When To Contact A Doctor About Baby Eczema
If this is the first time baby is experiencing red or irritated skin, its best to contact your doctor to confirm whether its baby eczema or another condition. Once you get a diagnosis, you can start taking the appropriate steps and trying some baby eczema treatments.
But if the skin irritation is accompanied by a fever, or the bumps and patches start to ooze, scab or blister, it may be a sign of infection, and youll want to consult your childs doctor right away.
What Can Make It Worse
Each baby is different. But there are some common eczema triggers to avoid, including:
Dry skin. It can make a baby’s skin itchier. Low humidity, especially during winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, is a cause.
Irritants. Think scratchy wool clothes, polyester, perfumes, body soaps, and laundry soaps. These can all trigger symptoms.
Stress. Children with eczema may react to stress by flushing. That can lead to itchy, irritated skin. And that, in turn, ramps up their eczema symptoms.
Heat and sweat. Both can make the itch of infant eczema worse.
Allergens. Its not certain, but some experts believe that removing cows milk, peanuts, eggs, or certain fruits from a childs food may help control eczema symptoms. Remember that your baby can get exposed to these foods if their mother eats them before they breastfeed. Find out the connection between food and eczema flares.
New Innovations In The Treatment Of Eczema In Children
Tacrolimus ointment this is an investigational ointment currently being tested in the U.S. for the treatment of eczema. It suppresses the part of the immune system that is responsible for the eczema rash and itching. This ointment is showing great promise, and will hopefully be available soon. It appears to be just as effective as steroid creams but does not have many of the side effects that the steroids have.
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Is Eczema Different For Infants Or Toddlers Than It Is For Older Children
A painful, itchy rash on a babys face, torso or body may be eczema
Eczema looks and acts differently in infants and toddlers than it does in older children. The location and appearance of eczema changes as they grow, so its important to know what to look for during every stage of your infant or toddlers life.
Why Is It Important To Control My Child’s Eczema
When eczema is not well controlled, it can affect a child’s quality of life and health. It increases the chance of skin infections, and it can also be painful. Itching and scratching can be distressing for your child and for you as a parent to watch. Physical comfort, sleep, social interactions and self-image can all be affected. Good control allows your child to feel well and stay focused on childhood activities such as learning and playing.
Some new research shows there may be an additional benefit to keeping eczema under good control. Good control might help prevent food allergy. This is especially good news for parents who have babies and toddlers who are at increased risk for food allergy.
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Affected Areas Of The Body
The two conditions tend to affect different parts of the body, although there is some overlap.
Baby acne breakouts tend to occur on the:
Eczema often develops on a babys elbows and knees at between 6 and 12 months of age.
It will sometimes also spread to other areas, but it does not affect the diaper area. A rash in this area may be diaper rash.
Baby acne and eczema require different treatments.
Baby And Toddler Eczema Treatments
A good way to manage your baby’s eczema is to know your childs unique symptoms and triggersand help keep skin hydrated with a regular regimen of gentle cleansing and moisturizing. Short, lukewarm baths are ideal, and its better to pat the skin dry and avoid rubbing. Immediately after bathing, apply a fragrance- and sulfate-free moisturizer. You can also ask your pediatrician or dermatologist to recommend an eczema lotion or eczema cream to treat symptoms. In addition to this bath-time routine, apply moisturizer throughout the day to keep your baby’s skin hydrated, especially when dryness or itching is apparent.5 However, avoid applying products on your baby’s hands since they are likely to put them in their mouth.
If at-home care doesnt improve your baby’s symptoms, its best to seek the advice of a pediatrician or dermatologist who may recommend additional treatment options, like prescription-based topicals, light therapy or other medications.6
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What Causes Eczema In Babies & Toddlers
- According to the National Eczema Association, atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of eczema, affecting roughly 13% of children in the United States
- Babies and children with a family history of eczema are more likely to develop this skin condition3
- Baby eczema is believed to be caused by genetics and external factors3
Recipe For Eczema Salve For Children
- Fill a pint jar with dry Calendula flowers.Cover flowers with oil. Equal parts of Castor Oil, Olive Oil, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil would be ideal. Do not use hydrogenated oil. Cover jar. Place in a warm place and stir daily for 2 weeks. Strain out flowers with a piece of old, clean t-shirt. Warm oil in a double boiler. For every 4 ounces of oil, melt in 2 Tablespoon of beeswax pastilles. Pour into a clean jar.If you prefer it to be a harder salve, add a little more beeswax. If you prefer it softer, use a little less beeswax. Store in a cool dry place. Use as often as desired for relief from eczema and other rashes.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Control My Child’s Eczema
- Keep your child’s finger nails short and clean. This can help prevent an infection if skin gets scratched
- Use unscented laundry products and avoid dryer sheets.
- Wash new clothes and remove tags before your child wears them.
- Dress your child in loose rather than tight clothes.
- If your child’s eczema is hard to keep well controlled, get help from health care providers who have expertise in eczema care.
How To Help Prevent Your Babys Eczema From Recurring
Always follow your healthcare providerâs advice on treating your baby’s eczema. Your provider may suggest taking the following steps to help prevent eczema from recurring or getting worse:
Bathe your baby no more than three times per week.
Keep bath time to no more than 15 minutes.
Use only mild, unscented soaps.
After bath time, moisturize your babyâs skin with a fragrance-free cream or an ointment such as petroleum jelly or one prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Moisturize your babyâs skin at least twice a day (get more tips on baby skincare. Diaper changes can be a good time to do this.
Launder your babyâs clothes in mild, unscented detergent.
Dress him in soft clothing. Avoid wool or any rough woven fabrics.
To help protect your little oneâs skin, keep his nails clipped short so that he canât scratch himself. You could also slip cotton mittens on his hands before bedtime to help prevent him from scratching.
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Topical Natural Cures For Eczema In Children
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a simple natural remedy to start with when trying to relieve a child’s eczema. This can be used as often as needed. Diluted Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is another natural treatment that has helped may Earth Clinic Readers. Add 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 cup of water, and apply with a cotton ball as needed, even every couple of hours. The mixture can be made stronger or weaker depending upon how the child responds to this treatment. A salve made with the herb Calendula in it may be of help, if you can find a quality salve, or better yet, make your own!
Can My Baby Grow Out Of It
One of the most common questions parents have for pediatricians is whether their baby will outgrow their eczema. If you are wondering the same thing, rest assured. Most babies who develop eczema in the first few months of life outgrow it by the time they begin school at age 4 or 5. However, a small percentage of babies who develop eczema will not outgrow it. Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm whether a baby will or will not outgrow eczema in a few years but the chances of the condition staying increase if the condition runs in the family.
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Causes And Triggers Of Baby Eczema
The causes of baby eczema are unclear, though it is generally agreed that the conditionstems from a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Knowing what triggers babyeczema can be useful in keeping the condition under control. Common triggers include:
- Dry skin: When the skin becomes too dry it becomes susceptible to rashes and flare-ups of eczema.
- Moisture on the skin: From sweat, milk, saliva or wet diapers.
- Chemical irritants: Natural or artificial chemicals found in everyday products canmake an outbreak of eczema more likely. These chemicals can be found in products such asshampoo, soap, laundry detergent and disinfectants or surface cleaners.
- Dust mites: Some research shows that prolonged exposure to dust mites increases thelikelihood of an infant developing eczema. Further research in the area suggests thatreducing the number of dust mites in the home makes little difference to the frequencyand severity of eczema flares after the first diagnosis.
- Stress: Babies can become extremely irritated by eczema which can in turn exacerbatethe condition further.
Diagnosing Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Your child’s doctor may suggest the steps listed below:
- Remove the suspected food or foods from your child’s diet for 2 weeks. The eczema should greatly improve.
- Then give your child that food when the eczema is under good control. This is called a “challenge.”
- If the food is causing flare-ups, the eczema should become itchy and red. The flare-up should occur quickly within 2 hours of eating the food.
- If this occurs, avoid giving this food to your child. Talk to your child’s doctor about the need for any food substitutes.
- If the eczema does not flare-up, your child isn’t allergic to that food.
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When To Be Concerned
Although it can be exciting as a new parent to carefully track your infants developmental milestones, its also important to keep in mind that milestones are different for every baby. Just because your baby hasnt reached a particular milestone doesnt necessarily mean that something is wrong. But if you do have concerns or notice any of the following, speak to your doctor.
Potential concerns include if your baby is not eating well or doesn’t seem to be gaining weight. By 2 months old, your baby should have gone through a growth spurt, but it can be hard to evaluate on your own. Your babys growth chart at the doctors office can help you know if your baby is on track for physical development.
Consult your baby’s doctor if they aren’t showing signs of facial recognition. Your babys favorite thing at 2 months old should be your face, and they should show signs of excitement, such as kicking their legs or lighting up, when looking at you.
It may also be a sign of potential concern if your baby is not able to track the movements of a rattle, toy, or your finger as you move it horizontally. Additionally, alert your doctor if your baby is not able to lift up their head, either on the floor or while you are holding them to your chest or on your shoulder.
What Does It Look Like
The signs of eczema in infants include itchy, dry and scaly skin, redness and swelling of the skin and small bumps that open and weep when scratched. In infants and young children, eczema is usually found on the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees.
In older children and adults, eczema tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, and on the back of the knees.Keep in mind that all patches of dry skin are not eczema. The cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can dry all babies skin in winter, causing dry patches. In children prone to dry skin, so can the sun, air conditioning, and pool and salt water.
We dermatologists usually say if its not itchy, its not eczema you cant make a diagnosis of eczema unless there is an itchiness that goes with the rash. Babies with cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, can also have a wide-spread rash, which is not eczema in itself. But it is common for cradle cap and eczema to co-exist in the first several months of life.
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Managing Eczema In Winter And Year Round: A Parents Guide
Cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can rob skin of its natural moisture in the winter. Red, crusty, dry patches can be common on a baby’s skin, particularly in winter, and cause concern for parents. Such symptoms can be treated, however, and many babies and children do outgrow the dry, itchy skin of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
We spoke with pediatric dermatologist Katherine Puttgen to learn more.
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema is a chronic condition which causes red, itchy areas on the skin. Sometimes the itching is very severe. When skin is scratched it can break open, ooze and then crust over. Symptoms of eczema can come and go. Babies with eczema often have it on their cheeks, forehead and scalp. Older children often have it on their hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and on the inside folds of their elbows and knees.
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Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
- The main allergic foods are cow’s milk and eggs.
- The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
- The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.
Clothes That Work For Him
Buying organic clothes can be very expensive. To cut down on costs, I conducted an elimination test of various nonorganic brands. I introduced a particular nonorganic brand of clothing into Ethan’s clothing rotation for four days if no reactions appeared, it was a safe bet that all clothing from this nonorganic brand was safe for his skin.
Brands that Work for Ethan: Carter’s and Baby Gap
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Eczema In Babies And Young Children
Eczema is the most common chronic skin disease in children, sometimes starting as early as infancy. If one or both parents have a history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever, your little one is more likely to develop eczema.
About 6 out of 10 people with eczema will see symptoms before their 1st birthday.
Natural Remedies For Babies With Eczema
Most often, creams, balms, butters and oils are recommended to treat baby eczema. Its important to be aware that lotions do not protect and seal in moisture well enough to work effectively as an eczema treatment. They are simple too thin.
Lets dive into my top seven recommendations for natural baby eczema remedies.
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What Is Baby Eczema
Baby eczema is an umbrella term for a number of skin conditions that cause red, itchy and inflamed skin on young children. Atopic dermatitis is the most common and well-known type of eczema, characterized by red, scaly, and itchy patches of skin.
Its estimated that baby eczema affects more than 10% of all young children, and according to the CDC, cases seem to be on the rise in the US. Interestingly, little ones with food allergies seem to be more likely to suffer from severe eczema. As high as 30% of babies with food allergies have eczema.
Eczema usually appears when babies are between 1 and 6 months old. Typically, it starts on the cheeks. It may continue to spread around the face and then on to the arms and legs. In older children, eczema flare-ups are usually not on the outer surfaces of the limbs, but instead are found in creases such as the backs of the knees, wrists, and elbows.
When To See Your Healthcare Provider
Itâs a good idea to see your provider if you think your little one might have eczemaâthat way your provider can diagnose it and recommend treatment, if itâs needed.If your babyâs eczema is severeâif it looks purple, crusty, or weepy, or has blistersâyour provider might prescribe an over-the-counter or prescription cream or ointment.If your baby has only mild eczema, your provider might recommend no treatment at all and recommend waiting to see if it clears on its own.
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Warm Bath With Moisturizer
Giving your baby a short warm bath is one of the most effective things you can do to treat and manage eczema at home. A daily warm bath for no more than 5 or 10 minutes is usually beneficial, as long as you immediately apply moisturizer to the babys skin after the bath.
Use lukewarm water in the bath. Stay away from any synthetic soaps or cleansing agents that are harsh or perfumed. Every child is different, so you should pay attention to how your infants skin responds to the frequency of baths. Some babies may respond better to baths every other day.
Its important to gently pat your baby dry after their bath, leaving a little moisture on their skin. Then apply moisturizer to their damp skin to help prevent the skin from drying out.