What Causes Eczema In Babies
It’s unclear why some people get eczema and others don’t, though genetics plays a role. Allergies are also related to the condition.
There are also environmental irritants that affect some people more than others. When the skin comes into contact with an irritating substance it becomes red and inflamed.
Here are some irritants that could cause eczema in some babies:
Contact with certain soaps, detergents, and perfumes
Having hot, sweaty skin
Exposure to dry winter air
Contact with rough fabrics, like wool
Contact with dust mites.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Eczema
- Patches of red or dry skin.
- Rough and itchy skin.
- Crusty scales and bumps that may leak fluid.
These symptoms may not be permanent and may flare-up when exposed to certain triggers, like food or environmental allergies. In addition to allergens, dry skin, heat, infection, and irritants may trigger eczema. This condition may be present in children who have asthma or allergies.
Which Is The Best Emollient For My Baby
Emollients treat dry skin by providing a surface film of oils. This increases water in the upper layer of the skin, restoring and providing a robust skin barrier, to prevent the entry of environmental agents or triggers.
Emollients soften the skin and reduce itch. If they are used regularly to maintain skin hydration, they can reduce the frequency of eczema flares. Leave-on emollients include lotions, creams,ointments and gels.
The emollient advised or prescribed for your baby should prevent dry skin and not cause irritation. You might need to try several products until you find the right one. Apply leave-on emollients regularly, throughout the day for example, at every nappy change and after bathing.
Use the product liberally . To apply the product, dot it all over the skin, and then smooth it in, using a gentle, downward, stroking motion rather than rubbing in.
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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.
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.
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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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Medical Treatment For Eczema
Eczema cant be cured. But it can be managed by preventing and treating flare-ups as soon as they appear.
If your childs skin is inflamed and itchy, theyll probably need some corticosteroid ointment or cream. For mild eczema, you can buy mild corticosteroids over the counter at your pharmacy. The most common is hydrocortisone 1% cream. For more serious eczema or if the over-the-counter products arent working, youll need to see your GP to get a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid.
Other eczema treatments include pimecrolimus, a non-steroidal cream. Doctors might prescribe this cream for children with mild to moderate eczema on the face and in body folds.
If your child is scratching at a rash, you could ask your pharmacist or GP about using an antihistamine medication for a few days. Together with a corticosteroid cream, this might give your child some rest and help the flare-up to settle.
If your childs eczema rash gets infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.
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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.
When To See A Doctor For My Childs Eczema
Most moms go to doctors after seeing their childs skin worsening. It is hard to see your child suffering and not try to get help. The above natural treatments can be used with your doctors treatment depending on the severity. It is advised to get your doctors dosage
recommendations for the oral treatments.
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What Should I Look For In A Moisturizer
There are different types of moisturizers, including lotion, creams, ointments. Creams are better than lotion. The best moisturizers for eczema are creams and ointments.
- Ointments: They are the most recommended for severe eczema because they dont have preservatives, which can cause flare-ups. But ointments may be too thick or greasy for some people.
- Creams: They can help mild to moderate eczema. They are not as thick or greasy as ointments
- Lotions: They are less recommended because they have a very high water content which can evaporate easily.
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.
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Recognizing This Type Of Eczema
Atopic eczema symptoms:
Red patches become covered in little vesicles which tend to ooze and ultimately form scabs.
Parents sometimes confuse eczema with urticaria or vice versa. The two are easy to distinguish, however: the red patches resulting from urticaria move around and do not ooze.
How long do atopic eczema flare-ups last?
This type of eczema has an important characteristic: alternating periods of flare-ups and remission. Treating flare-ups with a topical corticosteroid is important to speed up the healing process.
In most cases, flare-ups will gradually become less frequent and severe, before going away entirely after a few years. In some cases, however, atopic dermatitis continues into the adult years.
What Caused My Babys Eczema
There is no single cause of atopic eczema. Eczema is a complex condition it is genetic but also involves an overactive immune response to environmental factors, which cause eczema flares. Because the atopic gene is hereditary, it runs in families, and is responsible for three conditions: eczema, asthma and hay fever.
Fifty per cent of people with eczema have an additional genetic element a difference in a skin protein called filaggrin which leads to further problems in the skin barrier. All atopic conditions can be linked to allergies in some people, but there are also many universal irritants, such as soap and heat.
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
10. Nails Thick & rough nails, pitted/ ridged
11. Dry skin
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Don’t Forget About The Feet
Shoes can even be a concern. Thermoplastic, rubber-boxed toes, and the chemicals used in the shoe-tanning process can cause flare-ups around your baby’s ankles. Look for genuine or eco-leather shoes that are made of chrome-free leather. This will let your baby’s foot breathe easily, leading to fewer irritations.
Brand that Works for Ethan: Bobux. Their shoes are made from eco-leather and are chrome-free.
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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.
How To Lessen The Burden Of Dry Skin:
- Bathing once a day or less often bathing frequently can lead to more dryness, counterintuitive.
- Limit baths to 10-15 minutes only. The longer the skin is wet, the more irritated it can become.
- Try adding oil to the bathwater. Coconut or baby oil, or a commercial bath oil product can help lubricate the skin. Please be careful about removing your child from the bath they may be slippery!
- After a bath or shower, gently pat the skin and do not rub. Avoid rubbing as friction can exacerbate eczema.
- Apply lotion or product that is lubricating. Essentially, anything greasy. Use either petroleum jelly, petroleum-free jelly, or oil-based products liberally on the areas of dryness.
- Consider a prescription ointment. Your physician may give you a steroid ointment to apply to affected areas 1-3 times a day. An ointment works better than cream.
- Keep the skin clean and lubricated
- Dry patches of skin respond well to lubrication. Use lubrication or moisturizer several times a day. The greasier the skin, the fewer flair ups.
If you notice the rash spreading or your child has other symptoms such as facial swelling, difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, seek medical attention.
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Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
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What Are Triggers For Eczema
People with eczema generally have sensitive skin because their skin barrier is disrupted and cannot retain moisture in the skin. Eczema patients must be careful in choosing products that they apply on their skin. Products that can make eczema worse include soaps, detergents, and shampoo.
Other triggers include:
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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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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 thats 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.
Teach Your Child To Avoid Or Cope With Stressful Situations
Stress can cause flare-ups just like environmental triggers can, so you should teach your child to avoid or cope with stressful situations whenever possible.
When major changes in your childs life occurfirst time at daycare, starting preschool or kindergarten, a move to a different townbe sure to reassure your child that everything is going to be okay.
If necessary, teach your child some coping techniques such as deep breathing or visualization. These will help your little one deal with the inevitable stresses that they will encounter throughout life.
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Does My Child Have Eczema
Eczema can look different at different ages:
- Babies usually have a rash on their face and neck which may weep and crust.
- Children often have a dry rash, characteristically in the creases of knees and elbows, around the mouth, neck, wrists and ankles.
- From age 12, the it may be more widespread and severe.
When the skin is red, dry and itchy, it is known as a flare-up. It is common for the severity of eczema to change, sometimes it is very mild and other times it gets worse. Between flare-ups, people with eczema tend to have dry sensitive skin.
See your doctor to diagnose your childs rash, as other skin conditions can look similar to eczema. Your doctor will examine the rash, ask you about how and when it began, and ask whether other family members have noticed a similar rash. This is because while not contagious, eczema may have a genetic basis and does tend to run in families. A child with eczema often has one or more relative with eczema or a related condition, such as asthma, hay fever or allergic conjunctivitis.
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