Identify Your Babys Triggers
One of the most important things you can do for your babys eczema is to look for things in your environment that seem to trigger your babys flare-ups or make them worse. Products in your home could be causing or contributing to the problem.
In babies, the most common triggers are things that touch their skin. Rarely, environmental allergens like mold or pollen might be a trigger. Other known triggers that are rare in babies are infections and stress. Common triggers for babies are:
- harsh soaps and detergents
- rough or nonbreathable clothing fabrics
If your baby is having a particularly severe eczema flare-up, ask your pediatrician about doing a wet dressing, or wet wrap therapy. This treatment is sometimes used with prescription steroid cream under close medical supervision.
The wrap helps ensure that topical treatments stay moist and get better absorbed into the skin.
How to apply a wet dressing:
You can continue applying the wet dressing for 24 to 72 hours or overnight. Continue for a maximum of one week.
Before using wet wrap therapy, always discuss it with your pediatrician.
How Do You Know What Foods Will Trigger Eczema
There are blood tests that can be done and interpreted by an allergy doctor to see what food groups your baby might be sensitive/allergic to. The tests are not 100% accurate. One of the best ways to tell if your childs eczema is affected by food sensitivity is through trial and error or an elimination diet. An elimination diet for breastfeeding moms with baby eczema can identify what food group your child is sensitive to. To do this, a mom can remove one food group at a time and see how the baby responds to this. Sometimes it may take a week to know if there really is a reaction.
Is Eczema Different For Infants Or Toddlers Than It Is For Older Children
A painful, itchy rash on a babys face, torso or body may be eczema
Eczema looks and acts differently in infants and toddlers than it does in older children. The location and appearance of eczema changes as they grow, so its important to know what to look for during every stage of your infant or toddlers life.
Read Also: What To Use For Eczema In Ears
Emollients And Fire Safety
Lotions, creams or ointments used to moisturise your childs skin are also known as emollients.
Emollients are very effective at treating chronic dry skin conditions, such as eczema.
But it is important to be aware of the fire risk linked with them.
Emollients won’t cause a fire on their own. But if there is a build-up of emollient residue on clothing and bedding, this can quicken the speed of a fire.
Do not smoke near your baby or allow them near naked flames:
- while they are wearing emollient
- if they are wearing clothes or bandages that may have emollient on them
There is a fire risk with all paraffin-containing emollients. There may also even be a fire risk with paraffin-free emollients. There might also be a fire risk with other products that you put on skin over large body areas for more than a few days.
Washing clothing or fabric at a high temperature may reduce emollient build-up. But it might not totally remove it.
Take A Shower Or Bath Daily
It may seem counter intuitive for someone with dry skin to take daily baths, but actually, daily showers or baths are good for someone with eczema. According to the National Eczema Association, bathing is a great way to get moisture back into the skin. The key is applying moisturizer within three minutes of bathing or showering to lock in the moisture. Its not the bathing that makes the skin dry, its the fact that the skin cannot hold the moisture in. Make sure the water is luke warm and do not scrub the eczema effected skin with a loofa or wash cloth. Its also a good idea to use gentle cleansers like Cetaphil and not soap.
Read Also: Eczema On Heel Of Foot
Should I Avoid Breastfeeding
Despite the difficulty mother experience with children from eczema and the potential to constantly flare eczema, the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends breastfeeding due to the benefits to children. Two big benefits that they summarize include:
- Any duration of breastfeeding beyond three to four months protects against wheezing in the first two years.
- Some evidence reveals that longer duration of any breastfeeding protects against asthma even beyond age 5 years.
The atopic triad are 3 conditions that commonly occur together. This last statement above is very encouraging as it basically states that breastfeeding in children with eczema can help protect against asthma as it commonly coincides with eczema. Of course, there is no shaming if you decide to go for formula. Many children develop healthy with formula as well as breast milk.
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.
Recommended Reading: Eczema Cream For Genital Area
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.
What Exactly Happens During A Flare
Classic inflammation always occurs like this: at the beginning, your baby has some slight redness from scratching. This redness causes the skin to rise slightly, making it thicker. It can then produce small, slightly visible blisters.
When the blisters start to ooze, a translucent liquid may appear: this blistering and oozing may crust over, and eventually disappear by itself. You dont have to worry about it: regardless of the flare-ups intensity, it will not leave any marks on the skin. You have to prevent your baby from scratching himself as much as possible in order to avoid increasing unpleasant sensations or creating a secondary infection. You can prevent this thanks to baby/child-specific care like an emollient balm or emollient cream and a few little tips that can soothe your babys skin .
You May Like: How To Treat Eczema On Your Feet
When To See A Doctor
While you can do a lot to control your babys eczema, sometimes you have to seek medical attention. Look out for the following signs and see a doctor if any of these occur.
- Unresponsiveness to over-the-counter medications. There are a lot of over-the-counter creams available that can sooth eczema. These ointments are very good at treating eczema for your baby. If they arent working, however, you should see a doctor to get prescription medicine instead.
- Changes in responsiveness to prescription medicine. Just because one medicine is working today doesnt mean it will always work. If you have prescription medication for your babys eczema and you see it doesnt work as well as it previously did to control symptoms, its time to reevaluate the medicine. Your doctor will be able to examine your baby and see if another medicine will be better.
- Appearance of yellow crust on the eczema patches. Yellow crust indicates that there may be a bacterial infection. This needs to be checked out immediately by a doctor because if it goes untreated, it will get worse. Your doctor will be able to determine if antibiotics should be prescribed to stop the infection.
- Development of pus-filled blisters on the eczema patches. Blisters are also a sign that there may be an infection. They are also very painful and a sign that the eczema isnt being managed adequately. A doctor can evaluate your management plan and make adjustments, so you can better control your childs eczema symptoms.
What Food Do Breastfeeding Moms Have To Avoid
In general, breastfeeding mothers do not have to monitor or avoid certain types of food if the baby does not have signs of food sensitivity/allergies or eczema. On the other hand, if your baby starts to develop a rash on their face or body, then its time to consider a food allergy or sensitivity.
The common food groups that can cause eczema flare include:
- cows milk products
- tree nuts
If you can avoid these foods, you can give breast milk for eczema without causing it to flare up.
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Hand Eczema
Introducing Allergens To Babies With Eczema
Introducing common allergenic foods to eczema babies early and often may be especially beneficial.
New dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend the early, frequent introduction of peanut, particularly for babies who have eczema.
According to the USDAs new Dietary Guidelines, if an infant has severe eczema…age-appropriate, peanut containing foods should be introduced into the diet as early as age 4 to 6 months. This introduction is especially important for babies with eczema, because of their increased food allergy risk.
Also, as other international medical guidelines state, early introduction of other common food allergens may be beneficial for eczema babies as well.
For instance, guidelines from the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommend that babies with eczema be introduced to allergenic foods, such as egg and peanut, as early as 4 months of age.
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.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.
When To Visit A Doctor
Theres often no need to visit a doctor or pediatrician at the first sign of an eczema flare-up. In most cases, applying an emollient cream or balm multiple times throughout the day should be enough to treat the flare-up. Its also important to inspect your childs environment to see if any triggers are present.
Does a new piece of clothing rub the wrong way or is it too rough? Is it time to give your childs room a thorough cleaning? Identifying and removing these triggers can help decrease the duration of the flare-up.
If the eczema flare-up is still present after seven days despite using an emollient product, or if you notice a yellow or light-brown crust or blisters on top of the flare-up, call your doctor as soon as possible.
This could be a sign that your child has a bacterial infection. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine or an antibiotic. These medications will reduce the swelling, irritation, and itchiness that are causing your child so much discomfort. With the flare-up gone, your child will feel better, sleep better, and be happier overall.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Manuka Honey For Eczema
Best Formula For Babies With Eczema
A very common question is What is the best formula milk for babies with eczema? This question is frequently asked after breastfeeding a child and their eczema gets worse. Many mothers assume that the breastmilk is inherently bad and that it is the culprit for their childs eczema. Inevitably, they look for alternatives such as formula. This was the case for my first child. Being the newbie I was, I stopped breastfeeding and started formula. It was not easy because many different formulas caused my childs eczema to flare. Just like anything related to eczema, it was a trial and error process. Read on to find out what helped my child. Dont forget to consult with your pediatrician before starting any new formula.
There are affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy to learn more.
Natural Remedies For Babies With Eczema
Most often, creams, balms, butters and oils are recommended to treat baby eczema. Its important to be aware that lotions do not protect and seal in moisture well enough to work effectively as an eczema treatment. They are simple too thin.
Lets dive into my top seven recommendations for natural baby eczema remedies.
Recommended Reading: Best Eczema Products For Face
Natural Remedies For Baby Eczema
If you need some extra help soothing babys skin, these natural eczema treatments may make things better.
- Wet a washcloth. Drape cool, wet washcloths or gauze over your babys irritated skin for five to ten minutes at a time or however long you can get your squirmy worm to cooperate.
- Try an oatmeal bath. Sprinkle a bit of uncooked oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal or even baking soda into the tub when you wash your baby. All can naturally relieve eczema and irritation.
- Combat dry air. Running a cool-mist humidifier in your baby’s bedroom can help keep her skin super-hydrated. Clean it frequently to prevent bacteria and mold buildup.
- Dress your little one in layers. Sweating can reboot the eczema cycle, and thats the last thing you want. Layers let you customize babys outfit for toasty temps.
- Ask your pediatrician about probiotics. Studies are underway to see whether probiotics may ease eczema when added to dry baby formula or served as a dietary supplement. Get your doctor to weigh in before giving it a go.
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema is a chronic condition which causes red, itchy areas on the skin. Sometimes the itching is very severe. When skin is scratched it can break open, ooze and then crust over. Symptoms of eczema can come and go. Babies with eczema often have it on their cheeks, forehead and scalp. Older children often have it on their hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and on the inside folds of their elbows and knees.
Recommended Reading: Eczema Skin Peeling On Hands
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.
Baby Eczema Risk Factors And The Environment
While baby eczema is the result of immune-system dysfunction, likely from a genetic predisposition, studies have found a number of risk factors.
For example, a study published in February 2018 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggested that children have a higher risk of developing eczema if their mothers experienced high-stress situations during pregnancy.
In a study published in May 2018 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers in the United Kingdom analyzed the sociodemographic characteristics of about 675,000 children in a primary-care database. They found that the children were more likely to be diagnosed with eczema if they fit one of the following descriptions:
- Black Caribbean
- Of high socioeconomic status
Another study, published in May 2018 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, looked at how the outdoor environment specifically air pollutants and meteorological conditions affected eczema risk in children of both sexes. The researchers concluded that high levels of carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, lead, particulate matter, and ozone levels may all influence the development of infantile eczema.
Read Also: Best Over The Counter Medicine For Eczema
Baby Eczema Natural Remedies
Since babies have extra-sensitive skin, its natural to want to treat it, well, naturally. But, Bender says, even natural products have the potential to cause a worsened rash called contact dermatitis, so check with your doctor first before applying something new to babys skin. Furthermore, Bender advises testing a new product before first-time use, and opting for gentle products with simple ingredient lists. Here are a couple natural baby eczema remedies that are safe for baby:
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer. Medical grade honey can help shallow cuts and prevent a local skin infection, Benjamin suggests. A home remedy for baby eczema is wet wrap therapy . Bathe your child, and then apply a thick moisturizer to the slightly damp skin. Dampen a pair of cotton pajamas in warm water, wring them out and slip them on baby, right over the thick layer of moisturizer. After that, put on a second dry pair of cotton pajamas. Keep baby wrapped like this for a few hours or longer.