Why Causes Baby Eczema
The truth is that the causes of eczema are still fairly unknown, but it is believed to have a strong genetic factor. Babies with a family history of eczema, asthma or allergies are more likely to get the condition. People with overactive immune systems also have a higher chance of suffering from eczema.
In many cases eczema is a result of an allergic reaction, and often appears alongside other childhood allergies like food allergies, pollen allergies, asthma or pet allergies. Common environmental triggers for eczema include:
- Cold air
- Cigarette smoke
Most children outgrow eczema by age 5, while some experience occasional flare ups well into adulthood. Some studies state that eczema may be linked to behavioral disorders like autism or ADHD .
Baby eczema can be diagnosed by a pediatrician who will suggest further treatment. Currently there is no cure for eczema, and treatment generally consists of managing the symptoms like dry skin. If you do not wish to try OTC medications, here are a few natural home remedies that can help soothe your babys eczema.
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 .
Navigating Natural Remedies For Baby Eczema
Eczema can cause quite a bit of stress for parents. If you are suffering from eczema or having to watch your child suffer it is a good idea to see a naturopathic doctor and get a treatment plan tailored to you.
Eczema is something that can be overcome usually with some fairly simple interventions. But the key to managing eczema – and especially treating baby eczema naturally – is to understand your childs unique triggers. Please speak to your health care provider before starting any new medication or supplements.
Want more guidance on finding the eczema solutions that are right for your child? Explore our Eczema Eraser Workshop – a 2.5-hour workshop designed to help you understand common eczema triggers and develop a personalized plan for managing your childs eczema without steroids.
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Foods That Can Make Eczema Worse
When youre managing baby eczema, foods to avoid can feel never-ending. But there are five foods that are the most common triggers.
1) Dairy- The proteins found in dairy are the triggers for eczema. It is not an issue with lactose and eating lactose free dairy does not help. Elimination of all dairy for 3 weeks should lead to improvement.
2) Eggs- The second most common food sensitivity in children under 4 and associated with eczema. Eliminate egg whites and yolks for 3 weeks. Eggs are often hidden in a lot of foods. For a handout on hidden sources of eggs, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Gluten- Also present in many foods in hidden forms. Eliminate for 3 weeks.
4)Tomatoes– Can be very inflammatory to young childrens skin, especially if eaten frequently.
5) Citrus- Has similar effects as tomatoes in young children and can be irritating to the skin.
Its important to eliminate these trigger foods completely for at least 3 weeks to determine how theyre affecting your childs eczema. If you wish to have Food Sensitivity Testing done, instead of doing trial eliminations, book an appointment with Dr Alexis.
Wet Ordry Wrap Therapy
Let emollients sink in deeper and find fastrelief with wet or drywrap therapy. This organic eczema treatment for babies allows skincare to work longer and more efficiently. In fact, many eczema sufferershave found relief after one night!
Although wet wrapping can be hard for some children to adapt to and should never be used as a long-term solution, dry wrap therapy can be mucheasier and less messy and can be used for as long as needed with the right clothing.
Remedywear, clothing for eczema, isdesigned to wear dry and can be combined with your favorite emollient forfurther relief. Remedywear is made from TENCEL with zinc embeddedfibers to soothe itchy, dry skin. Styles available for babies up to adults. Perfect for wearing during the day undereveryday clothing or for wrapping overnight for a great night’s sleep.
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Where On The Body Can Eczema Appear
Eczema can appear in any area where your child has come into contact with one of their triggers.
For example, if they have a grass allergy and rolled around in the backyard, they might have rashes anywhere there was exposed skin.
A child could get eczema around the outside of their mouth after eating acidic foods, like pineapple, or in the folds of their skin if they were sweating.
If your child had eczema as a baby, you might think youre a pro at identifying it. However, the symptoms of eczema in toddlers are actually different from the symptoms in babies. As kids get older, the location of their rashes can change.
Babies are prone to rashes on their faces and heads remember cradle cap? Thats a kind of eczema! Toddlers and older kids are more likely to get eczema in the following areas:
- creases of their elbows
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How Does Baby Eczema Differ From Dry Skin
Dry skin is a symptom of eczema. Your pediatrician can diagnose eczema by examining your babys skin. He or she may send you to a pediatric dermatologist for confirmation and treatment if the condition is severe.
In general, dry skin can be handled at home with some moisturizer and isnt as bothersome as eczema. However, babies with darker skin tend to have drier skin than those with lighter skin making moisturization even more crucial.
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Massage With Sunflower Seed Oil
Another natural oil that can help with eczema is sunflower oil. Research shows that sunflower oil improves the barrier function of the skin. In one study of babies at high risk of developing eczema, parents were advised to apply sunflower seed oil on their babys entire body at least once daily. This was done as soon as possible after birth but within a maximum of 3 weeks and was to be continued till the baby hit the 6-month milestone. It was found that sunflower seed oil had a protective effect and reduced the incidence of this condition at the 6-month mark.5 In the study, parents were also told not to use potential irritants like fragrant soap, bubble baths, or even bath oils and were to stick to a mild, fragrance-free cleanser.
Natural Eczema Remedies For Babies
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Eczema can be the one of the worst things to have to watch your baby go through when youre a parent. These natural eczema remedies for babies will your help your child feel more comfortable.
Could that red patchy area of skin be eczema? Thats a question that often crossed my mind when either of my kids had patches of really dry skin, especially in the wintertime.
Eczema can be the one of the worst things to have to watch your baby go through when youre a parent. Its uncomfortable, itchy, and the treatments for it can sound really harsh ? or only be somewhat effective.
While I, personally, have never had eczema, I have seen family members struggle with it for years, and many of you have reached out looking for natural remedies for eczema as well.
Eczema is a tricky issue because it can be caused by so many things, but here are five natural eczema remedies for babies that can be helpful and will work for your little one!
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The Natural Cure For Baby Eczema
If youre looking for a natural cure for baby eczema, youre out of luck . Because the cause of eczema is unknown, its not something that can be cured. All treatments, regardless of if its one of our baby eczema natural remedies or a physician-prescribed cream or ointment, are only tackling the symptoms of the condition . The good news: although there is no direct cure for eczema in babies , there are a multitude of natural ways to treat baby eczema and well check out 15 of them below.
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.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. For complete details, please read my affiliate disclosure page.
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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.
Evening Primrose Oil And Borage Oil
For a while, taking supplements of these oils, which are rich in essential fatty acids, was thought to help reduce eczema symptoms. But recent studies have cast doubt on their effectiveness. Although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that they can make a difference, the practicalities of giving these supplements to babies and children coupled with inconclusive evidence suggests that its probably best to stick with a good, varied diet.
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Update After First Prescription
Charlie came back for a follow up appointment 8 weeks later and this is how his skin looked. The picture says it all.
Mum was thrilled, and so was I. Charlies skin was back to feeling smooth and soft. There were a few red pimples on his chin and torso. Behind his ears, the folds of his skin were also much improved with mild crusting and oozing which would clear and then return briefly.
His bowel movements were no longer difficult and any reaction to trigger foods appears to have cleared. Mum explained that by mistake Charlie had drunk some cows milk, which, before homeopathic treatment, would have meant an eczema flare up. But nothing happened! No flare up on his skin and no change in bowel movements. What a fabulous outcome.
I prescribed further remedies to support his body as it continued to heal.
The Causes Of Eczema In Babies
There is no one cause of eczema in babies. However, there are several factors that affect your babys likelihood of developing eczema, as well as maternal factors and environmental factors.
Genetics play a role in eczema. If there are atopic and allergic conditions in the family, your baby is at a higher risk of developing eczema. But this is only one piece of the puzzle genes still rely on diet, lifestyle and environmental factors to trigger a condition.
Another big contributing factor is food allergies and intolerances. Studies have shown that around 30% of infants with eczema have or develop a food allergy. Once you consider intolerances and sensitivities, food triggers play a role in most cases of eczema.
Many of the root causes of eczema live in the gut. Leaky gut and dysbiosis are the two most common gut health concerns for babies and young children. Most babies experience digestive symptoms such as reflux, constipation, loose bowels or mucus in their stools. All of these are signs that there is an underlying gut health concern.
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Balancing The Skins Acidity Levels
Vinegar is highly acidic. The skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others, which can weaken the skins defenses.
Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skins acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted.
In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can leave the skin vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flares.
Natural Oils For Eczema: Which Ones Are Safe And Effective
Natural oil has been used in skin care for centuries. A good number of natural oils have beneficial fatty acids that help to repair the skins natural barrier, which is defective in patients with eczema.
But not all natural oils are good for our skin. Some can be irritating and may even worsen eczema. The plant source, composition and the ways that natural oils are extracted determine their benefit and harm.
Cold-pressed fixed oils are made by extracting oil from seeds or nuts without adding chemicals or heat, and therefore tend to be safer for skin use.
On the other hand, essential oils are extracted through steam-distillation of aromatic flowers or leaves. Heat and chemicals added during essential oil extraction can produce irritating compounds, and therefore should be avoided for skin use.
Several natural oils have been found to be safe and beneficial alternative moisturizers. Virgin coconut oil contains monolaurin, a fatty acid that mitigates Staphylococcus aureus colonization that can typically develop in eczema patients.
Virgin coconut oil is also superior in improving eczema compared to mineral oil . Virgin sunflower seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe itchy and inflamed eczema skin, and can improve skin hydration and preserve the integrity of the skins natural barrier.
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Natural Eczema Remedies For Your Kids
Eczema is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to see me at CentreSpringMD. Its actually a topic that is near and dear to my heart because both of my kids had eczema.
My sons eczema was easily manageable with good moisturizing, but my daughters was pretty severe. The conventional recommendations from her pediatrician and my colleagues were to use topical steroids on her, but I just couldnt fathom following that advice . Her eczema involved practically her entire body, and I knew steroids were not a solution that could treat the root cause. Navigating how to manage something so simple as my babys eczema helped steer me towards Integrative Medicine and a more holistic approach to pediatric care in general. Im happy to say that my baby is now 5 years old and is happily no longer dealing with the itchies, as we used to call her eczema.
Here are five natural remedies for your childs eczema.
If after 2-3 weeks of avoiding gluten and dairy there is absolutely no improvement, you can try avoiding other commonly allergenic foods like eggs and peanuts/tree nuts. If none of those eliminations work, then getting tested for IgE allergies as well as IgG sensitivities might be next steps. We offer both kinds of tests at CentreSpringMD and often use them to guide dietary changes for children with eczema.
- 1 part coconut oil
- 1 part avocado oil
- 1-2 parts shea butter .
Homeopathy For Baby Eczema
If natural remedies for baby eczema isnt providing results, alternative treatments like homeopathy for baby eczema can be very effective. It can provide the same results as allopathic medicines without the side effects. Before prescribing homeopathy for baby eczema, a full and extensive examination of your baby is undertaken to unearth the core of the issue. After that, medications are prescribed and personalized, particularly for your baby. This makes it possible to find a long term solution. Not only can homeopathy for baby eczema treat current conditions but also prevent future breakouts.
Some common homeopathic remedies for baby eczema include:
What Causes Eczema In Toddlers
Before you panic that your child will have lifelong bouts of itchy rashes, its important to remember that some kids are just prone to eczema because of their unique skin makeup. And even thats not always fixed or permanent.
Theres no way to predict what will happen in the future, but lots of kids outgrow their eczema when they reach their preschool years.
Your child is more likely to have eczema if they also have:
- a family history of eczema
Food allergies dont cause eczema, but they are related.
For the most part, though, environmental triggers are the biggest cause of eczema flares. Common triggers include:
- excessive heat or sweating
Although eczema is bothersome and often hard to treat, you can take some steps to get your toddlers eczema under control.
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