How Long Will My Babys Eczema Last
Baby eczema will first appear sometime between months 1 and 6. With proper treatment, a flare-up can disappear completely. If you can identify what is triggering your babys eczema, you may be able to keep their eczema completely away.
However, the possibility of another dry, itchy patch is always possible. You may see frequent flare-ups if you are unable to pinpoint the root cause.
Usually, children outgrow their eczema by the time they are 6 or 7 years old, but occasionally it persists into adulthood.
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How To Create A Baby Eczema Skin Care Routine
Soon I will set up a plan to help you come up with your own baby eczema skin care routine, step by step, so youll want to sign up with your email and stay tuned.
Until then, here is a quick way to build your own routine:
- Look at your family history for allergies
- Clean for airborne allergens
- Wash the babies face everyday
- Bathe often in warm not hot water
- Find a gentle moisturizer designed for eczema
- Moisturize after every wash and any time you see dry skin
As you do these things keep note of what seems to work the best and what doesnt. Pay attention to when flare ups occur. Does it happen when the baby is sweaty or when they lay on the couch? Take some specific time to worry about the problem, consider what is causing flare ups and then move on. Dont spend all your time thinking about it or you will go crazy.
Stay Cool And Monitor Your Baby Outdoors
Staying outside in the heat can make your baby sweat. Sweating is natural, but as we mentioned above, it can actually irritate your little ones eczema.
Keep a close eye on your child during the summer, especially if youre planning for outdoor activities. Watch for lethargy and changes in the pigmentation of their skin. These are signs that your baby is too hot and may be dehydrated.
Applying a cold compress such as an ice pack and as we mentioned above, drinking lots of water, are two ways to keep your baby cool outside.
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What Causes Atopic Dermatitis In A Child
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known. But some things are linked to it. They include:
Genes. This skin problem can be passed on from parents to a child.
Immune system. An immune system that isnt fully developed may affect how much protection the skin can give.
External factors. These include being in winter weather, using hot water for bathing, using soap, and being in dry, hot temperatures.
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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Choose The Right Clothing For Your Baby
Loose-fitting clothing is less likely to trap in the heat that can lead to irritated skin. It is also more comfortable and allows for more flexibility in movement. But on the contrary, tight-fitting clothing can make your baby sweat. And as we mentioned earlier, sweating either further irritates your childs eczema-prone skin or sparks an eczema flare-up.
Additionally, avoid synthetic materials that may irritate your little ones eczema-prone skin, such as polyester, which can cause your baby to sweat more and may result in skin irritation. Choose 100 percent cotton clothing to keep your child cool and prevent itching for eczema-prone skin.
Dressing your baby in loose-fitting, 100 percent cotton clothing helps manage your babys eczema in the summer heat.
What Does Eczema Look Like
In babies with paler skin, when eczema is flaring the skin is red and itchy. In babies with darker skin, the irritated, itchy areas may be red but are more likely to show as darker patches. They may also appear paler around the front or back of knees or elbows.
When an area of darker skin is treated for eczema, it may become lighter and may take several months to return to the babys normal skin tone.
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What Often Goes Along With Eczema
Eczema is part of a group of conditions called the atopic triad. The atopic triad includes eczema, allergies and asthma.
We know that people with eczema have a greater chance of also having allergies, including food allergies. People with eczema are also more likely to have asthma.
People with known allergies may notice that their eczema worsens if they are exposed to something they are allergic to, including foods or pollens. Someone’s allergy triggers are usually not the main cause of 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.
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Ways To Soothe Your Babys Eczema
When your baby is itchy and in pain, youll do anything to help her feel better. Four experts weigh in on what actually works.
Watching your baby wail in discomfort from red, irritated, eczema-flared skin can make you feel like youre at your wits end, so we asked experts for tips on how to get the itchy condition under control.
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.
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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.
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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Managing Eczema In Winter And Year Round: A Parents Guide
Cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can rob skin of its natural moisture in the winter. Red, crusty, dry patches can be common on a baby’s skin, particularly in winter, and cause concern for parents. Such symptoms can be treated, however, and many babies and children do outgrow the dry, itchy skin of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
We spoke with pediatric dermatologist Katherine Puttgen to learn more.
Consider Diluted Bleach Baths
Silverberg suggests them for babies older than 6 months who have moderate or severe eczema. They’re especially helpful if your baby has crusting on their skin. Bleach helps remove staph bacteria — a known eczema trigger — without antibiotics.
Talk to your pediatrician before giving your baby a bleach bath. If you do, use 1 teaspoon of bleach per 1 gallon of water or 1/4 cup per full bathtub.
Sound harsh? Silverberg says it’s just like putting your child into a swimming pool with chlorine. Whatâs more, it may give your baby fewer flare-ups and more comfort.
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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 .
Ways How To Treat Baby Eczema Every Parent Should Know About
Do you also think that treating baby eczema is an impossible job? Many parents find it hard to cope with the regular flare-ups and periods of remission typical for atopic dermatitis. If you like to learn more about how to treat baby eczema, we have got you covered.
Though there is no known cure for this condition, there are several treatment options available.
To successfully clear up baby eczema, you will need a personalized skin care plan that includes applying moisturizers, topical steroids, and identifying and eliminating triggers.
You are curious about how to treat baby eczema so your child can finally find some relief.
Here are 9 strategies that will help to improve your babys skin condition.
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How To Find A Food Trigger
Some are obvious. If your child eats lobster for the first time and breaks out in hives 15 minutes later, itâs probably not hard to figure out.
But with eczema, it’s often tougher. Symptoms may not show up for days after you eat something. If you do find a trigger food and get rid of it, that may help. Still, it may not make the eczema go away. Remember, 2 out of 3 kids with eczema don’t have a food allergy at all.
That’s why working with a doctor is so important. They can guide you toward the real cause through tests like:
Elimination diets. If your doctor thinks a food may be harmful, they may ask you not to give it to your kid for 10 to 14 days. Watch to see if it makes a difference.
Food challenges. After you’ve taken a food out of your child’s diet, your pediatrician might want you to add a small amount back in to see if it causes symptoms. They may want to do this in the office, just in case your child has a reaction.
Skin testing. A doctor can take an extract of the food and use it to scratch the skin lightly. If the area swells up, that could be an allergic reaction. However, it’s not always accurate.
Blood tests. RAST — a radioallergosorbent test — can check for special cells in the blood that signal specific food allergies. Again, it’s not always accurate. Other lab tests can check for cells that trigger swelling.
Tracking down a food trigger can take patience and detective work.
Wet Wrap Therapy In A Few Simple Steps
- Prepare a lukewarm bath with emollients.
- After soaking in the bath, pat the skin carefully dry. Never rub the skin the irritated the skin.
- Moisturize and wrap the affected areas with wet bandages.
- Lock in the moisture by covering the wet bandages with dry ones or clothing.
- After removing the bandages re-apply moisturizer.
- Do not use wet wraps on infected eczema!
Leave the bandages for a few hours or for as long as your child accepts them. Your child may want to remove the bandages so this therapy requires a lot of patience. You can also cover the wet wraps with pajamas before bedtime. You may like to check out Soothems. They have specially designed eczema sleepwear you can use to cover the wet wrapping bandages.
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Take Baby To The Doctor When
Its okay to start with at-home treatment options like the ones listed below, but you should also have your baby checked at the doctor if you suspect an eczema rash. If youre having trouble getting it under control, go ahead and make an appointment to see the doctor. It may require a stronger hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine to stop the itching.
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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Add A Protective Barrier
Slather an extra layer of petroleum jelly on your babys cheeks and nose before heading out for a wintery walk to prevent chapping and irritation from dry winter air. If your baby gets an eczema flare around her mouth, apply petroleum jelly or another thick barrier cream to the area before meals and snacks, advises Michele Ramien, a dermatologist at the Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. Kids with eczema have the genetics to develop allergies, and one of the main ways they become allergic is through exposure on broken or damaged skin, she explains. The barrier will also prevent acidic foods such as strawberries and tomato sauce from irritating the skin when they inevitably get all over your little ones face.
Can You Get Rid Of Eczema
Unfortunately, there’s no way to make eczema go away entirely. It tends to come and go. Predicting flare-ups can be difficult. Kids do often outgrow some of their eczema, but they may have rashes or sensitive skin for life.
Our goal as dermatologists is to give you the tools and education to take care of eczema and make it less impactful on the life of your child.
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How Can You Prevent Baby Eczema
If your baby has contact dermatitis, you can try your best to prevent a flare-up by identifying and avoiding common triggers, which might include:
- Moisture . Dress your baby in lightweight cotton clothing. Gently pat drool away when you see it.
- Scratchy fabrics. In addition to clothes and rugs, even your babys stuffed animals can trigger eczema.
- Allergens. Think pet dander, pollen or dust.
- Harsh detergents and soaps. Consider using a sensitive detergent when washing babys clothes and crib sheets.
How Reducing Indoor Allergens Can Ease Your Eczema Symptoms
Eczema usually isnt a persistent condition, but rather one marked by long symptom-free periods followed by flare-ups.
Various environmental factors may cause the immune system to respond as if the body has encountered a harmful substance, resulting in inflammation and worsening eczema symptoms.
These triggers may include a variety of allergens and irritants, such as:
- Pet dander, pollen, mold, and dust mites
- Allergenic foods
- Clothing made of wool or synthetic fibers
- Cigarette smoke
Theres no cure for baby eczema, but the condition usually becomes less severe over time.
Treatment focuses on managing skin dryness to prevent flare-ups and on reducing skin inflammation.
Doctors recommend the following strategies to parents whose babies have eczema:
Your doctor may also recommend other eczema treatments for your child, including:
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Which Are The Good Essential Oils For Baby Eczema
Essential oils are known for their healing properties. These are a wonderful baby eczema natural remedies for their soothing nature. Some of the essential oils that you can use for treating eczema in babies are:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Turmeric Essential Oil
- Citrus Oils
Use these essential oils in the bath or blend them with a base oil and gently massage on the affected region. These are quite potent hence should be used in minimal amount.
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.
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