How Common Is Baby Eczema
The National Eczema Foundation estimates that about 13 percent of all children have atopic dermatitis. But because atopic dermatitis is only one type of eczema , the number of children with eczema may be as high as 20 percent when you factor in other types of eczema.
Eczema is on the rise in the United States, Canada, and the UK, as well. According to an article published in Global News, a Canadian news outlet, experts theorize this is because of:
- sterile environments that dont adequately prepare a babys immune system
- the overuse of antibiotics, which affects the immune system
- an increase in inflammatory food, including refined sugar, fried foods, and processed meats
- an increase in cleaning products that contain irritants and artificial perfumes
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Use A Creamy Thick Moisturizer
Since dry skin is eczema enemy number-one, regular moisturizing may be the most powerful weapon you have, Dr. Fenton says. For optimal effectiveness, ideally you need to moisturize more than once a day. Creams and salves are better than lotions, and you should avoid anything with a fragrance in it since that can be irritating to the skin. Bonus tip: Always moisturize within three minutes of getting out of the showerthis helps lock moisture in the skin, Dr. Fenton says.
The Good The Bad And The Itchy
- Nearly one out of five children under the age of 2 are affected by eczema.
- Utah winters are especially hard on children battling this condition.
- Consult your physician before starting new treatments.
Eczema is a common concern for young children, affecting nearly one out of five children under the age of 2. In Utah, children suffering from eczema may have an especially hard time. Wind, low humidity, and cold temperatures can all lead to flare-ups, which means you should be extra careful with your childs skin during the winter season and mindful of the treatments you use. Before stepping up into additional treatments, make sure you have the basics covered: moisturize your child with an unscented, high quality lotion after each bath and several times a day. Then, change the last sentence in that paragraph to this: If moisturizing isnt cutting it, and the itching and pain of dry, inflamed skin is still leaving your child miserable, there are at-home treatments to add to your regimen.
The internet provides a wealth of information about eczema remedies, but parents should make sure to consult a pediatrician first before starting any new regimens. What if the treatment you found on a friends mommy blog that claims to give miraculous relief is actually an allergic trigger for your childs eczema? Goodbye small itchy patchhello full-on eczema flare-up.
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Benefits Of Coconut Oil
The antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of coconut oil make it quite useful for treating eczema in babies. The presence of lauric acid and Vitamin E and K help in reducing skin inflammation and promote its healing.
Always do a patch test as babies skin is susceptible and might get flared up by any trigger. Look for organic and pure coconut oil for a better result.
Signs And Symptoms Of Eczema In Children
Eczema appears as patches of red or dry skin that is often itchy and rough. It typically comes and goes . Symptoms of eczema in children usually range from mild to severe and may change from one outbreak to another. Over time, the skin may thicken and this may cause constant itching.
The disease typically affects the face and scalp in babies, and it typically appears in the folds of the knees and arms in older children. Traditional treatments for eczema include aggressive moisturization and topical steroid cream.
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Bring On The Coconut Oil
Lets start with the most straightforward and simple eh? Coconut oil does a great job of sinking into the skin and filling in that intercellular space thats opened up and caused you to lose moisture. Its a lipid, of course, and fats and oils are what you need to prevent your skin from drying out and becoming more irritated.
You will need-Coconut oil
DirectionsRinse your hands with water and pat them dry. Rub the coconut oil onto the affected areas, and let it dry. Apply throughout the day as needed.
Essential Oils For Eczema
Oils are considered to carry anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They provide moisturization to the affected area, thus, are sometimes referred to as natural moisturizers. You can look for commonly available oils namely, olive oil, coconut oil and tea tree oil to treat eczema.
Olive oil: This oil is recommended to be applied on a daily basis on the affected areas to help soften and nourish the skin. It is highly rich in vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients that keeps the skin hydrated, preventing it from drying. In addition, it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and prohibits the growth of bacteria and other microbes.
Coconut oil: It is an excellent source of moisturization. The oil carries essential nutrients that help protect the skin from bacterial and fungal infection and inhibits the growth of other microbes. The formulation of caprylic acid, capric acid, vitamin E, and K helps the oil prevent itchiness and inflammation.
Tea Tree Oil: The oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. It guards the skin from the attack of microbes. In addition, it helps in alleviating the inflammatory reaction, thus, healing the skin. Tea tree oil even carries antiseptic properties.
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Home Remedies For Eczema Cure Naturally
You can get many over the counter medicines to get rid of eczema or dermatitis but they are expensive and can have side effects on your skin. There are many natural remedies that you can use to cure eczema at home.
Coconut oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which help to cure itching on the scalp. It also keeps your scalp moisturize which prevents the developing fungus on the scalp.
It is a great home remedy to fight fungus due to the presence of fatty acids in coconut oil.
- Take two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil and heat it lightly. Then apply this to your scalp and hairs. Massage your head at least for 2-3 minutes and leave it so that your pores on the scalp absorb the oil properly.
- You can also use coconut oil in your hand to cure eczema. Massage your hands with coconut oil for five minutes 2 times a day until you get relief.
Tea tree oil is one of the best natural eczema treatments due to its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
It helps to cure itching, irritation, an infection caused by bacteria. This oil also keeps your skin moist and prevents infection from spreading.
This oil not only beneficial for dermatitis, but it also cures dandruff, skin rashes, acne, etc. Is recommended to use diluted tea tree oil. You can use any oil like olive, sunflower, coconut, avocado, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
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Surprising Ways Parents Make Eczema Itchier
Some itch-relieving techniques that people use can make eczema itchier. To prevent this, dermatologists recommend that you avoid:
Telling your child to stop scratching: This rarely works and can leave your child feeling stressed. Stress can cause eczema to flare.
Using anti-itch products: This may seem strange, but anti-itch products often fail to relieve itchy eczema. To make matters worse, some contain ingredients that can cause eczema to flare. Only use an anti-itch product if your childs dermatologist recommends one.
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The Different Types Of Eczema
There are different types of eczema:
This type of eczema is also called atopic dermatitis and is associated with skin problems at birth. It is a genetic disposition that is triggered by certain foods, asthma, hay fever, stress, and other external factors.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
The majority of cases associated with allergic contact dermatitis are seen in adults that are in contact with irritants or products in relation to their profession.
For example: hairstylists who are in constant contact with shampoos and hair products and eventually develop allergic skin reactions to them.
Discoid eczema is a longterm skin condition that causes the skin to redden, crack, and itch.
The term discoid refers to the round formations this type of eczema creates on the skin, which can normally be seen on the lower legs, arms, and stomach.
Adult Seborrhoeic Eczema
This type of eczema begins as dandruff on the scalp. It can progress to the face and has a red and inflamed appearance.
Varicose eczema affects the lower legs of middle-aged adults and it is associated with poor blood circulation.
This causes the skin around the ankles to be inflamed and red if left untreated it can lead to skin ulcers.
Causes Of Eczema In Children
Eczema is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors which may include exposure to allergens, air pollution, and infections.
The major problem in this disorder is a defect in the skins barrier that allows the loss of moisture, the introduction of allergens and later, inflammation.
The defect may be caused by an allergic trigger or a genetic mutation that impairs the skins barrier. The cases of atopic dermatitis have risen 2-3-fold in the industrialized nations, and have affected 15-20% of children and 1-3% of adults worldwide.
Food allergy is closely associated with atopic dermatitis. About one-third of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis will have food allergies. Common food triggers for eczema may include dairy, egg, peanuts and other nuts, wheat, soy, and fish.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis In A Child
Symptoms may come and go, or occur most or all of the time. Any area of the body may be affected. In babies, symptoms usually affect the face, neck, scalp, elbows, and knees. In children, symptoms usually affect the skin inside the elbows, on the back of the knees, the sides of the neck, around the mouth, and on the wrists, ankles, and hands.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
Dry, scaly skin
Pale skin on the face
Small, raised bumps that may become crusty and leak fluid if scratched
Rough bumps on the face, upper arms, and thighs
Darkened skin of eyelids or around the eyes
Skin changes around the mouth, eyes, or ears
Raised, red areas
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
When To Call A Doctor
Make the call if your babys eczema doesnt begin to get better within a week of starting over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. It may be time for a prescription medicine.
Also check with your doctor if yellow or light brown crust or pus-filled blisters appear on top of the eczema. This could be the sign of a bacterial infection that needs antibiotics.
You should call your doctor if your baby is around anyone who has cold sores or genital herpes. Eczema can make your little one more likely to pick up those germs.
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Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree is extremely healthy for the skin, for a baby pure tea tree might be extremely harsh to their skin so dilute it with some lukewarm water. Tea tree essential oil has anti-bacterial properties that can help prevent infection due to eczema, and it also has skin hydrating and healing properties that soothe the skin and repair the damage of dry skin. Using a couple of drops mixed with any moisturizer can help combat eczema.
What Else Is Happening At Johns Hopkins Today
We go out of our way to provide the comprehensive care our patients with eczema need. On a case-by-case basis, we communicate with one another whether in allergy, dermatology, psychology or infectious disease to put together the best course of treatment for each child.We are optimistic that future therapies and approaches to care for those with even severe eczema are going to be greatly improved with more research and that the creation of the Eczema Day Treatment Unit will help us conduct cutting edge research and answer questions we face every day seeing and treating patients.
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Instructions To Soak And Seal
Dont limit moisturizing to just bath time. Slather it on your child throughout the day whenever their skin starts to itch or feel dry. Try using an ointment or a cream rather than a lotion and apply it with your palms, stroking lightly in a downward direction.
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
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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 child’s past health, and the family’s health. If family members have any atopic conditions, that’s 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 child’s diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
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.
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Eczema In Babies With Black And Brown Skin
According to the National Eczema Foundation, eczema affects more African American babies than any other racial background. About 1 in every 5 thats about 20% African American babies has some form of eczema. This compares to 10.7% of Hispanic babies, 12.1% of white babies, and 13% for Asian and Native American, respectively.
Eczema doesnt appear red like it does on white skin. Instead of red patches, eczema may cause gray, darker brown, or even purple patches. These discolored patches may still be dry, warm, swollen, itchy, and/or scaly.
Causes Of Baby Eczema
It can be difficult to determine exactly whats causing your babys eczema. Its a skin condition that some people seem to inherit and is not spread through contact. There does seem to be a higher likelihood of suffering from eczema if a family member also has the condition.
Figuring out what causes your little one to have a flare-up is important to keep their skin comfortable and healthy. Here are some common causes of baby eczema:
- General dry skin: some babies have seasonal flare-ups because their skin tends to be drier in the winter. Anytime your little ones skin is especially dry it may put them at risk for a flare up
- Allergens: anything that your little one is allergic too can result in an eczema flare-up. This includes animal dander, pollen, and foods
- Soaps, lotion, detergents and fragrance: soaps, lotions, and anything with fragrance may cause flare-ups. For babies with eczema prone skin, its best to opt for all-natural, unscented, mild products. Ideally, look for something thats designed for sensitive skin
- Dry Air: not surprisingly, if you live in a dry climate or the air is very dry in your home, your baby may get dry skin which results in a flare-up. Try running a humidifier in your babys room to help with this
- Wool or other rough fabric: these types of materials can irritate the skin and trigger your babys eczema
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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.