(HealthDay News) -- Eczema refers to a host of conditions characterized by red, irritated skin. It's not an allergy itself, but can be triggered by an allergic reaction. Infants and children are affected more often than adults.

The Nemours Foundation offers these suggestions to help keep eczema under control:

  • Take lukewarm (not hot) baths with mild cleansers. Avoid soaps that dry the skin or contain fragrance.
  • Let your child soak in an oatmeal bath, if your doctor recommends it.
  • Don't scrub your child dry after a bath. Instead, gently pat the skin.
  • Dress your child in soft, breathable clothing made from cotton, rather than made of a coarse fabric such as wool.
  • Rub a moisturizing lotion, cream or ointment into your child's skin just after getting out of the bath.
  • Apply a cool compress to irritated skin, and keep fingernails short to limit scratching.
  • Rid the home of as many allergens as possible.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, which will hydrate the skin.