Natural Remedies To Tackle Eczema In Babies
An irritated baby with itchy skin can make you feel quite helpless. Eczema or atopic dermatitis is common in babies, often making an appearance within a few months of birth. Babies with this condition have less body oils and their skins barrier function is compromised. Moisture, therefore, evaporates easily from the skin, causing cells to shrink and cracks to develop. Irritants and allergens then have easy access and cause inflammation. Red, crusty patches of skin, scaling, and itching follow classic signs of eczema that you may have come to dread.
Various factors such as viral infections, dust mites, and even teething can trigger eczema. This condition is more common in children with a family history of allergies. Food allergies may also have a role in around 10% of babies, foods such as eggs, milk, chocolate, or peanuts work as a trigger.12
Eczema is a chronic condition though some children do outgrow it. While there is no cure for eczema yet, there are plenty of measures that can ease symptoms and reduce chances of another flare-up. Lets take a look at what you can do to help ease this condition in your baby.
Gentle Soaps And Detergents
Laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals that aggravate eczema.
Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.
Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.
Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.
Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.
Try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can cause skin irritation.
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can make eczema symptoms worse. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
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.
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Instructions To Soak And Seal
Dont limit moisturizing to just bath time. Slather it on your child throughout the day whenever their skin starts to itch or feel dry. Try using an ointment or a cream rather than a lotion and apply it with your palms, stroking lightly in a downward direction.
Dietary Changes And Supplements For Childhood Eczema
A cod liver supplement helps some children with their eczema. Food allergies often come along side eczema. Common allergens are milk, wheat, soy and corn. Reducing processed foods and sugar will encourage a child to take in more nutrient dense foods. An apple a day and milk kefir are two excellent foods for children with eczema. A teaspoon of Blackstrap Molasses each day is even better than a vitamin pill for children. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and some b-vitamins. The herb nettle is a gentle, nutritious, blood purifying herb that may help children with eczema. Nettle can be taken in the form of a tea or a tincture.
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Treating Baby Eczema Naturally
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that can make your baby miserable. Babies and children with eczema have dry, sensitive skin that is easily irritated by fabrics, soaps and laundry detergents and even hot or cold weather.
The Eczema Rash
A baby with eczema will get a red rash. This rash can appear very scaly and will itch. The rash can crack, weep or even bleed. An eczema rash can also be spotty, resembling chicken pox.
With a very young baby, you may find that the rash will most often appear on their cheeks, nappy region and scalp. As your child grows, the rash can be found almost anywhere on the body. It is most common at the elbows, the back of the neck and even the hands. You will be relieved to know that most babies and toddlers will outgrow eczema by the time they reach the teen years, although some will continue to have eczema flares throughout their adult lives.
How to Manage Eczema
If you think your baby may have eczema, it is advisable to see your paediatrician to confirm your suspicions. Eczema cannot be cured, but the skin condition can be effectively managed with a few lifestyle changes.
Remedies For Eczema In Babies Toddlers And Children
Eczema, characterized by dry or wet itchy and inflamed patches of skin, is common among babies, toddlers and young children. Natural remedies for baby eczema include topical use of coconut oil, calendula slave, or apple cider vinegar. There are also vitamins, supplements and dietary changes that may be helpful for children who suffer with eczema.
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Causes Of Eczema In Children
Eczema is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors which may include exposure to allergens, air pollution, and infections.
The major problem in this disorder is a defect in the skins barrier that allows the loss of moisture, the introduction of allergens and later, inflammation.
The defect may be caused by an allergic trigger or a genetic mutation that impairs the skins barrier. The cases of atopic dermatitis have risen 2-3-fold in the industrialized nations, and have affected 15-20% of children and 1-3% of adults worldwide.
Food allergy is closely associated with atopic dermatitis. About one-third of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis will have food allergies. Common food triggers for eczema may include dairy, egg, peanuts and other nuts, wheat, soy, and fish.
Ways To Relieve Itchy Eczema At Home
Apply a cool compress to itchy skin. To use this technique, you:
Telling your child to stop scratching itchy skin rarely works.
Eczema is just too itchy, and telling your child to stop scratching can feel stressful. Stress often makes eczema worse.
Add colloidal oatmeal to your childs bath. Youll find colloidal oatmeal at many places that sell health and beauty products. When you add this to your childs bath, it helps relieve the dry, itchy skin.
When using colloidal oatmeal, dermatologists recommend:
Dont let your child eat the finely ground oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal makes the bath very slippery, so take care to prevent a slip or fall.
Soak in a bath and smear on ointment. After letting your child soak in a lukewarm bath, smear a thick layer of moisturizing ointment on all of your childs skin. When the skin is very itchy, using an eczema friendly ointment like petroleum jelly provides more relief than a cream or lotion.
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How Long Will My Babys Eczema Last
Baby eczema will first appear sometime between months 1 and 6. With proper treatment, a flare-up can disappear completely. If you can identify what is triggering your babys eczema, you may be able to keep their eczema completely away.
However, the possibility of another dry, itchy patch is always possible. You may see frequent flare-ups if you are unable to pinpoint the root cause.
Usually, children outgrow their eczema by the time they are 6 or 7 years old, but occasionally it persists into adulthood.
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Minimize Contact With Irritants
Aside from natural remedies, some preventive care can also help ease eczema. For instance, many commonly found irritants can make things worse for your baby. Here are a few tips on how you can keep them at arms length:
- An allergic reaction to dust mites can worsen eczema. Since these organisms and their feces can accumulate on soft toys, youll need to make sure that theyre clean. Wash your childs toys at 60°C or place them in the freezer for 24 hours in a plastic bag weekly to get rid of mites. Bed linen should also be washed at 60°C to clear out mites.
- Certain fabrics may irritate your babys skin. Keep to breathable and friendly fabrics like cotton and avoid nylon or wool. If your baby has started crawling, dress them in cotton trousers so that they dont rub against the carpet.
- Avoid bubble baths and soaps as they can irritate and dry out the skin. Choose a mild, fragrance-free cleanser instead.
- Identify other irritants that could be troubling your baby and limit contact with them. Common irritants include animal dander, cigarette smoke, and chemical sprays.15
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What Does Baby Eczema Look Like
Eczema doesn’t look the same on every baby. In babies with light skin, it usually shows up as patches of red skin. In darker-skinned babies, the rash might look purplish, brownish, or grayish. Eczema can be harder to see on babies with dark skin.
These patches are almost always dry, itchy, and rough.
Babies can get the condition just about anywhere on their body. Most often, it affects their cheeks and the joints of their arms and legs.
Its easy to confuse baby eczema with cradle cap. But there are some key differences.
Cradle cap is much less itchy and irritated. It generally clears up by age 8 months and usually appears on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelids and eyebrows, and behind the ears. See a photo of what cradle cap looks like.
Managing Eczema In Winter And Year Round: A Parents Guide
Cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can rob skin of its natural moisture in the winter. Red, crusty, dry patches can be common on a baby’s skin, particularly in winter, and cause concern for parents. Such symptoms can be treated, however, and many babies and children do outgrow the dry, itchy skin of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
We spoke with pediatric dermatologist Katherine Puttgen to learn more.
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Have Your Kids Play Outside And Get A Little Dirty
According to the Hygiene Hypothesis, sanitary conditions have disrupted the delicate balance between our bodys inner ecology and the balance of the type of immune cells we produce. Interestingly, as a result of our current lifestyle, we are not getting colonized with some important bacteria, leading to poorly maintained gut integrity and subsequent immune system dysregulation.
An easy solution to this is to encourage your kids to play outside, get dirty and play with other kids, avoid antimicrobial chemicals for handwashing, and simply wash with plain soap and water.
Whats On The Horizon For Alternative Eczema Treatments
While the rising incidence of eczema appears to have reached a plateau in countries that previously had the highest incidence of growth, such as the U.K., New Zealand and U.S., it is still on the rise in developing parts of the world such as Latin America and Southeast Asia.
As our knowledge of eczema continues to grow, we expect to see the emergence of more robust research and effective treatment modalities. I think most of my colleagues that are trained in Western medicine would agree that CAM should be used strategically in conjunction with conventional medications to optimize outcomes in eczema.
We are entering an exciting era for eczema where we have a surge of targeted Western medications under investigation, and ancient CAM modalities are now being evaluated and backed by evidence-based research.
Dr. Vivian Shi is a board-certified dermatologist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Dermatology at the University of Arizona where she directs the Eczema and Skin Barrier Specialty Clinic. She has extensive clinical and research experience in eczema and repair of the skins natural protective barrier. Her principal focus is atopic dermatitis and shes a longtime AD sufferer herself.
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Where Do Symptoms Of Eczema First Appear
Eczema most commonly appears on the face, neck, behind the knees, between the elbows, wrists, ankles, and fingers.
Depending on the age of your child, the appearance of eczema can occur in different places of the body. For example, infants have eczema on their face and scalp. As the baby gets older they may experience breakouts on their trunk, arms, legs, and neck.
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.
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Evening Primrose Oil For Atopic Dermatitis
Evening primrose oil can also be taken as a supplement or applied topically as an effective natural treatment for eczema. Oil extracts from evening primrose contain essential fatty acids that have a beneficial effect on the skin.
The University of Maryland reports that the most scientifically proven medical use for evening primrose oil is to treat the painful symptoms of eczema. A study into the effectiveness of evening primrose oil in reducing scaling and redness found that over 1,000 people found relief from eczema. Evening primrose oil also helped to reduce itching, swelling, and crusting in both adults and children with atopic dermatitis.20
Although some reports say that evening primrose doesnt help with eczema symptoms, many people have found it to be effective in completely relieving their itchy skin.
You can make a topical application to nourish dry and flaky skin by adding a few drops of chamomile oil to a tablespoon of evening primrose oil. Apply the remedy to the affected area 2-3 times a day to get relief from red, itchy skin caused by eczema.
You may find that taking evening primrose oil as a supplement could help alleviate the irritation caused by eczema.
How To Treat Eczema In Toddlers
By | Submitted On July 16, 2010
Does your toddler continually have dry, red patches on their skin that continue to fade away and reappear over and over? Chances are, your toddler has eczema. And, while eczema is common in adults, it tends to be the worst in children. But, your toddler doesn’t have to suffer for long, as you’re about to find out how to treat eczema in toddlers with 2 low cost, all natural methods.
You may already be treating your child’s eczema with either conventional treatments or other over the counter medicines. These usually work well in treating the symptoms, but they don’t prevent the condition from coming back.
If you want to prevent eczema from coming back in your child, your best bet is to use a variety of natural eczema treatments. Various natural eczema remedies have been proven to eliminate eczema not only in adults, but children as well.
With that said, here are two all natural, safe treatments you can begin using on your child today:
Vitamin D Oil
Vitamin D oil has been an effective treatment for eczema for many years. It helps restore moisture in the skin and works to eliminate the itchiness associated with eczema, soothing the skin with every application. You can find this at most grocery stores or supermarkets in the vitamin section. Apply it to your toddlers skin as needed.
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