How Is Atopic Dermatitis Diagnosed In A Child
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask if you or other family members have atopic dermatitis, asthma, or nasal allergies such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. He or she will also ask about allergy symptoms in your child. The healthcare provider will examine your child, looking for signs of atopic dermatitis. There is no specific test for atopic dermatitis. Testing is usually not needed, but it may be done. Tests may include:
Blood tests. Your childs blood may be checked for levels of immunoglobulin E . IgE is released by the body’s immune system. Its high in most children with allergies and with atopic dermatitis. Other blood tests may also be done.
Skin tests. Skin tests may be done to check for allergies or other skin conditions.
How Does Baby Eczema Affect My Childs Skin
Baby eczema makes your babys skin dry, itchy and sensitive. This happens because your babys protective barrier on the outermost layer of their skin is weak and doesnt work as expected. Their symptoms can last for a couple of weeks each time theres a flare-up of symptoms.
Baby eczema is a chronic condition, where it can come and go unexpectedly. Some children grow out of the condition when they reach adulthood but will still experience symptoms of dry skin or mild flare-ups throughout their life.
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.
Read Also: Best Lip Treatment For Eczema
Ways To Prevent Baby Eczema
Eczema itself cannot be prevented, but knowing and avoiding triggers can help prevent flare-ups of the condition.
Some ways to reduce triggers include:
- Keep your child out of cold, dry air.
- If they are 6 months or older, make sure your child gets an annual flu shot.
- Read labels on products to help your family avoid common irritants.
- Double-rinse your laundry to remove detergent residue.
Why Did My Child Develop Eczema
The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Researchers do know that children who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When something outside the body switches on the immune system, skin cells dont behave as they should causing flare ups.
We also know that children who come from families with a history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.
You May Like: Ringworm Vs Eczema In Toddlers
Natural Remedies For Baby Eczema
If you need some extra help soothing babys skin, these natural eczema treatments may make things better.
- Wet a washcloth. Drape cool, wet washcloths or gauze over your babys irritated skin for five to ten minutes at a time or however long you can get your squirmy worm to cooperate.
- Try an oatmeal bath. Sprinkle a bit of uncooked oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal or even baking soda into the tub when you wash your baby. All can naturally relieve eczema and irritation.
- Combat dry air. Running a cool-mist humidifier in your baby’s bedroom can help keep her skin super-hydrated. Clean it frequently to prevent bacteria and mold buildup.
- Dress your little one in layers. Sweating can reboot the eczema cycle, and thats the last thing you want. Layers let you customize babys outfit for toasty temps.
- Ask your pediatrician about probiotics. Studies are underway to see whether probiotics may ease eczema when added to dry baby formula or served as a dietary supplement. Get your doctor to weigh in before giving it a go.
Does Baby Eczema Go Away On Its Own
Baby eczema needs treatment to go away completely. The best treatment is using moisturizer daily or several times each day to keep your babys skin hydrated.
Most cases of baby eczema clear up by the time they start school, around age 4 or 5. Sometimes eczema can go away or reduce in severity as your child reaches adolescence or by the time they turn into adults. As your child grows, they may have sensitive skin or flare-ups of eczema symptoms throughout their life.
Read Also: Can You Get Eczema On Your Neck
Managing Eczema: Knowing And Avoiding Possible Triggers
Although we dont know what causes eczema to develop in the first place, we do know many triggers that can cause baby eczema to suddenly get worse.
If your child has eczema, it may flare up when their skin is exposed to any number of triggers.
Some triggers that may cause eczema flare-ups include:
- Dry skin
- Environmental allergens, especially if your child already has an environmental allergy
- Common allergy-causing foods, especially if your child already has an allergy to that food
One key to baby eczema management is identifying possible triggers that seem to cause eczema to flare up, then keeping babys skin from coming in contact with them.
Some possible triggers should be avoided outright when your baby has eczema.
For example, stay away from shampoos, soaps, lotions, and laundry detergents that contain fragrances and dyes. Opt for unscented, dye-free bath and laundry products instead. Mild, unscented liquid body wash is always a good choice.
Also, dont dress your baby in synthetic fabrics like polyester, wool, and nylon. Dont use blankets and covers made from these fabrics, either. And avoid any other itchy, tight clothing. Opt for natural, loose-fitting cotton clothing instead, and use cotton bedding for their crib.
Be sure to wash new clothing and bedding before their first use as well, since unwashed fabric can contain irritating chemicals.
What Triggers My Childs Eczema Or Causes It To Get Worse
Some of the most common eczema triggers include:
Even your babys stuffed animals may be a trigger for eczema
- Dry skin
- Allergens such as pet dander, pollen or dust
Your childs eczema may be worse in the winter when the air is dry. Saliva from drooling can also cause irritation on your babys cheeks, chin and neck.
The best way to manage your childs eczema is by getting to know their symptoms and triggers so that you can help keep it under control.
Recommended Reading: What Can Make Eczema Flare Up
What Causes Baby Eczema
A combination of genetic and environmental factors causes baby eczema. These factors include:
- Skin irritants and allergens: Several things in your babys environment can bother your childs skin. If your child has an allergy, symptoms of eczema can flare up on their skin. Common environmental irritants and allergens include fabrics, soaps and certain foods.
- Immune system reaction: Your babys immune system defends against foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses that can make your child sick. If your baby has eczema, their immune system can overreact and confuse healthy skin cells and small irritants in your babys environment as a foreign invader. As a result, your babys immune system will attack your babys skin cells which can cause symptoms of eczema.
- Genetics: During conception, the egg and sperm cells meet to give your child the building blocks of their body, which are their genes. Sometimes, changes to your babys DNA happen , which can affect how your babys body functions and develops. An eczema diagnosis could cause a lack of proteins in your babys body that are responsible for maintaining their skins protective barrier. If your childs protective barrier in their skin isnt working as expected, they could experience symptoms of eczema.
What Is Causing My Childs Eczema Flare
Eczema can be antagonized by anything from diet to sweating too much. Childrens skin is especially sensitive, which makes combating eczema difficult, especially when you cannot explain to them what is happening.
In pre-walking ages, eczema is often made worse by crawling or scooting motions most babies use to get around. As children grow older and develop better motor skills, they begin to scratch, getting tied into the famous itch-scratch cycle.
The most persistent form of child eczema is on their faces. It is most common on the cheeks, but can also occur on the scalp, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears.
You May Like: How To Treat Eczema Herpeticum
Scaly Or Cracked Skin
Skin that’s itchy, dry and cracked may be atopic eczema. It’s common behind the knees, elbows and neck, but it can appear anywhere.
The affected area may change colour. On white skin, the area may look pink or red. On brown and black skin, it may look grey or purple, or darker than surrounding skin.
Speak to a GP if you think your child has eczema.
How To Treat Scalp Eczema In Babies
Many parents ask How do I treat scalp eczema in babies? Sometimes its confusing because it can be mistaken for other similar medical problems, such as cradle cap. Its important to get the right diagnosis from your childs physician before starting treatment. Unfortunately, scalp eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition and affects many children and babies. Some studies show that up to 20% of children may be affected by eczema.
Eczema in babies is commonly present on the scalp and forehead. It can also affect other areas of the body such as cheeks, arms, legs, etc. In this article, we will talk about eczema on the scalp of babies. Causes of eczema on scalp and treatment will be discussed as well. We will also discuss how eczema can be differentiated from other similar conditions and some ways to prevent it.
Also Check: What Can I Do To Get Rid Of Eczema
What Can I Expect If My Baby Has Baby Eczema
Eczema causes your babys skin to be dry and itchy. Your baby might try to scratch their skin to relieve the itchiness. While it may be difficult to prevent your baby from scratching their skin, scratching can make your baby more likely to get an infection. An infection occurs when bacteria or a virus enters your childs body. This can make your childs symptoms worse. Visit your childs provider if their symptoms get worse or if they have an infection.
To prevent side effects like an infection on your babys skin, keep your babys skin moisturized with creams, ointments or lotions designed for a babys skin. Rehydrating your babys skin can reduce their symptoms and prevent itchiness.
Is there a cure for baby eczema?
No, there isnt a cure for baby eczema. Treatment is available to help your babys skin heal and make their symptoms go away. Some cases of baby eczema go away by the time your child grows into an adult, but they may experience skin sensitivity or minimal symptoms of eczema throughout their life.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. The doctor will look at the rash and ask about symptoms, the childs past health, and the familys health. If family members have any atopic conditions, thats an important clue.
The doctor will rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation, and might recommend that your child see a dermatologist or an allergist.
The doctor may ask you to ban some foods from your childs diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If My Baby Has Eczema
How To Tell If Your Child Has Eczema
Is it just a rash, or is it a more serious skin condition? Dermatologist Dr. Anna Kirkorian shares four ways you can spot signs of eczema on your child.
Kids get skin rashes from time to time, so when your little one has red patches on their face, how do you know if its eczema or another skin condition such as heat rash, acne or hives? Dermatologist Dr. Anna Kirkorian shares four ways you can spot signs of eczema on your child.
Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated skin.
Other types of eczema include:
- discoid eczema a type of eczema that occurs in circular or oval patches on the skin
- contact dermatitis a type of eczema that occurs when the body comes into contact with a particular substance
- varicose eczema a type of eczema that most often affects the lower legs and is caused by problems with the flow of blood through the leg veins
- seborrhoeic eczema a type of eczema where red, scaly patches develop on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears and scalp
- dyshidrotic eczema a type of eczema that causes tiny blisters to erupt across the palms of the hands
Page last reviewed: 05 December 2019 Next review due: 05 December 2022
Managing Babys Eczema: Other Lifestyle Tips
Bathing and moisturizing are the cornerstones of baby eczema management, but they arent the only ways to manage baby eczema. Follow these other tips to help soothe your babys skin:
Moderate or severe eczema requires more in-depth care than mild eczema. The tips in the linked article may help you develop a detailed routine based on babys eczema severity.
You May Like: Skinsmart Antimicrobial Eczema Therapy Cvs
When Should I See My Babys Healthcare Provider
Visit your healthcare provider if your babys skin shows signs of an infection. Babies diagnosed with eczema are at a high risk of developing an infection because the protective barrier of their skin doesnt work as it should. Scratching can also break open your babys skin, exposing their body to bacteria or viruses that can get into their body. Signs of an infection include:
- Fluid-filled blisters or sores.
- A yellow crust forms around their eczema rash.
- Swelling and a dark red to purple tone to their rash.
- Pain or sensitivity to the touch.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Eczema Honey
Small Spots And Blisters
Chickenpox starts with small, itchy spots. The spots may look red, pink, the same colour or darker than surrounding skin, depending on your child’s skin tone. At the start, the spots may be harder to see on brown and black skin.
The spots quickly form blisters and then scabs.
Some children have a few spots, while others have them all over their body.
Join To Get Early Access To New Products Exclusive Offers And Receive A Discount On Your First Order
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.
FDA Acknowledges Qualified Health Claim Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy in 2017:
For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.
If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infants healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.
Read Also: My Baby Has Eczema In Her Head
What Foods Trigger Eczema Flare
Just like some foods can help improve eczema, some foodsinflammatory foodscan make eczema worse.
Cows milk is one of the most common triggers of baby eczema. Other common triggers include: eggs, soy, gluten, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
Other inflammatory foods include:
- Refined sugar: Though hopefully youre not feeding baby processed sugar anyway!
- White bread and other products made from refined, processed flours: These are sneaky ingredients in toddler snacks, such as cereal bars, crackers, and breakfast tarts.
If you arent sure what food is causing your babys distress, try an elimination diet and keep a food diary. You may be surprised just how many foods can cause flare-ups!
If you are having a hard time pinpointing the triggers, consider getting food sensitivity testing done.
How Can I Prevent Baby Eczema
Since several factors can cause eczema in your baby, theres no way to completely prevent the condition. You can help your baby reduce their risk of developing a flare-up of symptoms by:
- Avoiding triggers, irritants and allergens.
- Using moisturizer on your babys skin daily.
- Giving your baby baths with warm, not hot, water that is between five to 10 minutes long.
- Choosing moisturizers or ointments without fragrance, designed for babies.
Read Also: Cetaphil Eczema Calming Body Wash