ooze when scratched
  • Skin that becomes thicker and discoloured over time due to constant scratching

Eczema symptoms can be more severe in some children, affecting their sleep, mood, and daily activities.

Children's Eczema Rash Locations and Patterns

Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, but certain locations and patterns are more common in children as follows:

  • In infants: Commonly on the scalp and face. When more severe, it can also affect the trunk and limbs.
  • In children and adolescents: In the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, and on the wrists, ankles, and hands. In severe cases, it can be generalized.

Understanding these patterns can help you recognise eczema in your child and seek appropriate treatment.

Child Eczema Triggers

Various triggers can worsen eczema symptoms in children. These include:

  • Allergens: Pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and certain foods can trigger eczema in some children.
  • Irritants: Harsh soaps, detergents, and synthetic fabrics can irritate the skin and worsen eczema symptoms.
  • Weather: Dry, cold air can exacerbate eczema, while hot, humid conditions can make your child sweat and itch more.
  • Stress: Emotional stress can trigger eczema flare-ups in some children.
  • Infections: Upper respiratory tract infections or skin infections can trigger eczema flares.

Eczema Treatment Options for Children

General advice:

  • Avoidance of potential triggers
  • Avoid hot showers or baths
  • Moisturize regularly with a fragrance-free moisturizer

Some specific eczema treatments for children your dermatologist may prescribe include:

  • Moisturisers and emollients
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Wet wrap dressings

In some cases of refractory or severe atopic dermatitis, more complex modes of treatment may be discussed. These include phototherapy, systemic immunomodulators and biologic treatments. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and age of the patient and needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis with your dermatologist.

Preventative Measures for Managing Eczema in Children

Some effective strategies to prevent eczema flare-ups in children include:

Apply a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturiser to your child’s skin at least twice a day to maintain skin hydration and barrier function.

Using gentle, fragrance-free soaps and skin care products can reduce skin irritation.

Choose natural materials, such as cotton, to reduce skin irritation and itching.

Prevents skin damage and infections caused by scratching.

A regular sleep routine can help reduce stress and improve your child’s overall well-being.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

Consult a paediatric dermatologist if you suspect your child has eczema, as early intervention can lead to better management and outcomes. Seek medical advice if:

  • Your child’s eczema symptoms worsen or do not improve with treatment.
  • Signs of infection, such as increased redness, pus, or fever, develop.
  • Your child experiences severe itching that affects their sleep and daily activities.
  • You notice your child scratching excessively, causing skin damage or scarring.

Your healthcare provider may recommend additional tests or refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Billing & Insurance

Private and Corporate Insurance

You can use your Integrated Shield Plans to pay for certain procedures. Speak to us to learn more, and you’ll be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be. 

Why Choose Us

Modern & Patient-Centred Dermatological Care

We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


Personalised Treatment Plans


Results-Oriented Approach


Focused Aftercare For All


Honest & Ethical Practices

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
Read More

    Make An Enquiry

    Leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    For Faster Response, Call Us Directly!

    +65‎ 6320‎ 0152

    Epi Dermatology & Laser Specialist Clinic

    Feel free to drop by our our clinic and meet our specialist

    101 Irrawaddy Road #16-09
    Royal Square at Novena, Singapore 329565

    +65‎ 6320 ‎0152

    +65 8701 7662 (WhatsApp Enquiries Only)


    Mon - Fri (09:00am - 05:30pm)
    Sat (09:00am - 1:00pm)
    Sun & Public Holidays (Closed)

    Our Clinic

    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images
    SLider Images

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Eczema is a chronic, relapsing condition that manifests as inflamed, itchy, and dry patches on the skin. While not curable, eczema can be controlled to reduce flare-ups.

    Persistent scratching can lead to skin breakdown and increased vulnerability to infections as well as changes to skin pigmentation and texture. Children with eczema have a higher likelihood of developing other atopic conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.

    No, it cannot be passed on through physical contact or shared items as it’s a result of an overactive immune response.