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.
Preventing Eczema In Babies With Dry Skin
Does your baby have flaky, irritated, cracked skin? About 1 in 5 kids gets eczema. For some, its the first symptom of a lifetime of allergies. Infants who have eczema are more likely to develop hay fever and asthma later. Doctors refer to this type of allergic disease progression as atopic march. How you treat your babys eczema could make all the difference.
We believe that cracked skin is the entry point for food allergens, such as peanuts and eggs. Food can get into the skin off the table or off people who eat these foods and then kiss or touch the baby. When the food comes through the skin, it causes an allergic reaction, says Donald Leung, MD, PhD, head of pediatric allergy and clinical immunology at National Jewish Health in Denver.
Doctors dont fully understand what causes eczema. They believe genetics and the childs environment each play a role. But parents can help repair their babys broken skin barrier and prevent allergens from getting in. This could stop development of future allergies.
In babies, eczema usually shows up as an itchy, red patch on the cheeks, chin, or scalp and the front of arms and legs. If you see these signs, Leung recommends the soak and seal method.
Gently bathe your baby in lukewarm water with a gentle cleanser free of soap. Dont scrub irritated skin. Allow your baby to soak for at least 5 minutes.
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 child’s 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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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.
Which Foods May Trigger Eczema
When you have a food allergy, your body reacts to a harmless treat as if it’s a dangerous germ and attacks. Symptoms — like swelling — are side effects of your body’s defenses.
Eczema doesn’t seem to be an allergic condition, but reactions from food can make it worse in some kids. Itâs more likely in babies and young children.
Some foods are more likely to bring symptoms. The common offenders are:
While trigger foods can make eczema worse, experts don’t think theyâre really the original cause. Instead, it seems to result from “leakiness” in the outer layer of skin that lets in irritants, germs, and allergens.
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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 wont 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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What Triggers My Childs Eczema Or Causes It To Get Worse
Some of the most common eczema triggers include:
Even your babys stuffed animals may be a trigger for eczema
- Allergens such as pet dander, pollen or dust
Your childs eczema may be worse in the winter when the air is dry. Saliva from drooling can also cause irritation on your babys cheeks, chin and neck.
The best way to manage your childs eczema is by getting to know their symptoms and triggers so that you can help keep it under control.
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Why Did My Toddler Develop Eczema
Similar to when babies develop eczema, children who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers, but researchers dont know a lot more about why eczema manifests on a childs skin. When something outside the body switches on the immune system, skin cells dont behave as they should causing eczema flare ups.
We also know that children who come from families with a history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to developatopic dermatitis.
Common eczema symptoms in children include itchiness, rashes and the breaking down of skin barriers that protect children from skin infections.
Prevention and treatment are often similar for toddlers and babies. No matter what age your child is, consult with a pediatrician or pediatricdermatologist before deciding on a treatment plan.
What Are The Complications Of Eczema
Affected skin can be very itchy. The itchiness can cause sleep difficulties for your child or infant and scratching can also lead to breaking of the skin.
Broken skin may become infected with bacteria that commonly live on childrens hands. Bacterial infections may cause inflamed blisters which can weep and form crusts.
Warts and herpes can also infect eczema rash. Infection with herpes can cause serious problems and is an emergency which needs to be treated urgently. If someone has a cold sore, make sure to keep a distance from a child with eczema.
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When Should My Baby Go To The Doctor For Eczema Treatment
If your baby has symptoms of eczema and at-home treatments have not helped, make an appointment with your pediatrician.
If your baby’s eczema is crusty, oozing fluid, or if your baby is showing any other signs of infection , call your pediatrician right away. Eczema rashes can become infected and may require antibiotic treatment.
What Food Can Make Eczema Worse
Several studies have found that children and babies may suffer as a result of these. Most of the time, peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and eggs are the cause. Even if you believe childrens eczema flares are caused by foods you give them, you should not stop giving them a well-rounded diet.
Eczema is a lifelong skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and red skin. Certain foods should be avoided if you have eczema, but this may not solve it entirely. The symptoms of eczema are more severe in children than they are in adults. If a child is under the age of five, a food allergy test should be ordered. Inflammation is a part of the healing process in the body, and it occurs as part of the healing process. Eczema is one condition that can be caused by an excessive amount of inflammation. Foods that are high in inflammation are possible to contribute to inflammation in the body.
Inflammation is a major contributor to eczema, and the diet that treats the condition should include a lot of vegetables and fruits. You should avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar, which may stimulate inflammation, in order to reduce it. Vitamin B12 cream, vitamin D, and vitamin E are good sources of nutrients for an anti-inflammatory diet.
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Skin Barrier Dysfunction And Eczema In Infants
The other possible cause of eczema is a defective skin barrier. Some people have a genetic mutation where their body doesnt produce a key protein called filaggrin. This protein is what makes the skin soft and springy. Filaggrin also helps prevent excessive water loss through the skin.
This leads to dry, cracked, itchy skin that we know as eczema.
Other people may have a less healthy skin microbiome. Having the right microbes on your skin can help create and enhance its strength. The outermost skin wall is made of dead cells and ceramides . Humans dont make their own ceramides, the bacteria do. With the wrong bacteria, you can lose the mortar, causing cracks in the skin, which allows bad bacteria like staph A to infect the skin and cause irritation.
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Can Atopic Eczema Be Cured
The bad news is that atopic eczema cannot be cured but there are many ways of controlling it. Most children with atopic eczema improve as they get older . However, many of those who have had eczema continue to have dry skin and need to avoid irritants such as soaps or bubble baths. Eczema may persist in adults but it should be controllable with the right treatment.
You can help reduce your childs discomfort by:
- keeping their fingernails short to reduce the damage to their skin from scratching
- washing them with aqueous cream instead of soap ask your pharmacist about aqueous creams and always follow the instructions on the product
- using non-biological detergent and a double rinse cycle when washing their clothes or bedding
- avoiding herbal, natural or alternative creams these can make eczema worse, as they may contain bacteria or high doses of steroids
- rinsing and drying them well after swimming
- dressing them in cool, breathable fabrics like cotton
- keeping them away from anyone with a cold sore as the cold sore virus can cause eczema to become infected
- using extra moisturiser on areas your child scratches a lot
- avoiding anything you know that causes your childs eczema to get worse
Around 6 out of 10 children with eczema will grow out of it by the time theyre teenagers.
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What Is An Eczema Flare
- Inflamed reddish brown or gray patches, especially on your hands, feet, chest, neck, and inside the bends of your elbows and knees
- Serious itching that worsens at night
- Dry skin that could get raw or swollen from scratching
- Small raised bumps that might crust or leak fluid
- Skin that thickens and cracks
These symptoms may go away for a while, then flare up again.
You may have chronic, or long-lasting, eczema. Or it might just flare up after you touch something or in certain settings.
What Happens If My Baby’s Eczema Becomes Infected
skin infectionsBacterial infections
- ooze or weep fluid
- have a yellow, crusty appearance
- have small, yellow-white spots
- patches of eczema that are particularly painful for your baby, and get worse quickly
- fluid-filled blisters that burst, leaving small open sores on your baby’s skin
- a fever and seeming generally under the weather
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Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
What Triggers Eczema
Each child with eczema has their own set of individual triggers, although sometimes the condition can flare and subside for no apparent reason.
Examples of common exacerbating factors and triggers in children include:
- Heat avoid overheating with blankets and long hot showers
- Irritants soaps, shampoos, chlorine, chemicals, fragrances, make-up, scratchy clothes and materials
- Allergens dust mite, moulds, grasses, plant pollens, pets, soaps and shampoos, foods
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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.
Hypoallergenic Formula For The Management Of Eczema For Babies With Milk Allergies
As mentioned earlier in this article, the best way to manage your babys eczema is to know and avoid the things that cause eczema flare-ups. Although milk allergies are not common in children, about 2 – 3% of babies have milk allergies. Eczema is one of the common symptoms of Cows Milk Protein Allergy.
Hypoallergenic formula is often recommended for babies that are allergic to milk protein. If you suspect that milk triggers eczema flare-ups in your baby, you should consult your doctor for a diagnosis. If your baby is at the risk of a milk protein allergy, you will have to give them hypoallergenic formula instead of the standard formula at your doctors recommendation.
Hypoallergenic formula is specifically formulated for babies who are at risk of being allergic to milk protein. Although hypoallergenic formula is made from cows milk, the allergy-causing protein is broken down in a process called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis breaks down the protein into smaller compounds that the baby can more easily digest. Consequently, the formula is less likely to trigger a potential allergic reaction when ingested.
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How Is Eczema Diagnosed
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. The doctor will look at the rash and ask about symptoms, the child’s past health, and the family’s health. If family members have any atopic conditions, that’s an important clue.
The doctor will rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation, and might recommend that your child see a dermatologist or an allergist.
The doctor may ask you to ban some foods from your child’s diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
When Should I Talk To My Babys Doctor
First and foremost, baby eczema needs to be properly diagnosed by your childâs physician, as there are other skin rashes and conditions that can easily be mistaken for it. As your child lives with eczema you will become familiar with its cycles and outbreaks, so that if there is a change to triggers, location, or severity youâll know itâs time to consult the doctor. Once your baby is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, here is a list of good reasons to contact your babyâs physician:
- The rash starts to look discolored, crusted over, weepy , or blisters develop
- Your baby has a fever with the rash
- The flare-up doesnât go away after a week
- You want to try any new treatments
- Your baby develops secondary conditions like asthma or hay fever
Baby eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an uncomfortable condition for your child, but it is not uncommon nor unmanageable. By learning about this skin condition and staying tuned into your childâs environment and flare-ups youâre taking important steps to help relieve their discomfort and keep their beautiful new skin healthy.Always consult with your childâs physician or our 24/7 pediatric team if you have concerns about this or anything else.
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