How To Help Prevent Your Babys Eczema From Recurring
Always follow your healthcare providerâs advice on treating your baby’s eczema. Your provider may suggest taking the following steps to help prevent eczema from recurring or getting worse:
Bathe your baby no more than three times per week.
Keep bath time to no more than 15 minutes.
Use only mild, unscented soaps.
After bath time, moisturize your babyâs skin with a fragrance-free cream or an ointment such as petroleum jelly or one prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Moisturize your babyâs skin at least twice a day (get more tips on baby skincare. Diaper changes can be a good time to do this.
Launder your babyâs clothes in mild, unscented detergent.
Dress him in soft clothing. Avoid wool or any rough woven fabrics.
To help protect your little oneâs skin, keep his nails clipped short so that he canât scratch himself. You could also slip cotton mittens on his hands before bedtime to help prevent him from scratching.
Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Eczema
Yes. Take your child to see your GP if your child:
- might have eczema for the first time
- is very itchy and uncomfortable
- has eczema thats weeping or bleeding
- has eczema that hasnt improved much after a few days, even though youve been treating it as usual
- is having trouble sleeping because the rash is so itchy
- has painful or eczema that has developed pus
- has eczema and is generally unwell for example, has a fever and/or is sweating, feeding poorly or tired.
You should also take your child to the GP if youre not sure whether the rash is eczema.
If your childs eczema doesnt improve with a combination of medical treatment and management at home, your GP might refer your child to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs eczema might be from allergies, they might also refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist.
What Does Baby Eczema Look Like
Eczema doesn’t look the same on every baby. In babies with light skin, it usually shows up as patches of red skin. In darker-skinned babies, the rash might look purplish, brownish, or grayish. Eczema can be harder to see on babies with dark skin.
These patches are almost always dry, itchy, and rough.
Babies can get the condition just about anywhere on their body. Most often, it affects their cheeks and the joints of their arms and legs.
Its easy to confuse baby eczema with cradle cap. But there are some key differences.
Cradle cap is much less itchy and irritated. It generally clears up by age 8 months and usually appears on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelids and eyebrows, and behind the ears. See a photo of what cradle cap looks like.
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How Is Eczema Treated
There is no cure for eczema. But treatments can help with symptoms. The doctor will recommend different treatments based on how severe the symptoms are, the child’s age, and where the rash is. Some are “topical” and applied to the skin. Others are taken by mouth.
Topical moisturizers. Skin should be moisturized often . The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath or shower, with the skin patted dry gently. Ointments and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments. These ease skin inflammation. It’s important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.
Other topical anti-inflammatory medicines. These include medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts.
Medicine taken by mouth. These can include antihistamines to help itchy kids sleep better at night, antibiotics if a rash gets infected by bacteria, and corticosteroid pills or other medicines that suppress the immune system.
Other types of treatment can include:
- wet wraps: damp cloths placed on irritated areas of skin
- bleach baths: bathing in very diluted bleach solution
What Should I Do If My Babys Eczema Gets Worse
If your baby has wet, weepy skin and their eczema is not getting better with steroids, their skin may be infected and they may need antibiotics. If your babys eczema flare does not get better with the standard treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , your GP should refer them to a dermatology specialist. If they suspect an allergy, they should refer them to an allergist or joint dermatologyallergy clinic.
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Indications Of Atopic Eczema In Babies
- Itchiness is a strong factor but babies tend to rub more than scratch. Look out for redness in the forehead and the wrists as well as cracking and breaking of the skin.
- A dry skin is very indicative of atopic eczema.
- If the eczema is infected it will be weeping and oozing and there may be yellow/brown crusting.
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.
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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.
Causes Of Atopic Eczema
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single thing.
Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. “Atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather.
Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.
You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Allergy tests are not usually needed, although they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.
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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.
Will My Baby Outgrow Eczema
Many babies who develop eczema in their first year eventually outgrow eczema by the time they start elementary school. Other children outgrow it by their early teens. Still others dont completely outgrow eczema by these ages, but notice that their eczema is less severe as they get older.
But eczema, especially chronic eczema, can also be lifelong. Some babies never outgrow eczema, and have the condition for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, theres no cure for eczema, and no way to tell whether your little one will outgrow it.
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Baby Eczema Vs Baby Acne
20% of newborns have neonatal acne, which is a type of acne that typically develops around two weeks of age. As with eczema, baby acne causes red, sensitive skin. However, instead of flaky, dry patches, neonatal acne appears as little red bumps or white pimples, commonly on the face, neck, chest, or back.
Neonatal acne also appears before a baby is 6 weeks old, while eczema typically begins between ages 3 and 6 months. If you believe your child is suffering from acne after six weeks of age, be sure to see the pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist.
What To Do About Itching
Try to keep your baby from scratching their itchy skin. Scratching can make the rash worse, lead to an infection, and cause the irritated skin to get thicker and more leathery.
Trim their nails often, and then take the edge off of them with a file if you can. Some parents also slip “scratch mittens” onto their little one’s hands. Others try long socks, tucked in under a long-sleeved shirt, so they’re harder for a baby to remove. View a slideshow to get more eczema skin care tips.
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What Causes Eczema In Children
Researchers dont know exactly what causes baby eczema, but they believe its most likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Eczema is not contagious.
Infants are more likely to develop eczema if family members have a history of eczema, hay fever, or asthma.
While these conditions don’t cause one another, infants are more likely to develop hay fever or asthma if they already have baby eczema.
Scientists believe eczema results from an immune-system dysfunction that affects the skin barrier and its ability to hold in moisture.
Eczema is a general term to describe a number of inflammatory skin conditions. Aside from atopic dermatitis, other types of eczema that commonly affect children include contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema , and seborrheic dermatitis, or scalp eczema .
Identifying Eczema On Your Babys Face And Body
With eczema, your babyâs skin will look dry and scaly or bumpy with red patches. The condition usually starts on the face, especially on the cheeks, forehead, or scalp.In many cases, the rash goes away on the face before spreading to other areas, such as the bends of the elbows and the area behind the knees.The patches caused by eczema can be mild and small, but they can also be extremely itchy, which can make your baby irritable. If this is the case with your little one, speak to your healthcare provider.Keep in mind that eczema on your babyâs head might look a little like cradle cap, which is another skin condition that can affect some babies. Your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose the condition.
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Conlcusion: Follow The Steps Above To Get Rid Of Weeping Eczema
Well there you have it, I really hope that you liked this article and that it helped you understand more about the causes of weeping eczema, and most importantly, what to do about it.
I had couple of situations where my primary eczema turned into a bacteria colonization, so along with my program, I tried to incorporate all of the above into my skin routine.
Here is how I got rid of my weeping eczema:
First, I would clean the areas with cotton and saline solution, gently removing any yellow crusts where those bacteria lived.
Then, I took more cotton and dipped them in a solution of Epsom salts + water. I placed this on my weeping areas, and let them soak in all the water!
After pat drying the area, I applied a lotion moisturizer around the weeping areas where my skin was badly cracked. I also put a layer directly on the areas itself, to thoroughly hydrate the area.
Finally, I got my 10 minutes of sunlight and then followed up again with more moisturizer as my skin was very cracked at the time.
Doing the steps above, helped the weeping stop within DAYS. Which is why I wanted to share this with you! As someone who struggled with this for years, it makes me want to help others who might have it too.
Hopefully, this article helps you finally know what causes it and what to do about it.
How do you deal with weeping eczema? Did these tips help you? Leave me a comment below!
PS: Dont know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !
Use Skin Medications When Needed
For some babies and children with eczema, daily bathing and moisturizing is not enough for good control. These children also need a medical treatment plan, which often includes medicated creams or ointments that calm the immune system in the skin and control irritation. Medical treatment plans also include instructions on how often and when to apply the cream or ointment.
There are a variety of skin medications available for eczema, each with a different strength. The strength of the medication prescribed should be right for the area of the body that needs medication. For example, a child may have one medication prescribed for the face and another one for the elbows and knees. Do not use the percent on the label to judge the strength of your child’s medication. Speak to your child’s doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about medication strength.
Follow the treatment plan provided by your child’s doctor, so your child gets the most possible benefit from the medication. It is especially important to follow your doctor’s advice about how much of the medication to apply, so you do not use too little or too much. Some doctors recommend applying a layer of medication to eczema patches every day for about two to four weeks. The medication is more effective if you apply it to skin immediately after the bath, while the skin is still damp.
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Should I Worry About Using The Topical Steroids Prescribed By My Healthcare Professional
No, you dont need to worry, as long as you follow your healthcare professionals specific instructions. Topical steroids are first-line treatments for babies with eczema. These creams have been used to treat eczema for more than 50 years, so there is a good understanding of how they work.
If you dont treat the eczema promptly and adequately, skin damage is far more likely to occur through scratching into the deeper layers of skin.
How Do You Treat Baby Eczema
In order to treat baby eczema, itâs important to understand what causes it in the first place. For the most part, atopic eczema happens during a childâs first year of life, a PubMed study reported, and researchers found that kids with eczema often have an allergy to house dust mites. So how does that lead to the red, rashy skin? Dr. Amin explains: âThe primary function of our skin barrier is to restrict water loss and to prevent entry of external pathogens,â she says. âOne of the ongoing research behind eczema is looking at a protein called filaggrin that can have loss-of-function in many moderate to severe cases of eczema.â Due to the lack of filaggrin which leads to more water loss through the skin, this leads to extremely dry skin. And because itâs itchy, your child is bound to scratch their skin, which makes it even more inflamed, causing your kiddo to get caught in a never-ending itch-scratch cycle.
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Apply Hydrocortisone Cream On Flare
Apply over-the-counter 1% Hydrocortisone cream to areas of flare-ups twice a day for 7 to 10 days underneath the lotion to reduce itching and redness. Dont apply hydrocortisone cream to your childs diaper area or near the eyes without first checking with your physician. Also make sure not to use these creams too long as they can thin the skin in the affected area. If over-the-counter options dont work after 1-2 weeks, see your doctor and ask about a prescription for a stronger steroid cream or other management options.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
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