Did My Baby Develop Eczema Because I Couldnt Breastfeed
As eczema is caused by genetic factors, bottle-feeding a baby definitely cannot cause eczema. In fact, current research is divided, with some studies showing positive effects of breastfeeding and others showing no significant effects at all.
Neither is there enough evidence to advise pregnant or breastfeeding women to avoid specific foods to protect unborn children from atopic eczema or any other atopic condition.
Relieving Itchy Painful Eczema
While your child is on a journey to address their eczema flare-ups, we know there may be moments when their skin is uncomfortable and unmanageable in the meantime. All they want is some relief!
Here are some ideas for how to soothe and nourish your childs skin at home when their eczema is making them uncomfortable.
How To Manage Eczema Naturally
Some of the ways weve been managing eczema naturally for my toddler. Lots of helpful tips, products, and advice to getting some relief for your little one.
Ive talked briefly about Yusufs eczema and the various changes weve been making to help manage eczema naturally and get it under control. But Ive gotten a few questions about it lately, so I figured it was time for an actual post that really outlines our journey and how Im managing my toddlers eczema.
I should note beforehand that Im sharing our story in hopes that it can help someone else dealing with eczema or dry, itchy skin. That being said, this is just our story with our toddler. Every case of eczema is different different severity, different causes, different symptoms, etc.
So what worked for us may not work for you although most, if not all, of the recommendations I share for how to manage it can be helpful for anyone.
Also, eczema is an internal problem and can only be treated by finding out the true cause and fixing it. Lotions and creams may provide temporary relief, but without treating the root cause it will never truly go away.
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Protect Sensitive Skin With Long Pants & Long Sleeves
When your child wants to go outside to play, its important to protect their skin with long pants and long sleeves. This will keep environmental triggers like dirt, dust, and grass from irritating your little ones skin and causing a flare-up.
Be sure to apply an emollient product before dressing your child, and if its warm, choose soft, breathable clothes to prevent excessive sweating.
This same rule applies to their pajamas. When your child is bundled up in their blankets at night, they can easily become overheated if they go to sleep wearing tight pajamas. Sweating and overheating are major causes of eczema flare-ups, so dress your little one in loose, cotton pajamas so their skin can breathe.
We recommend our Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas. Designed for babies and toddlers with eczema-prone skin, these 100% cotton pajamas deliver skin-soothing moisture throughout the night!
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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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.
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.
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Managing Babys Eczema: Moisturizing
Regular moisturizing is just as crucial for managing baby eczema as the daily bath. In fact, its the seal part of the soak and seal method.
After your baby’s bath, moisturize their skin right away to “seal” the remaining moisture from the bath into their skin, and help prevent it from escaping.
- Follow the 3-minute rule! Moisturize babys skin within 3 minutes after the bath. The moisture from the bath will escape through babys skin barrier if you wait too long to moisturize.
Choose a moisturizer that mimics and supplements the skin’s natural barrier, which is made up of cholesterol, fats, and fatty acids.
This barrier usually lets the skin hold in enough moisture. But babies with eczema have a compromised skin barrier, so they need support from moisturizer to build up their barrier.
- Look for moisturizers that contain ceramides. Ceramides are the fats that the skin naturally makes to form the skin barrier.
- You could also use coconut oil, because it moisturizes, eases inflammation, and helps fight against skin bacteria with lauric acid.
- Ointments that are free from alcohol are also recommended. Avoid creams that contain alcohol, as alcohol can sting and burn the skin.
Please read this article to learn more about the best baby eczema moisturizer ingredients, as well as moisturizer ingredients to avoid.
Liberally moisturize all areas of babys body, especially the areas where the eczema is worst. Theres no such thing as too much moisturizer!
Progression Of Eczema In Infants And Children
Baby eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp of an infant within the first few months of life, and often tends to make the skin look more red and weepy than at other ages.
The eczema can appear on other parts of the body as well, including the diaper area.
When the infant begins to crawl, usually between 6 and 12 months, eczema will typically affect the elbows and knees, which rub on the ground. The eczema rash can become infected, resulting in a yellowish crust or tiny bumps of pus.
When the child is around age 2, eczema may begin to appear on the inside of the elbows and behind the knees, as well as on the wrists, ankles, and hands. It may also appear around the mouth and eyelids.
This eczema tends to be drier, scalier, and thicker .
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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.
Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
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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.
Help Your Child Avoid Personal Irritants
Some substances can irritate skin and start the cycle of itching and scratching. If you notice that your child’s eczema gets worse after being exposed to something, help your child avoid it. Irritants are not the same for all children. If a common trigger does not bother your child, there is no reason to avoid it. Here are some examples of possible triggers that can cause eczema flare-ups in some children.
Perfumes and fragrances, including the skin care and bathing products that contain them
Bath salts or bubble baths
Rough clothing, including wool fabrics
Temperature extremes, including hot and cold, dry air
Children with eczema often have more bacteria on their skin. Even when it does not cause an infection, the bacteria can make the skin more irritated and can make the eczema worse, so keeping clean is important.
Babies and children with eczema are also prone to skin infections. Infections make the eczema even worse and need to be treated by a doctor. An oral antibiotic, antibiotic cream or very small amount of bleach added to bath water might be prescribed. Bleach should not be added to bath water without guidance from your child’s doctor. Signs of possible infection include: increased pain, tenderness or swelling, hot skin, fever, pus, or red streaks extending from the affected skin.
Foods that are not allergens
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Does Breastmilk Help Eczema
Due to its qualities that offer protection against infections, breast milk can help ease your baby’s eczema. Drip some breast milk on a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area. Depending on the severity of the eczema, it might go away on its own over time or require upkeep and additional doctor supervision.
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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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.
Should You Bathe A Baby Everyday With Eczema
Eczema occurs in adults and children, but is most common in babies. It results in extremely dry, itchy skin, and sometimes inflamed rashes. However, others contend that bathing at least once a day helps keep skin hydrated, as long as baths are followed by immediate use of a moisturizer to seal in moisture.
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Talk To Your Childs Teacher
Extreme eczema can cause sleepless nights. If your child is having trouble getting enough sleep, let their teacher know so concessions can be made.
If your child needs to apply moisturizer throughout the day, you may need written permission, or you may need to make arrangements with the school nurse.
Ask that your child be seated away from heaters or heating vents.
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 .
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What This Means For You
Understanding the cause of your stress and how its related to your eczema can help you learn how to manage it and prevent future flareups.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
What Gets Rid Of Baby Eczema
Moisturize your babys skin twice a day or as often as necessary to achieve relief. Consider topical corticosteroids. Commonly used to treat eczema, these medications help reduce inflammation and symptoms, such as itching. Topical corticosteroids come in many forms, including ointments, creams, sprays and lotions.
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Know Your Childs Eczema Triggers
Regardless of the type of eczema your child has, there are certain things and environmental conditions that make it suddenly appear where it wasnt before or make a relatively calm patch suddenly worse. These are called flare-ups.
Things that trigger eczema flare-ups are not the same for everyone, but the most common are stressful situations, dry air, and sweat. Keep in mind that your childs triggers may change over the years, so be on the lookout for new challenges as they grow. Here are some triggers to watch for:
What Does Eczema Look Like In Babies
Babies with eczema usually have a red, dry rash on their face. The rash may be on their scalp, body, arms and legs or behind their ears. The rash is very itchy and may keep them awake at night. In toddlers and older children, the eczema rash is often in the skin creases around the knees, wrists, elbows and ankles.
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