What Can Cause Eczema Flare-Ups in Toddlers?

By Sara Ipatenco
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Eczema is a skin condition that plagues many toddlers. If your child has eczema, you're probably used to the red, inflamed condition of his skin as well as no longer alarmed if small bumps that ooze pus form on the surface of his skin. Though eczema isn't dangerous and doesn't usually need medical intervention unless your child's symptoms are new or don't get better with treatment, you're probably still wishing for a magic cure. While that doesn't exist yet, there are certain things that can cause a flare-up, and helping your toddler avoid these triggers can help reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Common Allergens

Help your toddler avoid contact with common allergens such as dust. Keep your home as dust-free as possible to prevent him from coming into contact with the allergen. If you have pets, vacuum on a regular basis, as exposure to pet dander can cause an eczema flare-up as well, according to KidsHealth. Mold is another possible trigger, so scrub bathrooms and other places that collect mold regularly. Pollen can also cause an outbreak so keeping your windows closed during high pollen times can help reduce the risk of a flare-up.


While you certainly can't control the weather, certain types of weather can cause a flare-up, and being prepared can help reduce the severity. Dry winter weather is one culprit, according to KidsHealth. Consider using a humidifier to help moisten the air in your home. Excessive heat and sweating can also lead to a flare-up. Use fans, a swamp cooler or air conditioning to keep your home cool during hot summer months, and consider keeping your child inside during the hottest parts of the day to cut down on his sweating.

Cleaning Supplies and Cosmetics

Certain cleaning supplies and detergents can irritate your toddler's skin and cause his eczema to flare up. You can cut down on this risk by using laundry detergent that's made without fragrances and harsh chemicals, according to KidsHealth. Irritating clothing, such as wool, can also cause an outbreak, the Healthy Children website notes. Cosmetics, such as lotion, that contain perfumes and fragrances can cause an eczema flare-up, and using unscented products can cut down on that risk.

Additional Causes

Dry skin is a common culprit of an eczema flare-up, and using moisturizing lotions on a regular basis can reduce the chances of this happening. If regular lotions don't seem to work, talk to your child's pediatrician about prescription creams that are designed to prevent dry skin. Certain foods, such dairy and acidic foods, can cause an outbreak in some children, KidsHealth notes, so avoiding these can help, too.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.