What Are Eczema Symptoms And Signs
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common rash that occurs in people of all ages.
- It is particularly common in children.
- Eczema can start early, during the first few months of life.
- The eczema rash is red, dry, and itchy.
- Some children grow out of it, whereas others can have sensitive skin and a rash for years.
- Eczema tends to come and go and may get worse during certain times of the year, such as during the colder, drier winter months.
- Eczema is a skin condition that usually appears as an itchy, red patch on the hands feet backs of elbows, and around the knees, ankles, and wrists.
- It may also affect your babys cheeks, chin, chest, forehead, or scalp.
- Eczema can appear in other areas, too .
- Dry skin, sweating, pet dander, or even dust can cause a flare-up of your childs eczema.
- Scratching also can make eczema worse, causing redness, swelling, and other symptoms such as itching.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema. It tends to come and go. Kids often outgrow some of their eczemas, but they may continue to have rashes or sensitive skin for life.
You May Like: How To Treat Nummular Eczema
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.
What Does Eczema Look Like
In babies with paler skin, when eczema is flaring the skin is red and itchy. In babies with darker skin, the irritated, itchy areas may be red but are more likely to show as darker patches. They may also appear paler around the front or back of knees or elbows.
When an area of darker skin is treated for eczema, it may become lighter and may take several months to return to the babys normal skin tone.
Recommended Reading: Que Es Eczema En Las Manos
Key Points To Remember About Eczema In Children
- eczema is a dry, itchy skin condition
- you can usually control your childs eczema by using lots of moisturiser, a bath once a day and using steroids when your childs skin has active eczema
- avoid things which irritate your childs skin, especially soap
- go to your family doctor as soon as possible if your childs eczema doesnt improve after treatment or becomes infected
- eczema is a dry skin condition that causes the skin to become red and itchy
- it usually begins early in childhood
How Is Baby Eczema Treated
Treatment varies for baby eczema based on what caused your childs symptoms to flare up and the severity of their symptoms. Treatment for baby eczema could include:
- Eliminating or avoiding triggers: Avoid scented or fragranced soaps, lotions or detergents. These things can cause eczema to flare. Your provider might test your babys skin to identify if theyre allergic to certain things in their environment that they contact regularly. If youre able to identify what causes your babys eczema triggers, avoiding those causes helps your babys skin heal and prevents future eczema flare-ups.
- Using topical corticosteroids: These are prescription-strength ointments that you rub on your babys skin like a lotion. Corticosteroids help reduce itching and swelling. For mild eczema, apply topical OTC 1% hydrocortisone ointment twice a day for no longer than two weeks. For moderate to severe eczema, your healthcare provider may recommend prescription-strength steroid ointments. Any steroid ointment should not be applied for longer than two weeks since it may lead to discoloration by thinning out the skin.
- Applying moisturizer to your babys skin: Keeping your babys skin hydrated can reduce symptoms, soothe their skin, remove discomfort and prevent flare-ups. Choose moisturizers designed for babies and products that dont contain fragrances. The best time to apply moisturizers to your babys skin is after a bath and a couple of times throughout the day when their skin appears dry.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Eczema Overnight
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.
Tips For Healthy Eating
- As we get older, we often have smaller appetites, so tend to eat less. Its important to maintain a balanced diet, which will help to support tissue healing, particularly when the skin is broken.
- Fats, protein and zinc found in dairy foods all help healing. Vitamin C in fruit and vegetables helps combat infection.
- Its important to drink plenty of fluids, as dehydration can reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients essential for healing.
- A balanced intake of vitamins will help to boost the immune system.
To obtain the information on this page in a PDF format, please download our Eczema in later life factsheet, below.
You May Like: Dermatologist Recommended Body Wash For Eczema
When Should My Child Learn Cic
Your child should help out as soon as he can. Some children may need special help to be able to do CIC on their own. For many children, putting in the catheter is the hardest step. Some children have problems remembering the steps of CIC. Others need help getting supplies set up. Encourage your child to do as much of the CIC as he is able. Think about your childs abilities when asking him to help you. For example, if your child can wash his hands, he can help with that step. Let your child help set up supplies.
Talk about the steps of CIC each time he is catheterized. Talk with the nurse about your childs progress.
You may need to help with CIC when your child gets sick
What Is The Concept Of Atopic March
Another thing to be aware of is the concept of atopic march. This is the idea that children with eczema and food allergies develop allergic rhinitis and then asthma later in childhood. A prospective study by Ekback in 2014 followed children from infants to age 10 years. It showed that the greater the severity of eczema, the greater the chance of developing allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma later in life by age 10 years. They also found that children who had an episode of wheezing during infant years also was more likely to have asthma in the future.
Read Also: What Foods Help Reduce Eczema
Help Your Child Avoid Personal Irritants
Some substances can irritate skin and start the cycle of itching and scratching. If you notice that your childs eczema gets worse after being exposed to something, help your child avoid it. Irritants are not the same for all children. If a common trigger does not bother your child, there is no reason to avoid it. Here are some examples of possible triggers that can cause eczema flare-ups in some children.
Perfumes and fragrances, including the skin care and bathing products that contain them
Bath salts or bubble baths
Rough clothing, including wool fabrics
Temperature extremes, including hot and cold, dry air
Children with eczema often have more bacteria on their skin. Even when it does not cause an infection, the bacteria can make the skin more irritated and can make the eczema worse, so keeping clean is important.
Babies and children with eczema are also prone to skin infections. Infections make the eczema even worse and need to be treated by a doctor. An oral antibiotic, antibiotic cream or very small amount of bleach added to bath water might be prescribed. Bleach should not be added to bath water without guidance from your childs doctor. Signs of possible infection include: increased pain, tenderness or swelling, hot skin, fever, pus, or red streaks extending from the affected skin.
Foods that are not allergens
Which Patients With Atopic Dermatitis Are Least Likely To Outgrow It
Childhood atopic dermatitis usually resolves before adulthood, a meta-analysis of cases showed. Those patients who did see their AD persist were more likely to be female, to have been older at onset, and to have relatively severe AD.
Some patients are more likely than others to have their childhood skin ailments last for decades.
A new meta-analysis identifies the initial duration of atopic dermatitis , as well as age of onset and gender among factors associated with the disease persisting into adulthood.
The systematic review and meta-analysis from the Dermatology Foundation examining 45 studies of over 100,000 subjects was published by lead investigator Jonathan Silverberg,MD, PhD, MPH
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL and colleagues in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
While it is generally held that most children with atopic dermatitis will grow out of having the disease, the researchers indicate, “much of the data to support this notion originate from smaller studies, and did not account for a number of clinical factors that might modify disease persistence.”
Noting recent studies which have suggested that AD may persist more commonly than previously recognized, Silverberg and colleagues undertook the review and meta-analysis to determine rates of disease persistence over time and to identify the clinical factors that may help to predict persistence.
You May Like: Can Poison Ivy Trigger Eczema
Are There Likely To Be Any Complications Of Eczema
It’s important to control your child’s eczema – uncontrolled eczema can lead to poor sleep which can have long-term effects on learning and behaviour.
Children with eczema are more likely to get skin infections.
Eczema makes the skin dry and cracked and increases the chance of infection by bacteria and viruses . Infected eczema may be wet, crusted or painful. See your doctor for treatment.
If your child’s eczema gets worse or becomes infected, you will need to take them to your doctor. Sometimes, a hospital stay may be necessary.
It’s important to control your child’s eczema. Uncontrolled eczema can lead to poor sleep which can have long-term effects on learning and behaviour.
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.
You May Like: What Does Eczema Look Like On Feet
Social And Sexual Problems
One of the main problems of eczema socially is that there are still many members of the population who think it may be contagious, infectious or unhygienic. Many people with eczema on their hands get embarrassed because they see people staring at them. If you cant say it outright, try and slip into the conversation that you have eczema and that it is neither infectious nor contagious and certainly not unhygienic. You may like to make a joke about how often you have to bathe and how scrupulous you have to be with your laundry and house cleaning. A joke thats not really joke is a very powerful way of getting a message across! If you have eczema on your hands you may find wearing cotton mittens helpful in this respect.
Dont stay away from life or wait until your eczema disappears before you enter it. Friendships are very important to all of us and the person with eczema is no different. You dont have to be the life and soul of the party or go to parties at all if you dont like them. Better to find interests and activities that you enjoy and try and forget about the eczema. This way you can meet kindred spirits, most of whom will be far more interested in you than in your skin condition.
- Vaginal deodorants
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Eczema At Home
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.
You May Like: Eczema Cream For Sensitive Skin
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.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Eczema
- if your child has eczema, their skin feels dry and rough to touch, and it is itchy
- their skin can become inflamed , and may even get infected , particularly with scratching
- in babies, the rash often involves their face
- in older children, the skin in the creases of their knees and elbows, around their neck and on their hands is often affected
- in some children, the skin over their entire body is affected
- at times your child’s skin will look good and at other times it gets worse – this is part of eczema and not necessarily caused by bad care
You May Like: Best Cream For Eczema And Dermatitis
Will My Baby Grow Out Of Eczema
Sadly, it is impossible to predict whether your baby will have eczema for life or for just a short time. So far, there is no cure for eczema. Eczema is a chronic condition with periods of flare and periods of remission, and most people with a history of eczema still have problems with dry and itchy skin. If your child has a difference in their filaggrin gene, they will not grow out of it. Even if your baby appears to grow out of their eczema, it may return during the teenage years or in adulthood.
Is Eczema Due To An Allergy
No, atopic eczema is not caused by any specific allergy. But atopic eczema may be worsened in some children from allergy to foods. Since this is the case only for some children, restricting diets as a general treatment of atopic eczema is not useful. However, when allergic antibody is demonstrated to a specific food by skin testing or a special blood test , the possibility that the food can worsen atopic eczema should be investigated by a food challenge under medical observation. This is done by first withdrawing the food from the diet for two weeks and then giving the child that food while under medical observation. The most frequent observation that demonstrates the possibility that the food is worsening the eczema is the presence of redness and itching, particularly at the site of the eczema, within an hour after ingestion of the food. Of course, a food challenge of this sort is only done if the food has not previously been observed to cause a severe allergic reaction. When there are multiple foods to which allergic antibody is demonstrated, the most important ones to consider are those that are frequently in the diet. There is no need for concern about foods to which tests for allergic antibody are negative.Will allergy tests help my child’s eczema?
Also Check: Does Eczema Get Worse In Heat
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.