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Why Do Babies Have Eczema

What Is The Hygiene Theory

Why do babies have eczema?

The hygiene theory is that children who live in a sterilized world are more likely to develop eczema. What I mean by a sterilized world means children who are not exposed to germs from daycare or other allergens . Childrens immune systems are trainable and adaptable at an early age. So if they are NOT exposed at an early age where the immune system can adapt, they can have bigger reactions later when the immune system is set in its ways .

So why do I even bring this up? Well, the idea of treating eczema by avoiding and eliminating foods may not be the best approach in the long run. Yes, it is definitely helpful when they are young and the immune system is immature and the body reacts poorly. As our babies/children grow, we should not avoid these triggers. Rather, they should be slowly introduced in a controlled manner so they build tolerance. There is a growing awareness of this idea and many medical doctors are starting to adopt this practice.

For me, the way I apply this in my life is that I let my children play and touch things and if they get sick, they get sick. I am not throwing caution to the wind, but sometimes when we try to protect our children from germs, we inadvertently end up doing more harm than good.

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.

Eczema Around The Eye

When eczema occurs on the face, it often affects the skin around the eyes or eyelids . Eczema that develops near the eyes needs special attention because the eyes themselves can be affected.

Those with eczema around the eyes are more susceptible to certain eye problems such as conjunctivitis , inflamed cornea, and changes in the shape of the cornea .

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Is There A Cure For Childhood Eczema

Eczema is a genetic condition, much like dust or food allergies. That means there is no cure. You can treat the symptoms , but the condition will never go away completely. As your child gets older, though, their skin will mature and their hydrolipidic layer will thicken, thus reducing the likelihood that a flare-up will occur.

Managing Babys Eczema: Moisturizing

This photo was taken on March 23rd, at that time her ...

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!

Read Also: Which Eucerin Is Best For Eczema

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 .

When To Call A Doctor

Make the call if your babys eczema doesnt begin to get better within a week of starting over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. It may be time for a prescription medicine.

Also check with your doctor if yellow or light brown crust or pus-filled blisters appear on top of the eczema. This could be the sign of a bacterial infection that needs antibiotics.

You should call your doctor if your baby is around anyone who has cold sores or genital herpes. Eczema can make your little one more likely to pick up those germs.

Recommended Reading: Best Eczema Cream For Toddlers

What Causes Eczema In Children

Researchers dont know exactly what causes baby eczema, but they believe its most likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Eczema is not contagious.

Infants are more likely to develop eczema if family members have a history of eczema, hay fever, or asthma.

While these conditions don’t cause one another, infants are more likely to develop hay fever or asthma if they already have baby eczema.

Scientists believe eczema results from an immune-system dysfunction that affects the skin barrier and its ability to hold in moisture.

Eczema is a general term to describe a number of inflammatory skin conditions. Aside from atopic dermatitis, other types of eczema that commonly affect children include contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema , and seborrheic dermatitis, or scalp eczema .

The Atopic March Food Allergies And Eczema

This is why YOU have Eczema

Eczema and food allergies are very closely related. They are both considered allergic conditions, and they are both part of a progression known as the atopic march.

What is the atopic march? According to the atopic march, children with one allergic condition are at increased risk for others, and allergic conditions often appear in a certain order. In other words, one condition usually marches in front of the other, in a fairly predictable lineup.

Eczema comes before food allergies in the atopic march. This means babies usually develop eczema before food allergies, and babies with eczema are at the highest risk for food allergies.

But even though food allergies and eczema are closely related, and even though some symptoms may look similar, eczema rash is not the same as a food allergy reaction.

Food allergy rashes appear as raised bumps, which look different from the red, scaly rash of eczema. Learn more about how to tell the difference between a food allergy reaction and an eczema flare-up.

Recommended Reading: 4 Month Old Eczema Treatment

Remove The Bacteria Crusts

Many people tend to mix up normal crusts with bacteria crusts. So let me tell you the biggest difference.

A normal crust is called an eschar, and it is hardened, flat and doesnt have much weeping. Much like the ones you got when you were young and accidentally scraped your knee.

A bacteria crust, however, is weeping to the touch, is full of yellow or milky substance, puffy, and sometimes red. These are the signs of bacteria colonization!

Bacterial crusts are like the bacterias houses, and should always be removed with a gentle soap or cleanser like saline solution.

Why Did My Child Develop Eczema

The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Researchers do know that children who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When something outside the body switches on the immune system, skin cells dont behave as they should causing flare ups.

We also know that children who come from families with a history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.

Read Also: Best Topical Cream For Eczema

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.

Baby Eczema Risk Factors And The Environment

Why does My Baby and Child Develop Eczema?

While baby eczema is the result of immune-system dysfunction, likely from a genetic predisposition, studies have found a number of risk factors.

For example, a study published in February 2018 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggested that children have a higher risk of developing eczema if their mothers experienced high-stress situations during pregnancy.

In a study published in May 2018 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers in the United Kingdom analyzed the sociodemographic characteristics of about 675,000 children in a primary-care database. They found that the children were more likely to be diagnosed with eczema if they fit one of the following descriptions:

  • Male
  • Black Caribbean
  • Of high socioeconomic status

Another study, published in May 2018 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, looked at how the outdoor environment specifically air pollutants and meteorological conditions affected eczema risk in children of both sexes. The researchers concluded that high levels of carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, lead, particulate matter, and ozone levels may all influence the development of infantile eczema.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Allergic Eczema

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Baby Eczema

There is some evidence that breastfed babies may be less likely to develop eczema. Although unproven, the antimicrobial properties in breast milk have also been studied as a type of treatment when directly applied to an eczema rash. To try this, rub a few drops of your liquid gold onto the rash regularly for a few days and watch for any reduction in symptoms.

Causes And Triggers Of Baby Eczema

The causes of baby eczema are unclear, though it is generally agreed that the conditionstems from a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Knowing what triggers babyeczema can be useful in keeping the condition under control. Common triggers include:

  • Dry skin: When the skin becomes too dry it becomes susceptible to rashes and flare-ups of eczema.
  • Moisture on the skin: From sweat, milk, saliva or wet diapers.
  • Chemical irritants: Natural or artificial chemicals found in everyday products canmake an outbreak of eczema more likely. These chemicals can be found in products such asshampoo, soap, laundry detergent and disinfectants or surface cleaners.
  • Dust mites: Some research shows that prolonged exposure to dust mites increases thelikelihood of an infant developing eczema. Further research in the area suggests thatreducing the number of dust mites in the home makes little difference to the frequencyand severity of eczema flares after the first diagnosis.
  • Stress: Babies can become extremely irritated by eczema which can in turn exacerbatethe condition further.

Also Check: How To Clear Up Eczema Dark Spots

Why Do Babies Get Eczema

By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

There isnt one exact proven cause of baby eczema. Doctors believe that it may be the result of an immune system overreaction, baby eczema is most likely caused by a combination of both environmental triggers and genetics. Baby eczema is a common and treatable skin condition that manifests as red, crusty, and itchy patches of skin.

Studies show that between 20% and 30% of people with eczema have a specific gene variation that affects the outermost layer of skin, making it harder for the skin to fight off irritants and retain moisture. This gene variation means that babies with a family history of eczema are more likely to develop the condition as well.

Also, as the gene variation makes it harder for the skin to protect itself, eczema flare-ups are brought on by environmental factors, called triggers, such as allergens and bacteria.

What Does It Look Like

Why You Have Eczema! // Michelle Mills

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.

Also Check: Eczema And Allergies In Toddlers

How To Get Rid Of Weeping Eczema

June 30, 2016 by Christina

Hi everyone! As this amazing Flawless community starts to grow, Ive noticed that there have been a lot more questions about eczema diet, dealing with eczema naturally, etc. Its a wonderful thing to hear more from you, because it means that we are growing, and I couldnt be happier to be part of a community of people, starting to clear their skin naturally!

As you know, I always try to talk about the big eczema issues that come up, so today I want to address a BIG problem that has recently been seen in more and more in eczema sufferers: the dreaded weeping eczema. Weeping eczema is eczema that is wet, weeping or that looks like fluid-filled blisters.

Its also something that many of you have been emailing me about, so I thought that a great post about it was long overdue.

There is a lot to cover on this topic, but if you take the time to read this, you may find that it is one of the most helpful and useful guides on weeping eczema there is!

Today we talk about:

The different types of weeping eczema The ONE major factor for weeping eczema Weeping eczema after stopping steroid creams? How to get rid of weeping eczema!

If you had any question about weeping eczema, and are stuck not knowing what to do about it, this article is for you!

What Else Is Happening At Johns Hopkins Today

We go out of our way to provide the comprehensive care our patients with eczema need. On a case-by-case basis, we communicate with one another whether in allergy, dermatology, psychology or infectious disease to put together the best course of treatment for each child.We are optimistic that future therapies and approaches to care for those with even severe eczema are going to be greatly improved with more research and that the creation of the Eczema Day Treatment Unit will help us conduct cutting edge research and answer questions we face every day seeing and treating patients.

Also Check: Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo

Moisturizing Ointments And Creams

Using a moisturizing ointment or cream to keep the skin soft and moist is key to tacklingbaby eczema. Moisturizers are classified according to their oil and water content, withthe most effective moisturizers containing a higher amount of oil.

Ointments and barrier creams should be applied to the skin in a thick layer at least twiceper day and immediately after bathing. They can be bought over the counter at the pharmacyor be prescribed by a doctor.

Ways To Prevent Baby Eczema

Why does my baby have 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.

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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.

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