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How To Tell If My Baby Has Eczema

Can Eczema Be Made Worse


Its important to note that every baby in the world is different. Some babies might not even develop eczema in the first place while others will. Some babies might even develop it on a more severe level. That being said, its important to note that there are some common eczema triggers that parents should look to not avoid.

Dry skin can make the baby itchier and sometimes this can be caused by low humidity. This will be extremely common during the winter months, as the dry air will suck out the moisture from the air. Along with this, thick, wooly clothes can trigger symptoms. Polyester, perfumes, laundry soaps, as well as body soap, are all triggers for worsening ones eczema symptoms. It would be non-beneficial if you were to create a routine treatment around using Aquaphor, but then not be aware of several triggers that can offset its benefits.

Be extremely careful what you are using on your babys skin and be weary of the materials that their blankets and clothes are made of also. You can never be too safe when it comes to dealing with eczema, especially for your child.

When To Seek Medical Advice

See a GP if you have symptoms of atopic eczema. They’ll usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions, such as:

  • whether the rash is itchy and where it appears
  • when the symptoms first began
  • whether it comes and goes over time
  • whether there’s a history of atopic eczema in your family
  • whether you have any other conditions, such as allergies or asthma
  • whether something in your diet or lifestyle may be contributing to your symptoms

Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and 3 or more of the following:

  • visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees at the time of examination by a health professional
  • a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
  • generally dry skin in the last 12 months
  • a history of asthma or hay fever children under 4 must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has 1 of these conditions
  • the condition started before the age of 2

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • What treatment is best for me?
  • Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
  • What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
  • Do I need to take any other medicines?
  • What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
  • Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
  • My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
  • How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
  • I have eczema. Will my children have it?
  • How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?

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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 Should I Do If My Babys Eczema Gets Worse

Treating Eczema in Babies

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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When To Talk To Your Doctor About Baby Eczema

Always talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your babys skin. Thanks to telemedicine, a video visit or quick photo is often all that’s needed to check for eczema.

Occasionally, infections develop on top of an eczema rash. If you see any yellow-colored crusting and scabbing, oozy skin, blisters or pus bumps, be sure to call your doctor right away. Always call if your baby has a fever. Your baby may need an antibiotic and to be evaluated in person.

When Should My Baby Go To The Doctor For Eczema Treatment

If your baby has symptoms of eczema and at-home treatments have not helped, make an appointment with your pediatrician.

If your baby’s eczema is crusty, oozing fluid, or if your baby is showing any other signs of infection , call your pediatrician right away. Eczema rashes can become infected and may require antibiotic treatment.

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Questions To Ask Your Childs Doctor

After your child is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, you may feel overwhelmed with information. It can be easy to lose track of the questions that occur to you.

Lots of parents find it helpful to jot down questions as they arise- that way, when you talk to your childs doctors you can be sure that all of your questions are answered. If your child is old enough, you may want to suggest that she writes down what she wants to ask her health care provider too.

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How Often Should I Bathe My Baby

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If your baby has eczema, a daily bath with an emollient will help soothe the eczema and reduce dry skin and itching, while cleansing the skin, removing dirt and repairing the skin barrier. Use leave-on emollients instead of soaps, baby washes or bubble bath, or alternatively use emollient wash products or bath additives. Avoid any perfumed products and keep the water tepid, as heat can aggravate eczema.

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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.

What Can Cause Eczema In Your Baby

Eczema is thought to develop when the skin is unable to retain a lot of moisture. This in turn can make your infant more sensitive to certain irritants or triggers.

It’s unclear why some people get eczema and others don’t, but genetics plays a role. Your infant might be more susceptible to eczema if others in your or your partnerâs family have had it before.

Your little one also has a higher chance of developing the condition if certain other conditions run in your family, such as hay fever, asthma or allergies.

Food allergies may be a factor sometimes, but donât stop giving your child potentially important types of food without first consulting your doctor. Any allergies need to be diagnosed and managed separately.

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What Causes Eczema To Wax To Flare

Different “triggers” can make eczema worse. For infants, these can be irritants such as wool, certain detergents or extreme temperatures, or other immune triggers, such as food allergies and asthma, and even pet dander.

Most kids with the condition have the hardest time in winter, when the air is cold and dry. A small percentage has a harder time in the summer, when it is hot and humid.

Two Types Of Eczema Your Baby Could Have: Atopic Dermatitis Or Contact Dermatitis

Baby Eczema vs Other Skin Conditions

Atopic dermatitis is the type of eczema that runs in the family. Food allergies, hay fever, and environmental allergies may be related to flare-ups of atopic dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis occurs when an irritant or allergen comes into contact with your babyâs skin, causing an allergic reaction in the form of a rash â in other words, eczema.

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What Causes Baby Eczema

Eczema is a non-contagious skin condition that happens when your immune system overreacts to things that are usually harmless.

Like hair and eye colour, babies can inherit the allergic tendencies of eczema through genetics.

If a parent or someone in the family has eczema, it increases the chances of children having it.

Its a fairly common condition 1 in 5 children have eczema in the UK according to the British Skin Foundation.

Children with eczema are also likely to develop asthma and hayfever and may also have food allergies due to their sensitive immune system.

Eczema can clear up in babies within a few years, but in some cases it can continue into adulthood even if the only symptom is very dry skin.

Triggers Of Eczema Flare

  • Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
  • Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
  • Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
  • Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
  • Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
  • Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
  • Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
  • Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.

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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.

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.

What Does Eczema Look Like

How To Treat Baby Eczema

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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Use A Moisturizer On Your Skin Every Day

Moisturizers help keep your skin soft and flexible. They prevent skin cracks. A plain moisturizer is best. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and a lot of extra ingredients. A good, cheap moisturizer is plain petroleum jelly . Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy because creams usually have more preservatives in them.

Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Has Eczema

  • Post author

Determining if your baby has eczema may not be so straight forward. Being a first time mom, I remembered reading a checklist from the paediatrician on what is normal and not normal in a newborn. Rashes is one of the items listed as normal, no need to see a paediatrician.

My baby Marcie has eczema from 2 weeks old and I only realised that her rashes were not normal on her 1st month checkup. The paediatrician diagnosed Marcie with eczema after looking at her rashes and linked it as an allergy to milk .

If you are wondering if your baby has eczema, the signs and symptoms listed below can serve as a guideline:

1. Itch Itch causes scratching

2. Inflammation Damage to skin cells caused by scratching. The redness in skin is caused by increased blood flow and the skin feels warm to touch and swollen.

3. Scaly Skin More than usual dead cells on skin can come in various forms, including white/powdery, cracked, thin/transparent sheets that peel off or thick/yellow flakes/chips

4. Lichenification Thicker, darker and rougher skin from scratching/rubbing

5. Brown skin color Brown spot where eczema used to be, caused by cells in skin releasing extra pigments from scratching

6. Scratch marks

7. Crusts Caused by leaking serum, the liquid part of blood that heals inflammation

8. Cracking

10. Nails Thick & rough nails, pitted/ ridged

11. Dry skin

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Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands

Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.

Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Baby Eczema

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There is some evidence that breastfed babies may be less likely to develop eczema. Although unproven, the antimicrobial properties in breast milk have also been studied as a type of treatment when directly applied to an eczema rash. To try this, rub a few drops of your liquid gold onto the rash regularly for a few days and watch for any reduction in symptoms.

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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.

What Can Make It Worse

Each baby is different. But there are some common eczema triggers to avoid, including:


Dry skin. It can make a baby’s skin itchier. Low humidity, especially during winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, is a cause.

Irritants. Think scratchy wool clothes, polyester, perfumes, body soaps, and laundry soaps. These can all trigger symptoms.

Stress. Children with eczema may react to stress by flushing. That can lead to itchy, irritated skin. And that, in turn, ramps up their eczema symptoms.

Heat and sweat. Both can make the itch of infant eczema worse.

Allergens. Its not certain, but some experts believe that removing cows milk, peanuts, eggs, or certain fruits from a childs food may help control eczema symptoms. Remember that your baby can get exposed to these foods if their mother eats them before they breastfeed. Find out the connection between food and eczema flares.

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When To Visit The Doctor

Itâs a good idea to see your provider if you think your little one might have eczema âthat way your healthcare provide can diagnose it and recommend treatment if itâs needed.

If your babyâs eczema is severe â if it looks purple, crusty, or weepy, or has blisters â your provider might prescribe an over the counter or prescription cream or ointment.

If your baby has only mild eczema, your provider might recommend no treatment at all and recommend waiting to see if it clears on its own.

Affected Areas Of The Body

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The two conditions tend to affect different parts of the body, although there is some overlap.

Baby acne breakouts tend to occur on the:

  • forehead
  • forehead
  • scalp

Eczema often develops on a babys elbows and knees at between 6 and 12 months of age.

It will sometimes also spread to other areas, but it does not affect the diaper area. A rash in this area may be diaper rash.

Baby acne and eczema require different treatments.

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