Moisturizing A Newborns Skin May Prevent Eczema
When someone has AD, the skin becomes extremely dry and easily irritated. These problems occur because the skin loses water too quickly.
Given this fact, researchers wondered whether applying moisturizer to a babys skin from birth might reduce a childs risk of developing AD.
To test this idea, they ran studies. In one study, some parents were shown 3 eczema friendly moisturizers and asked to choose the one theyd like to use on their baby. These parents were instructed to apply that moisturizer to their childs skin every day. They were to apply it everywhere, except the babys scalp. This group of parents also received a booklet about infant skin care.
In this same study, a second group of parents received only the booklet about infant skin care.
At 6 months, the researchers examined all of the children in the study. The group of children being moisturized developed 50% less AD than the other group of children.
This finding has led to more research and similar findings.
Moisturizer and AD: Bottom line
Applying moisturizer may reduce your childs risk of developing AD. Before you do this, ask your dermatologist to recommend a moisturizer. Some moisturizers contain ingredients, such as fragrance, which could irritate your childs skin or cause an allergic reaction.
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:
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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.
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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 .
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 dont 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.
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Can Breastfeeding Prevent Baby Eczema
Good news for nursing moms: There may be a correlation between breastfeeding and lower incidence of baby eczema. A study found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first three months of life were less likely to develop eczema through age 6. While breastfeeding may not completely prevent these rashes, it could potentially reduce some flareups.
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
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Causes Of Eczema In Children
The main triggers for eczema particularly in children are:
*Already dry skin, patches of drool left un-wiped on your babies face can cause dry skin which can become eczema *Irritants such as scratchy, synthetic materials *Heat and sweating *Infection *Allergens such as pollen or dust *Cold, harsh weather *Perfumed products
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Having A Dog In Home May Reduce Eczema Risk
The eternal dispute about whether dogs or cats are better will probably never end. When it comes to reducing the risk of a child developing AD, however, it appears that dog ownership wins.
A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics supports this. In this study, the childrens parents had one or more of these conditions atopic dermatitis, hay fever, or asthma. When a parent has one or more of these conditions, the child has an increased risk of developing AD.
For these children, having a dog in the house before the childs first birthday dramatically reduced the childs risk of developing AD by age 4. Having a cat in the home before a childs first birthday, however, increased the childs risk of developing AD.
When researchers analyzed earlier studies that looked at the effect of having a dog or cat in the home, they found a similar result. Having a dog in the home decreased the risk of a child developing AD by about 25%. Living with a cat did not increase or reduce the childs risk of developing AD.
Dogs and AD: Bottom line
The findings from studies suggest that having a dog in the home may reduce a childs risk of developing AD.
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Description Of Included Reviews
In total, seven systematic reviews were included in this overview . Each review examined a different intervention: maternal dietary antigen avoidance , exclusive breastfeeding for a defined period of time , omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplementation , hydrolysed protein formula , prebiotics , probiotics and soy formula . Table 1 represents the characteristics of the included reviews.
Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
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Home Remedies For Baby Eczema
Coconut oil: Studies show that applying coconut oil topically reduces the amount of staph bacteria on the skin, which reduces the chance of infection. Apply coconut oil once or twice a day to damp skin. Be sure to choose coconut oils that are virgin or cold pressed. This method of oil extraction does not use chemicals, which could further irritate skin.
Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil boosts the skins barrier function, helping it to retain moisture. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply sunflower oil to adult skin twice a day, with one of those times being shortly after bathing while skin is still wet. Avoid using sunflower oil, if you have a known allergy to sunflower seeds.
Cardiospermum: Cardiospermum is a flowering tropical vine native to India and Africa. When extracted and put into a topical ointment, cardiospermum can help reduce inflammation, itch and bacteria on the skin.
Topical vitamin B12: Topical vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective on eczema symptoms in both adults and children.
Mind-body approach: Stress is a known trigger for atopic dermatitis flares. Though the exact relationship between stress and atopic dermatitis is unknown, experts believe that when you experience a stressful situation, your body produces inflammation. And inflammation is an underlying cause of atopic dermatitis symptoms.
Conclusions of a 2015 review indicate that bleach baths could reduce the need for topical corticosteroid or antibiotic treatments.
Key Points To Remember About Eczema In Children
- eczema is a dry, itchy skin condition
- you can usually control your child’s eczema by using lots of moisturiser, a bath once a day and using steroids when your child’s skin has active eczema
- avoid things which irritate your child’s skin, especially soap
- go to your family doctor as soon as possible if your child’s eczema doesn’t 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
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Irritated Skin Around The Mouth
Theres another issue with giving babies prone to eczema certain foods: they can get very sore skin around the mouth. Skin irritation from foods isnt the same as having an allergy to it the problem is with the weakened or faulty skin barrier rather than an actual allergic reaction, but the result can still be really painful and itchy for little ones.
Various different things can cause a rash or soreness around the mouth and cheeks, and these include foods which are:
For a personal account of having a baby with eczema, see our blog by guest writer Halima Khatun: What Foods Trigger Eczema In Babies? We also have an article Tips For Weaning A Baby With Eczema which could be helpful!
Managing Babys Eczema: Other Lifestyle Tips
Bathing and moisturizing are the cornerstones of baby eczema management, but they arent the only ways to manage baby eczema. Follow these other tips to help soothe your babys skin:
Moderate or severe eczema requires more in-depth care than mild eczema. The tips in the linked article may help you develop a detailed routine based on babys eczema severity.
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How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child’s skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that “breathe,” such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
When To Call A Doctor
Make the call if your babyâs eczema doesnât 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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Eliminating A Lot Of Foods From Your Diet Can Do More Harm Than Good
Food allergies are common in children until about 2 years of age. Topping the list of foods that can cause a food allergy are cows milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, hazelnuts, fish, and chocolate.
Children who have a food allergy may have an increased risk of developing AD.
To reduce a childs risk of developing a food allergy, some women stop eating the foods most likely to cause a food allergy. They eliminate these foods from the time they get pregnant until they stop breastfeeding.
We now have research findings that show this may not be necessary. In looking at 42 studies, researchers found that when mothers stopped eating these foods, it didnt change a childs risk of developing AD.
Eliminating foods and AD: Bottom line
Eliminating certain foods from your diet may not reduce your childs risk of developing eczema.
If you fail to get certain nutrients because you stop eating many healthy foods, you could jeopardize your childs health. Always ask your doctor before eliminating healthy foods from your diet.
Does My Child Have Eczema
Eczema can look different at different ages:
- Babies usually have a rash on their face and neck which may weep and crust.
- Children often have a dry rash, characteristically in the creases of knees and elbows, around the mouth, neck, wrists and ankles.
- From age 12, the it may be more widespread and severe.
When the skin is red, dry and itchy, it is known as a ‘flare-up’. It is common for the severity of eczema to change, sometimes it is very mild and other times it gets worse. Between flare-ups, people with eczema tend to have dry sensitive skin.
See your doctor to diagnose your child’s rash, as other skin conditions can look similar to eczema. Your doctor will examine the rash, ask you about how and when it began, and ask whether other family members have noticed a similar rash. This is because while not contagious, eczema may have a genetic basis and does tend to run in families. A child with eczema often has one or more relative with eczema or a related condition, such as asthma, hay fever or allergic conjunctivitis.
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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.
Different Types Of Open Wounds And How To Treat Them
Everyone has probably had an open wound, whether its a small scratch from the playground or a freak accident at work. If left untreated, open wounds can be painful and lead to other health complications. The skin plays an important role in protecting organs, tissues, and other structures inside the body, so a break in the skin can potentially promote infection.
Knowledge of the types of open wounds is essential to administering treatment. Thats why we reached out to the dermatologist Dr. Maisoon Al Kayn to discuss the main types of open wounds and their treatment methods.
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Prevent Infection Of The Skin
In persistent eczema where your baby is scratching their skin, doctors are often concerned that the normal bacteria that live on the skin will get into the cuts and cause an infection. Infections are dangerous and can prolong the itching-scratching cycle.
Apple cider vinegar baths are often recommended as a way to stop a staph aureus infection. Studies have shown that babies with eczema who develop a staph a infection are much more likely to develop food allergies.
To safely give your baby a vinegar bath:
- Put 2 cups apple cider vinegar into a full bath tub, or 1/10 of a cup for every gallon of water.
- Never apply vinegar directly to your childs eczema.
- Soak for 15 minutes.
- Pat your babys skin dry, apply any medications, and then moisturize the skin