What Is Baby Eczema And How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has It
Eczema is an allergic skin condition thats also called atopic dermatitis. Babies can get eczema at 6 months old or even earlier. Sometimes it goes away by itself by the time your child is 5 years old. Other times, it develops into child and adult eczema or flares up later.
Its pretty common. In fact, up to 20 percent of children under the age of 10 have eczema. This number shrinks to only about 3 percent of adults.
Eczema in babies is usually different than eczema in older children and adults. If your baby is younger than 6 months old, eczema usually happens on the:
Some babies only have eczema for a short time on their cheeks, giving them an adorable rosy look. Other babies only have scalp eczema, or cradle cap. You might notice your little one trying to touch their head or pull at their ears if they have cradle cap, but it usually doesnt bother them.
Surprisingly, eczema doesnt usually appear on the bum and other diaper areas. This might be because the moisture from the diaper protects the skin in these areas from drying out.
Babies older than 6 months but under the age of 1 year might have eczema on other areas that get rubbed when they sit or crawl, including:
study in 117 children showed that virgin coconut oil treated eczema more effectively than mineral oil. Children that were treated with coconut oil showed improved eczema symptoms and less redness, as well as more moisturized skin.
What Is Hydrocortisone Cream
Lets talk about what hydrocortisone cream is. Officially, its classified as a corticosteroid.
Dont be afraid of the steroid in corticosteroid. This isnt the same kind of steroid that you hear about in the news, taken by athletes as performance-enhancing drugs.
There are a few main ways you can use hydrocortisone, but the primary option that most people are familiar with is topical, usually in the form of a cream. It can also be found as a:
- even insect bites or stings
Its readily available as an over-the-counter medication since you dont usually need a prescription to obtain it. You can easily find a topical 1 percent hydrocortisone cream in drugstores or the medication aisle of supermarkets and big box stores.
There are also stronger versions you can obtain, but youll need a prescription to do so.
Usually, the instructions recommend that you only apply OTC hydrocortisone cream for a maximum of 7 days. During that time, youre instructed to apply a thin layer to the affected area anywhere from one to four times per day.
However, it shouldnt be applied to broken skin or delicate areas, such as in your eyes, or taken orally. And most experts recommend that any area where hydrocortisone cream is applied should be left uncovered unless instructed otherwise by a physician.
If after 7 days your condition hasnt improved, you should stop using it and speak with a doctor.
Side effects from excessive exposure to hydrocortisone cream can include:
Puriya Mother Of All Creams
With a powerful plant-rich formula, the Puriya Mother of All Creams offers a long-lasting and instant relief for severely irritated, itchy and dry skin. It is an ideal solution for eczema as well as psoriasis, shingles, rosacea, and rashes.
It has 12 natural skin super foods for synergistic results as well as the inclusion of Amaranth oil which is a powerful ingredient that aids in cell regeneration, protection against infection and stimulating cell repair.
Read Also: How To Soothe Eczema Flare Ups
The Best Treatment For Baby Eczema
There is no single best treatment for baby eczema that works for all babies. In fact, there are many baby eczema remedies to try, because different babies have different needs. Talk to your little ones pediatrician to find out which treatment options are right for your baby. If your babys rash persists or worsens even with proper treatment, you should check back in with your doctor. He or she can reevaluate your babys condition and help you formulate a new treatment plan.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
There are several natural treatments that have been shown to be effective controlling eczema symptoms. Many of these studies looked the effects on adults, so be sure to consult with your childs doctor prior to starting any natural treatments for eczema.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
Read Also: What Is Eczema And What Does It Look Like
Earth Mumma Organic Bottom Balm $1495 At Nourished Life
Image: Nourished Life
A nappy cream that is also a great all-rounder, I discovered this one day in a country pharmacy when I had forgotten my Sudocrem. A pharmacist recommended this and I kept going back. I like the smell and I like that it felt rich and soothing but still washed out easily My child is long out of nappies but occasionally still gets the odd sore bottom, and I still use this and it can be used on any dry, itchy area of your childs skin.
Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Face Cream Fragrance
Many mums are familiar with Mustela, but this is a product I hadnt heard of before researching this article, but it kept coming up from several mums we spoke with. This stuff is formulated specifically for the skin on a babys face, mum Rachel said, which means its suitable for the most sensitive part of an already sensitive body. Rachel swears by this product for any sort of baby skin complaint and used it specifically for her sons eczema, which it definitely calmed. Its a GREAT product, she says, you do have to use it often – dont get slack – but a little goes a long way. His skin was 100% better in just a few days. He still gets flares, but we whip this out and it goes away pretty quickly. Works for us.
Read Also: Oatmeal Bath Good For Eczema
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Treatment $1018 At Iherb
This is a great addition to your babys bath time routine, and lovely to use along with topical ointments if you have an unhappy bub who might find the bath soothing. The powder combines oatmeal with moisturizer for a soothing, milky bath that definitely calms angry skin. Its also a great option if you have a slightly older kid who doesnt really want to sit still long enough to have lotion put all over them, but will happily splash around in the bath. If you dont want to use it in the bath you can also just mix it in a small bowl of water as a paste and use it topically.
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.
Recommended Reading: Best Face Cream For Facial Eczema
The Best Baby Eczema Cream Products And Cleansing Oils For Prevention And Treatment
Here are our top picks for best baby eczema cream and eczema bath products to help prevent breakouts and soothe baby’s skin. If you’ve found that regular baby body wash has been making your baby’s eczema worse, experts recommend that adding a special cleansing oil to the bathtub can help soothe dry and irritated skin and prevent further flare-ups. We’ve done our research and found the products that come up time and time again in top real-mum reviews.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.
Cons Scent free
One reviewer said:“I’ve been using XeraCalm A.D Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil since about 2019. I’m sensitive to soap and products containing perfume. I tried XeraCalm A.D and now I will not use anything else on my face when cleansing. This is scent free and gentle on my skin. I’ve just started using it on my entire body. It really is calming and leaves the skin soft.”
Are There Alternatives To Hydrocortisone Creams For Babies
If the idea of exposing your child to additional discomfort or developmental issues down the road is making you think twice about using hydrocortisone cream to treat a diaper rash or baby eczema, know that youre not alone.
While hydrocortisone cream is an effective treatment, there are plenty of alternatives that pose a lower risk to your baby. You can begin with assessing possible contributing factors and follow up with natural or nonmedicated treatment options.
Recommended Reading: Do I Need To See A Dermatologist For Eczema
What You Can Do
You can help reduce your child’s discomfort by:
- keeping their fingernails short to reduce the damage to their skin from scratching
- washing them with aqueous cream instead of soap – ask your pharmacist about aqueous creams and always follow the instructions on the product
- using non-biological detergent and a double rinse cycle when washing their clothes or bedding
- avoiding herbal, ‘natural’ or alternative creams – these can make eczema worse, as they may contain bacteria or high doses of steroids
- rinsing and drying them well after swimming
- dressing them in cool, breathable fabrics like cotton
- keeping them away from anyone with a cold sore – as the cold sore virus can cause eczema to become infected
- using extra moisturiser on areas your child scratches a lot
- avoiding anything you know that causes your childs eczema to get worse
Around 6 out of 10 children with eczema will grow out of it by the time they’re teenagers.
Natural Treatment For Eczema
It may help treat eczema. Obviously, this is a big one for new parents battling this skin condition in their babies.
In one case study , shea butter reduced eczema appearance and symptoms more than Vaseline. In another small study, about 75 percent of pediatric participants with atopic dermatitis responded well to a cream containing shea butter.
And in a more recent 2019 , an oatmeal-based product containing shea butter improved eczema symptoms after one month of use.
More study is needed into pure shea butter.
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Johnsons Baby Honey Soap 150
This Johnsons soap has been specifically designed for babies, so it is ultra gentle. The honey extract within these bars allows the soap to soften the skin while cleansing, which should help soothe dry patches.
Theres no nasty chemicals and its also free from alcohol, which can be very drying to skin.
One of our MFM parents, Lauren praised the effectiveness of this soap for her daughters eczema. She said, its been a lot better since we started using the Johnsons Honey Bar Soap on her face and body. Her arms are less dry also!
One thing to note with this product is to be careful near your childs eyes as there isnt a tear-free claim on this one, as there is on some other products.
Available from:, Superdrug
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.
Read Also: Best Cream For Eczema On Neck
Medical Treatment For Eczema
Eczema cant be cured. But it can be managed by preventing and treating flare-ups as soon as they appear.
If your childs skin is inflamed and itchy, theyll probably need some corticosteroid ointment or cream. For mild eczema, you can buy mild corticosteroids over the counter at your pharmacy. The most common is hydrocortisone 1% cream. For more serious eczema or if the over-the-counter products arent working, youll need to see your GP to get a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid.
Other eczema treatments include pimecrolimus, a non-steroidal cream. Doctors might prescribe this cream for children with mild to moderate eczema on the face and in body folds.
If your child is scratching at a rash, you could ask your pharmacist or GP about using an antihistamine medication for a few days. Together with a corticosteroid cream, this might give your child some rest and help the flare-up to settle.
If your childs eczema rash gets infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.
Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser 299
Childs Farm products have a well-known reputation among parents for helping manage sore eczema conditions. The moisturiser contains Shea and cocoa butter which help make the cream mild, hydrating and suitable for every part of your newborn baby, including their face and over eczema flare ups.
The product has a no sting formula so it shouldnt be too sore near your childs eyes, and its also approved by a both paediatrician and dermatologist.
Many parents swear by the Childs Farm range, including members of our MFM Facebook group. Mum Samantha who deals with eczema in her child said Childs Farm bath stuff and moisture cream have kept it at bay for over a year. Charlie agreed, adding, Childs Farm moisturisers have been the best for my son, and the bath products are the only ones not to irritate his skin.
Recommended Reading: Is Eczema A Form Of Asthma
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Epaderm Ointment 1165 For 500g
Developed by doctors at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, specifically for eczema sufferers. Epaderm is an emulsifying wax and yellow soft paraffin combination which is prescribed by the NHS as an effective treatment against eczema.
The cream is greasy in texture and can sit on the skin but when this occurs, you should let the cream absorb in gradually rather than wiping away the excess.
This was a quality one reviewer on Amazon noted It is an oily and a bit heavy cream which does not penetrate the skin immediately, but if you apply it before bedtime you will wake up with a baby soft skin.
Another Amazon reviewer also said, the cold weather has made my daughters dry skin/eczema awful to deal with, but Epaderm kept the skin moisturised and helped to relieve the symptoms of dryness.
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Recommended Reading: Prescription Strength Hydrocortisone Cream For Eczema
How To Treat Eczema
While your child is suffering from eczema, there are a variety of oils, creams and lotions that can help soothe your babys irritable skin. However, it is important to remember that what works for one child may not work for another, so there may be a process of trial and error to find what works.
Your family GP may also be able to prescribe other treatments, but these should only be used as medically directed, as they are usually much stronger than the baby creams you would find in the shops.
To help your child at home, try some of the balms and creams recommended by other users in our list below and make sure you continue moisturising regularly, particularity following bath time.
As skin dries after being into contact with water, it can make the skin even more irritable. Thats why the National Eczema Association advise moisturising within three minutes of bathing to lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.
When applying creams and lotions to eczema-prone skin, the association also says you need to, soften moisturiser by rubbing it between your hands and then apply it using the palm, in downward strokes. Avoid rubbing in the moisturiser by stroking up and down, or in circles.