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.
Talk To A Doctor About Food Allergies
Its rare that your childs eczema flare-ups are caused by food allergies, but it is possible. If you have removed all potential environmental triggers and are applying a daily emollient but the flare-up refuses to go away, its time to consult your doctor or pediatrician. They can test your child for food allergies and help identify what might be irritating your childs sensitive skin.
Why Did My Toddler Develop Eczema
Similar to when babies develop eczema, children who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers, but researchers dont know a lot more about why eczema manifests on a childs skin. When something outside the body switches on the immune system, skin cells dont behave as they should causing eczema flare ups.
We also know that children who come from families with a history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to developatopic dermatitis.
Common eczema symptoms in children include itchiness, rashes and the breaking down of skin barriers that protect children from skin infections.
Prevention and treatment are often similar for toddlers and babies. No matter what age your child is, consult with a pediatrician or pediatricdermatologist before deciding on a treatment plan.
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How Are Eczema Symptoms Different For Babies With Darker Skin
The appearance of the lesions is different depending on skin tone. They can be bright red, gray, brown, or purple.
Alexis Stephens, DO, FAOCD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Florida, explains the difference between skin types. In deeper skin tones affected areas may appear hyperpigmented or darker than the surrounding skin whereas in fair skin tones the affected area may appear red in color,” she says.
Eczema often presents differently in darker-skinned babies, as the background of melanin confounds the way pink and red may appear in the skin, says Dr. Libby. She goes on to say that because of these differences, eczema may be missed as a diagnosis or it may take longer to diagnose for dark-skinned babies and children.
Dr. Boakye agrees. If a practitioner is not aware of the nuances, the diagnosis can be missed or be thought of as something completely different.”
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
There are several natural treatments that have been shown to be effective controlling eczema symptoms. Many of these studies looked the effects on adults, so be sure to consult with your childs doctor prior to starting any natural treatments for eczema.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
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Can I Pass Eczema On To My Baby
There is no way to know whether a baby will develop eczema, even if one or both parents have it. According to the National Eczema Society, no clear evidence suggests that lifestyle changes before conception or during pregnancy prevent eczema in children.
The chance of a baby developing eczema if neither the parents nor any other children have eczema, asthma, or hay fever is 1 in 10.
The chance of a baby developing eczema if only one parent has eczema, asthma, or hay fever is 1 in 4. The chance of a baby developing eczema if other children in the immediate family or both parents have eczema, asthma, or hay fever is 1 in 2.
Eczema is noncommunicable, so a baby cannot contract it through touch after birth.
Does Baby Eczema Go Away On Its Own
Baby eczema needs treatment to go away completely. The best treatment is using moisturizer daily or several times each day to keep your babys skin hydrated.
Most cases of baby eczema clear up by the time they start school, around age 4 or 5. Sometimes eczema can go away or reduce in severity as your child reaches adolescence or by the time they turn into adults. As your child grows, they may have sensitive skin or flare-ups of eczema symptoms throughout their life.
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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.
How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if you’re not experiencing symptoms.
Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school, or a tub in the bathroom and one in a living area.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- do not rub it in smooth it into the skin in the same direction the hair grows
- after a bath or shower, gently pat the skin dry and apply the emollient while the skin is still moist to keep the moisture in
You should use an emollient at least twice a day if you can, or more often if you have very dry skin.
During a flare-up, apply generous amounts of emollient more frequently, but remember to treat inflamed skin with a topical corticosteroid as emollients used on their own are not enough to control it.
Do not put your fingers into an emollient pot use a spoon or pump dispenser instead, as this reduces the risk of infection. And never share your emollient with other people.
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What Is Childhood Eczema
Eczema is a genetic condition that causes the hydrolipidic layer that covers your childs skin to become thin in certain spots and eventually break down. This protective layer does two things:
- It prevents moisture from evaporating.
- It protects skin from external irritation.
So when a small hole in the hydrolipidic layer develops, it allows moisture to escape and allergens to come in contact with the deeper layers of your childs skin. When that happens, a flare-up is likely to occur, causing your childs skin to become red, swollen, and itchy.
What Do I Do When My Child Has A Flare
Your childs eczema will improve more quickly if it is treated soon after you first notice the rash. Prompt treatment will also reduce the likelihood of complications, so its best to see your doctor or pharmacist at the first sign of a flare-up.
Keep your childs fingernails short to avoid them scratching as much as possible.
Eczema is often treated using a steroid cream or ointment. You should get advice from your doctor or pharmacist about the best one to use for your specific case as different creams are used depending on the part of the body, the severity and the age of the child.
If your childs eczema does not improve after two days of regular treatment or if there are signs of infection, weepy, crusted or broken areas, it is important to see a doctor.
There are many treatments that can be used to treat eczema. For many children, eczema is a condition that comes and goes, and changes in intensity over time, so you may need to see your doctor a few times for the same condition.
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Diluted Bleach In The Bath
If your baby’s eczema regularly flares up, a dilute bleach bath— a bath where a small, gentle amount of bleach is mixed in—may help.
A bleach bath helps clean off harmful bacteria that may cause your baby’s eczema to flare up, including the bacteria responsible for staph infections. Research shows that bleach baths may not only clean off this bacteria and reduce infections, but also directly stop eczema flares.
As the American Academy of Dermatology recommends, use ¼ cup of regular strength bleach for a standard tub that will be half full of water, and one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water for a baby tub.
Measure out the bleach with the measuring spoon or cup, and pour it into the bath as the tub is filling up with water, to make sure the bleach is fully diluted.
Then, bathe your baby for the length of time that your dermatologist recommends. Make sure plenty of bleach water gets on all areas of your baby’s body. Use a washcloth to gently apply the bleach water to baby’s head, neck, hands and feet.
Like with all natural eczema treatments, always ask your dermatologist before starting a dilute bleach bath treatment. For more details on how to give your baby a bleach bath, check out our article on bathing eczema babies.
Treatment For Eczema On Babies With Dark Skin
Your baby has been diagnosed with eczemanow what? No matter their skin color, treatment is similar for all races and ethnicities.
I think the key is to work with a pediatrician and a dermatologist to ensure that everyone is involved in the care of the child to treat the acute condition, says Dr. Boakye. However, more importantly, to ensure how to control the condition, cultural differences should be considered when determining treatment.
Around the world, there are different guidelines for treating eczema. For example, for atopic dermatitis in Asian-Pacific areas, doctors recommend moisturizers that contain specific ingredients like coconut oil, ceramides, and shea butter. When it comes to bathing, South Africans are advised to avoid soap for atopic dermatitis, whereas in Latin America it states to avoid irritating cleansers.
Here in the U.S., gentle soaps, cleansers, and good moisturizers are usually recommended. But for some babies, a doctor may prescribe topical medications. In extreme cases, light therapy may be the best course of treatment.
Strengthening the skin barrier helps combat eczema on all skin tones. Maintaining the skin barrier starts with using a well-rounded nourishing moisturizer,” says Dr. Stephens. One suggestion she makes is a moisturizer with colloidal oatmeal in it. Colloidal oatmeal delivers a variety of skin health benefits such as moisturization, barrier protection, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidant properties.
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Giving Your Baby Antiseptic Baths
Giving your baby an antiseptic bath twice a week can help improve eczema, decrease bacteria, and prevent skin infections. The best antiseptic to use is bleach. However, you need to dilute the bleach with water first. Bleaches come in different strengths and how much water you use depends on the strength of the bleach you are using.
Bleach is sold at the supermarket and will be in the cleaning aisle. You need bleach that has no added detergent or fragrance.
Always store the bleach where your baby or young children cant reach it.
Inspect Your Childs Environment For Triggers
Common environmental triggers include dust, rough fabrics, and even high temperatures that can irritate your childs skin, leading to a flare-up. To prevent these itchy, red breakouts, inspect your childs environment and remove or prevent contact with:
- Tight or rough clothing
For further flare-up protection, pat your childs skin dry with a soft towel and then apply an emollient cream immediately after bath time.
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Establish A Daily Skincare Routine
As soon as you see signs of a flare-up or suspect that your child might have eczema, the best thing you can do is start a daily skincare routine that includes emollients like Mustelas Stelatopia Emollient Cream or Stelatopia Emollient Balm. These products provide four essential benefits:
- They reinforce the protective moisture barrier on your childs skin.
- They add moisture to your childs skin.
- They prevent moisture from evaporating.
- They soothe the itchiness and discomfort caused by eczema flare-ups.
All of Mustelas eczema-prone skincare products are safe for children, newborns, and adults.
Lets Learn From Each Other
As a doctor, I learn continuously from my patients, and I know that all of my patients and families are unique. Each person is an individual each family has their individual issues. But you are not alone. Birds of a feather who flock together are happier. You are fortunate to have a support organization like the National Eczema Association. Not all patients do.
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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.
How Do I Prevent My Child With Eczema Having Flare
The goal of treating eczema is to prevent and minimise flare-ups, as well as maintain skin health between flare-ups.
Moisturisers should be used between flare-ups to keep the skin in good condition, reduce the itch associated with dry skin and reduce the chance of infections. It is important to moisturise after showering or bathing once the skin is dry.
People with eczema have sensitive skin so irritants should be avoided. This includes many soaps and moisturisers. Your pharmacist can help you choose products suitable for eczema.
Trying to avoid triggers is worthwhile. Food allergies are not common eczema triggers. It is important not to put your child on a diet without medical advice, as nutrition for children shouldn’t be compromised unnecessarily.
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What Can Trigger My Baby’s Eczema Flare
- soaps, bath and skincare products, and laundry detergents
- synthetic or woollen fabrics, or clothes made using certain dyes
- environmental allergens, such as pets , pollen and household dust
- food allergens , such as milk, egg, wheat, soya and peanuts
- unusually hot or cold environments
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
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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.
Diagnosing Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Your child’s doctor may suggest the steps listed below:
- Remove the suspected food or foods from your child’s diet for 2 weeks. The eczema should greatly improve.
- Then give your child that food when the eczema is under good control. This is called a “challenge.”
- If the food is causing flare-ups, the eczema should become itchy and red. The flare-up should occur quickly within 2 hours of eating the food.
- If this occurs, avoid giving this food to your child. Talk to your child’s doctor about the need for any food substitutes.
- If the eczema does not flare-up, your child isn’t allergic to that food.
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Natural Ingredients In Eczema Moisturizers
These natural ingredients commonly show up in moisturizers for baby eczema, including moisturizers approved by the National Eczema Association. However, not all of them are clinically proven to treat baby eczema.
Calendula: Calendula comes from the marigold flower, and may help reduce inflammation when applied as part of a baby eczema moisturizer. It has been used for many years to treat various skin conditions, including baby eczema. Studies haven’t yet proven it effective, though.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help fight skin infections. It may also help to soothe dry skin. So, it has been used in moisturizers to help treat baby eczema. Although its antibacterial properties are proven, more research is still needed on aloe’s effectiveness on baby eczema.
Vitamin B12:One randomized controlled study has shown that topical vitamin B12 improves eczema symptoms in children.
Another key piece of baby eczema care is to identify and remove your baby’s eczema triggers. Read this article for more on the triggers that may cause your baby’s eczema to flare, and check out this article for more on caring for your baby’s eczema.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.