What Causes Eczema In Infants And Children
Eczema is brought about by the complex interplay of a genetic predisposition and the childs environment. Many things from the climate to possible allergens can cause eczema to flare. We know that eczema tends to run in the families with a predisposition to other atopic diseases, such as food allergies, asthma and hay fever. Individuals with atopic dermatitis may lack certain proteins in the skin, which leads to greater sensitivity. Parents with eczema are more likely to have children with eczema. However, the exact way it passes from parents to children is still not known. Most children who have eczema will show signs of the condition in the first year of life. It tends to wax and wane in severity.
Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
Precautions To Keep In Mind
Because shea butter comes from a tree nut, it might stand to reason that allergies would be a concern. But in reality, there are no documented cases of shea butter allergies.
Even so, its best to do a test on a small patch of skin before slathering it all over your baby. If you notice any redness or irritation in the test area, go with an alternative that doesnt contain shea butter.
Also, know that most dry skin in babies resolves on its own after about the first month or so. If your little ones dry skin persists, dont just reach for the shea butter or baby oil talk to your pediatrician. There may be a more serious issue that requires medical treatment.
Some oils containing the same fatty acids as shea butter for example, olive oil have been the subject of research into whether they can actually cause atopic eczema. More research is needed, but keep this in mind and watch for any skin changes in your baby.
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Will My Baby Have Eczema All Her Life
In some babies with atopic dermatitis, the condition stays put. But, fortunately, eczema clears up in many babies by the time they turn 4 years old.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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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This Is Our Eczema Routine But Work With Your Dermatologist To Find One That Works For You
Sorting out an eczema skin care routine that works for your toddler will be a personal journey. Along with working together with our dermatologist, we also love talking to other parents about their babys eczema routine.
We always learn tips and tricks when we speak to other parents who care for baby eczema. So, in that vein, we thought it might be helpful for you to know what our daily eczema routine is for our toddler.
This is what works for us and hopefully youll learn something new or get an idea that will help you manage your toddlers eczema.
Introducing Allergens To Babies With Eczema
Introducing common allergenic foods to eczema babies early and often may be especially beneficial.
New dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend the early, frequent introduction of peanut, particularly for babies who have eczema.
According to the USDAs new Dietary Guidelines, if an infant has severe eczema…age-appropriate, peanut containing foods should be introduced into the diet as early as age 4 to 6 months. This introduction is especially important for babies with eczema, because of their increased food allergy risk.
Also, as other international medical guidelines state, early introduction of other common food allergens may be beneficial for eczema babies as well.
For instance, guidelines from the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommend that babies with eczema be introduced to allergenic foods, such as egg and peanut, as early as 4 months of age.
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.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.
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How Can I Stop My Baby Itching
Keeping your babys skin well moisturised and controlling any flares are the best ways to reduce the itch.
Try to work out any individual factors that trigger your babys flares and try to avoid exposing them to irritants. Scratching is a response to itch but it can become a habit, too. So, keep your babys nails short and use sleepsuits with built-in mittens. Keep the bedroom cool: around 18°C.
Morning Eczema Skin Care Routine For Good Days
If the eczema is well controlled on the day, we apply his prescription ointments on any eczema patches. Next we moisturize his entire body and face, avoiding any areas that we applied prescription ointment.
When we apply the prescription ointments and moisturizer, we prefer to give him an educational iPad game because not only is he learning, but it requires him to use his hands. That means no scratching and also not rubbing away his medication.
Our favorite iPad app is Endless Reader for this task. It requires just enough hand movement to keep him busy, and its not too exciting to cause him to bounce around. There are also lots of natural pausing points, so we can say ok last one, when we are done with the morning routine.
It takes a total of about 20 minutes. Then go down for breakfast where we give him a 2.5ml dose of cetrizine with his meal.
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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.
Is A Cure Or Better Treatment For Eczema On The Horizon
Without a cure on the near horizon, we here at Johns Hopkins are creating an Eczema Day Treatment Unit to help our patients with moderate to severe eczema keep their symptoms under control and prevent flare-ups. We anticipate that this novel, multidisciplinary program will include experts from Child Life, behavioral psychology, allergy, dermatology and infectious diseases to provide the comprehensive care these children need care that cannot be provided in an average clinic visit.
A primary goal of the day treatment unit will be education children and their families will learn techniques such as wet-wrap therapy, to help deeply moisturize the skin. This therapy involves coating the skin with a topical ointment, followed by a greasy ointment like petroleum jelly, then dressing in wet pajamas, followed by dry pajamas, allowing the skin to soak in the moisture.
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How Often Should I Bathe My Baby
If your baby has eczema, a daily bath with an emollient will help soothe the eczema and reduce dry skin and itching, while cleansing the skin, removing dirt and repairing the skin barrier. Use leave-on emollients instead of soaps, baby washes or bubble bath, or alternatively use emollient wash products or bath additives. Avoid any perfumed products and keep the water tepid, as heat can aggravate eczema.
The Atopic March Food Allergies And Eczema
Eczema and food allergies are very closely related. They are both considered allergic conditions, and they are both part of a progression known as the atopic march.
What is the atopic march? According to the atopic march, children with one allergic condition are at increased risk for others, and allergic conditions often appear in a certain order. In other words, one condition usually marches in front of the other, in a fairly predictable lineup.
Eczema comes before food allergies in the atopic march. This means babies usually develop eczema before food allergies, and babies with eczema are at the highest risk for food allergies.
But even though food allergies and eczema are closely related, and even though some symptoms may look similar, eczema rash is not the same as a food allergy reaction.
Food allergy rashes appear as raised bumps, which look different from the red, scaly rash of eczema. Learn more about how to tell the difference between a food allergy reaction and an eczema flare-up.
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Kinder Gentler Bleach Baths
We love to recommend bleach baths but know these dont work for everyone. Bleach baths can be painful because theyre often called for at the time when the skin is flaring and has a lot of open wounds.
One tip I like to suggest is to get into the bath with dressings still on. This will allow the skin to re-equilibrate and help alleviate some of that initial discomfort of getting into the bath, before you start pulling the wraps off.
Another way to help tolerate getting into bleach baths is to put a little antibacterial ointment or petroleum jelly in the cracks of the skin.
For children, you can distract the child with toys or an activity during the first couple of minutes of a bleach bath, so theyre focused on something other than the changing skin sensation that takes place in the first few minutes after getting in the tub.
Where Does Eczema Most Often Appear
Eczema tends to appear in different places on the body in younger babies, older babies, and toddlers. It also tends to look different depending on a childs age. Here are the eczema symptoms to look for in babies and toddlers of each age group, as outlined by the National Eczema Association.
Remember, though, that eczema could appear in any area of the body, regardless of your little ones age. The table below just outlines where eczema appears most often.
In young infants, baby eczema usually appears on the face at this stage, including the chin, cheeks, scalp, and forehead. But it could appear on any area of the body, including the arms, legs, or torso. It usually wont appear in the diaper area, because that area usually remains protected by moisture.
At this stage, skin affected by eczema often looks red and weepy .
In older babies, eczema usually appears on creases of the skin, especially on the elbows, knees, and elbow and knee joints. It may also appear on the face, like with younger infants. Again, though, it could appear on any area of the body, but not usually the diaper area.
Sometimes, baby eczema rash may become infected and form a yellow crust on the skin.
In toddlers, eczema often appears on the face in patches. It may show up around the eyelids or around the mouth. It also often appears in the skin creases .
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Your Childs Skin Care Plan
Onset of eczema typically occurs before age 5, and many children experience an easing of symptoms and reduction of outbreaks as they grow older, although increased skin sensitivity may remain. Whether eczema is present for one year, five years, or longer, quality of life is sure to be improved with a clear plan of action. If you have noticed eczema affecting your child, make sure to talk with your childs pediatrician about these recommended skin care strategies:
What Causes Eczema In Babies
Baby eczema is thought to occur when the body doesnt make enough ceramides , which can cause skin to lose water and become dry and itchy. Winter weather can worsen eczema by further drying out the skin, while heat and sweating can worsen irritation. External irritants such as household detergents, soaps, and allergens like pollen, dust, and pet dander may also contribute. Because eczema can run in families, babies that have a parent with eczema are much more likely to develop the skin condition, too.
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Too Much Is Not A Good Thing When It Comes To Using Products To Treat Eczema
Wu warns that there is a limit to how many times you should apply over-the-counter cortisone products to relieve itching. Cortisone creams can cause thinning of the skin if used long term, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk to your dermatologist about how often you should use a corticosteroid. For example, between flare-ups, you may be advised to use it only two days per week while just using moisturizer on the other days, a report from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care notes.
Also, you may be frustrated by the scaly flakes of eczema, but resist picking at them. Its best to moisturize rather than try to remove them, says Wu. Scrubbing or peeling off the flakes will likely irritate the skin and cause more itching, according to the National Eczema Society. Plus, you may end up removing new skin thats attached to the scaly flakes, causing bleeding and creating an opening that may allow bacteria to enter, Wu adds.
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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Is Cradle Cap A Form Of Eczema
Technically, cradle cap , is a form of eczema that affects nearly 70% of all infants by the time they are three months old. Cradle cap is characterized by crusty, flaky patches on your babys scalp.
Unlike classic baby eczema, cradle cap is typically not itchy and does not cause any discomfort to your little one. Usually, cradle cap clears up on its own, but there are some homemade treatments to try if youd like to try to get rid of it sooner.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor About Baby Eczema
Always talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your babys skin. Thanks to telemedicine, a video visit or quick photo is often all that’s needed to check for eczema.
Occasionally, infections develop on top of an eczema rash. If you see any yellow-colored crusting and scabbing, oozy skin, blisters or pus bumps, be sure to call your doctor right away. Always call if your baby has a fever. Your baby may need an antibiotic and to be evaluated in person.