Ways To Prevent Baby Eczema
Eczema itself cannot be prevented, but knowing and avoiding triggers can help prevent flare-ups of the condition.
Some ways to reduce triggers include:
- Keep your child out of cold, dry air.
- If they are 6 months or older, make sure your child gets an annual flu shot.
- Read labels on products to help your family avoid common irritants.
- Double-rinse your laundry to remove detergent residue.
What Causes Eczema Flare
The main causes of child eczema flare-ups include:
- Dry skin
- Too much bathing
Even though there are many factors that can lead to an eczema flare-up, treatment is simple and effective, regardless of what caused the reaction in the first place. Before we discuss the seven ways to treat and prevent child eczema flare-ups, lets find out a bit more about the condition itself.
What Is Baby Eczema
Eczema is a dry, itchy skin rash that can appear anywhere on the body, but it commonly appears on the face and limbs. Anyone can have eczema, including infants.
Eczema in babies is very common. It affects 25% of children, 60% of whom develop it in their first year of life. While the condition can be lifelong, some children outgrow it.
Some things tend to make people more prone to developing eczema, including:
- Family history of eczema
- Family history of hay fever, allergies, or asthma
- Living in a cold, damp climate
- Exposure to environmental irritants
- Having an overactive immune system
Black children in the United States are 1.7 times more likely to develop eczema than White children. It is unknown why eczema disproportionately impacts Black children, but theories include disparate access to health care and that darker skin may mask the rash, resulting in later diagnosis.
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Blend With A Carrier Oil:
- Essentials oils should not be applied directly to the babys skin. Direct application may cause skin irritation.
- Diluting it with a carrier oil can help the essential oil to better penetrate the skin and can also provide additional moisture.
- Carrier oil are unscented/lightly scented and do not interfere with the essential oil
- Types of common carrier oils are discussed in the paragraph above
Baby Eczema: Diagnosis And Treatment
Your childs doctor will diagnose eczema based on symptoms, the appearance of the rash, family and individual medical history, and evaluation for potential allergies.
There is no specific test to diagnose eczema, but a doctor might order blood tests and skin tests to look for allergies or rule out other skin conditions.
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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.
Wrap Up In Cold Weather
Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out skin and cause eczema flares.
Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs on the face.
Many home remedies are suitable for babies and children, but always speak to a doctor before using them on kids of any age.
The following home remedies may help:
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Identifying Symptoms And Avoiding Irritations
Eczema In Babies With Black And Brown Skin
According to the National Eczema Foundation, eczema affects more African American babies than any other racial background. About 1 in every 5 thats about 20% African American babies has some form of eczema. This compares to 10.7% of Hispanic babies, 12.1% of white babies, and 13% for Asian and Native American, respectively.
Eczema doesnt appear red like it does on white skin. Instead of red patches, eczema may cause gray, darker brown, or even purple patches. These discolored patches may still be dry, warm, swollen, itchy, and/or scaly.
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Causes Of Atopic Eczema
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single thing.
Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. “Atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather.
Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.
You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Allergy tests are not usually needed, although they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.
Eczema And Food Allergy Risk
Babies with eczema are at sharply increased risk for developing a food allergy. In fact, babies who have eczema are at the highest risk for developing a food allergy in the future.
According to Dr. Jonathan Spergel, Board Certified Allergist and Member of the National Eczema Association Scientific Advisory Committee, Up to 67% of infants with severe eczema, and 25% of infants with mild eczema, will develop a food allergy.
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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 .
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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How Is It Treated
Because there is not yet a cure for eczema, our treatment goals are to reduce itching and skin inflammation, and to prevent infection. The best treatment for eczema is a proactive one, using gentle skin care and moisturizers to re-establish the skin barrier.
Infants and older childrens skin should be kept well moisturized, and washed with fragrance-free non-soap cleansers. We also recommend a fragrance-free ointment-based moisturizer, with petrolatum as either the only or the first ingredient. In young children and infants, it is reasonable to use an over-the-counter topical hydrocortisone ointment, which is a mild topical steroid, for up to a week.
But if the rash either persists or you find that you need to use the hydrocortisone more than one week out of the month, you should discuss further use with your childs pediatrician. You can apply the ointment, as prescribed, then a coat of petrolatum-based moisturizer, to help keep in the moisture.
If your childs skin does not respond well to any of these measures or becomes infected, contact your pediatrician, who can diagnose the condition and then prescribe another topical cream or antihistamine.
Symptoms Of Discoid Eczema
Discoid eczema causes distinctive circular or oval patches of eczema. It can affect any part of the body, although it does not usually affect the face or scalp.
The first sign of discoid eczema is usually a group of small spots or bumps on the skin. These then quickly join up to form larger patches that can range from a few millimetres to several centimetres in size.
On lighter skin these patches will be pink or red. On darker skin these patches can be a dark brown or they can be paler than the skin around them.
Initially, these patches are often swollen, blistered and ooze fluid. They also tend to be very itchy, particularly at night.
Over time, the patches may become dry, crusty, cracked and flaky. The centre of the patch also sometimes clears, leaving a ring of discoloured skin that can be mistaken for ringworm.
You may just have 1 patch of discoid eczema, but most people get several patches. The skin between the patches is often dry.
Patches of discoid eczema can sometimes become infected. Signs of an infection can include:
- the patches oozing a lot of fluid
- a yellow crust developing over the patches
- the skin around the patches becoming hot, swollen and tender or painful
- feeling sick
- feeling unwell
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A Parents Guide To Baby Eczema: Causes Symptoms Treatment & Prevention
When you welcome a new baby into your family, life is full of wonderful firsts: the first smile, the first laugh, the first full-nights sleep. But with those developmental milestones also come some less-welcome firstsparticularly, the first eczema flare-up.
When those red, itchy patches show for the first time, its not uncommon for parents to ask, How can I care for my babys skin and keep eczema from flaring up? Its an excellent question, and Mustela is here to help.
In this article, well cover:
- What is baby eczema
- When to see a doctor
Diy Home Baby Eczema Treatments
There are a few baby eczema treatment options you can try at home that do not require a trip to the pharmacy. However, if your babys eczema gets worse, be sure to consult a doctor sooner than later.
Shea butter and coconut oil are both suitable for use on babies. Coconut oil is a lighter moisturizer, and smells wonderful. Shea butter is a heavier moisturizer and is better on drier skin. They can be used to wash your baby, or used as a moisturizer on the skin afterward.
Some parents also use aromatherapy for eczema symptoms. To try this, combine a couple drops of lavender oil in a couple tablespoons of almond or olive oil. You can massage this onto the babys skin. This can be a relaxing way to wind down before bed, and a good replacement for a nightly bath.
The lavender oil will help the baby settle and sleep through the night, and the carrier oils have nutritional benefits for the skin. However, make sure you never apply the lavender oil without diluting it in the carrier oil first.
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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.
Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil
Another effective natural moisturiser, sunflower oil is rich in essential fatty acids which are readily absorbed through the skin. It is thought that a lack of essential fatty acids can contribute to some cases of baby eczema. There is evidence that sunflower oil helps to improve the barrier function of the skin and is anti-inflammatory great when you are looking for a natural moisturiser to help your eczema baby get some relief.If your baby suffers from colic as well as baby eczema, try massaging their tummy using coconut oil or sunflower oil . Moisturised skin and a more comfortable belly all in a go! Its common sense, but worth repeating using oil on your baby may relieve their itching but will turn them into slippery little bundles please take extra care when picking up your baby after applying any oil to their skin!
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Use These Natural Remedies For Baby Eczema And Help You Baby Find Relief
Mama, I know its hard to see your baby suffering from the discomfort of eczema. Its especially hard when they are experiencing severe itching or widespread inflammation. But even a small flare-up should be addressed so that it doesnt get worse.
Remember, its important to try to figure out the root cause of your babys eczema to keep it away. However, the 7 natural remedies for baby eczema discussed here will help get your babys skin clear and comfortable quickly.
Do you have an additional tip or natural remedy youve used for your babys eczema? Share your success below!
Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
- The main allergic foods are cow’s milk and eggs.
- The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
- The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.
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Which Formula Is Best For Bottle
“All babies will start off on milk-based formula,” Gellner says. “If the baby has a lot of eczema and it’s really problematic, then we’ll try switching them to a formula made with hydrolyzed proteins.”
Hydrolyzed means that the milk proteins are already broken down, so they’re less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
How To Use Topical Corticosteroids
Do not be afraid to apply the treatment to affected areas to control your eczema.
Unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
This will give details of how much to apply.
Most people only have to apply it once a day as there’s no evidence there’s any benefit to applying it more often.
When using a topical corticosteroid:
- apply your emollient first and ideally wait around 30 minutes until the emollient has soaked into your skin, or apply the corticosteroid at a different time of day
- apply the recommended amount of the topical corticosteroid to the affected area
- continue to use it until 48 hours after the flare-up has cleared so the inflammation under the skin surface is treated
Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is designed to help prevent flare-ups.
This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.
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Ways To Soothe Your Babys Eczema
When your baby is itchy and in pain, youll do anything to help her feel better. Four experts weigh in on what actually works.
Watching your baby wail in discomfort from red, irritated, eczema-flared skin can make you feel like youre at your wits end, so we asked experts for tips on how to get the itchy condition under control.