Children, especially young ones, have tender delicate skin. Their skin is prone to cuts and bruises and they are susceptible to rashes and allergic reactions.
If your toddler has a rash on their neck, it is very possible the rash is a reaction to environmental irritants, an allergic reaction or a symptom of atopic dermatitis better known as eczema.
Reactions to Environmental Irritants
The environment we live in can easily affect our children's skin, especially toddlers and preschool-aged children. Often, young kids will be active and less cautious than older children, which means they might find themselves exposed to more environmental influences than an older child.
Toddler's hands are everywhere, they touch things with their hands and often mouths as a means of exploring their world. With pollutants on almost every surface of even the cleanest home, a child can be exposed to irritants.
Chemicals, pesticide sprays, and cleaning agents can easily end up on a child's skin causing a bumpy, red, itchy reaction called contact dermatitis. Things that cause contact dermatitis are detergents, smoke, paint, bleach, wool, acidic foods, soaps, fragrances, pollen and pet hair, and dander.
The condition causes raised, itchy bumps that can ooze and spread. Keeping a young child’s hands from scratching at their skin when it itches is a monumental effort, but is necessary if the skin is to be left alone enough to heal.
Some of the remedies you might use are oatmeal baths and moisturizing with cold pressed coconut oil, a lotion with vitamin B-12 and Calendula Cream.
Wash and apply cream to the symptomatic area, then use over the counter itch cream and Benedryl to help manage the pain and itching. Keeping the area clean and dry after treatment is also important.
Another cause of raised itchy bumps that can spread on a child's skin is atopic dermatitis or eczema. In toddlers and young children, eczema can show up on their face, cheeks, neck and back, the backs of their knees and elbows and on their hands and wrists.
As children age their eczema can change from raised bumps and red itchy patches to dry scales and flakes. A bout of eczema may be triggered the same way contact dermatitis is triggered, by touching and being exposed to irritants.
Children with eczema can have a flare up if they are exposed to detergent, dishwashing liquid, tight-fitting clothing, wool, excessive heat, pet dander, emotional stress, and other triggers.
If your child has already been diagnosed with eczema, having raised, itchy bumps on their necks and backs, might be a sign of the condition.
It isn't uncommon to see eczema on a child's neck and back, but it isn't the place where eczema is normally found. Try using your normal eczema remedies on the itching red bumps and see if it helps clear them up.
Eczema Treatment and Prevention
Eczema can be unsightly and uncomfortable, especially for young children who don’t have the patience to wait out the itching and discomfort. As concerned parents, many of us want to alleviate any sign of distress in our children as quickly as possible.
For eczema sufferers, the battle against the condition might be lifelong.
Some of the things you can do to help relieve your child's suffering are, keep their nails trimmed short so that they can't scratch or irritate the affected skin.
Make sure their skin is kept moisturized with a lotion that is free of fragrance and harsh chemicals. Natural oils, like coconut oil and sunflower oil, are great for moisturizing skin and providing a barricade against further contact with irritants.
Frequent bathing is also important to keep the skin clean and moisturized. Additives like oatmeal and baking soda can be put in the bath to help relieve pain and itching.
Make sure the bath water isn't too hot. Lukewarm temperatures are better for eczema skin relief.
You can also use over the counter medications such as hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion. If the condition becomes severe and the discomfort unbearable for your child, you can always consult their pediatrician or the nurses' hotline for their recommendations.
Also, stress can be a trigger for skin reactions, so assess your child's environment and see if there are any stresses that might be causing an effect on your child's skin.
Young children can get stressed easily when they are overtired and frustrated. Perhaps they are mastering a new skill that isn't coming easily or they are struggling with communicating their feelings and frustrations.
If you are seeing escalated irritability and aggression in your child, this may be caused by the pain and itching of their skin and also the stress that initially caused the flare up. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and try to offer them some peaceful ways to handle the stress in their lives.
Putting on meditative music and having quiet time together can help a child relax.
Creating a soft cozy place for you and your child to read a book, draw, color, or work on a building project while listening to calming music can help your child learn to focus and relax.
After you’re done with your project and have listened to at least twenty minutes of music, ask them about their feelings, you may learn what is causing their stress.
Ways to Keep My Child Safe and Comfortable When a Rash Occurs
Usually neck and back rashes on young children are uncomfortable, but not life-threatening nor long-lasting, however, if the rash is accompanied with high fever, vomiting or lethargy contact a doctor immediately.
Together you and your child can battle contact dermatitis and eczema with loose-fitting clothing, a chemical and irritant free home, frequent bathing and adequate moisturizing. To help them deal with the discomfort and pain of rashes and red patches on their skin.
Make sure you provide a temperate climate and offer times for relaxation and peace…and give plenty of hugs and loves, they'll need them.