Welcome To Infant Eczema
Infants eczema is a resource for quality, factual information about baby and infant eczema, how to deal with eczema and what products to use to avoid irritating the infants skin. Eczema is a term used to describe a wide range of different skin problems that trouble people throughout their lives, from babys, infants to fully grown adults.
The information provided on this site has been researched by an eczema sufferer who has had the condition from a young infant and still has it now during his adulthood. Throughout this time he has separated the facts and from the fiction, how to calm the itching and what products won’t irritate it. He now wishes to share this information via this website. Enjoy, and stop the condition before it spirals out of control…
Eczema is a variety of skin problems that occur throughout infancy. There are a few various kinds of eczema, the most widespread being “Atopic” which is mainly suffered by babies and children.
A picture of atopic eczema
Eczema symptoms can affect infants in various ways, from the slight redness of the skin to relentless itching.
Eczema tends to be dry thus reducing the protective nature of the infants skin causing it to be less effective at protecting from fluid loss, heat, cold and bacterial infection. Thats why its essential you make a good effort to continually moisturize your infants skin.
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.
What Doesnt Cause Eczema
Eczema is not contagious. You can’t catch eczema by coming in contact with someone who has it.
Eczema is not an allergic reaction. Even so, a large number of children who have eczema also have food allergies. That doesn’t mean that certain foods such as dairy, eggs, and nuts — common food allergy triggers in children with eczema — cause it or make it worse. Before removing particular foods from your child’s diet, talk with your doctor to be sure your child’s nutritional needs will be met.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis In A Child
Symptoms may come and go, or occur most or all of the time. Any area of the body may be affected. In babies, symptoms usually affect the face, neck, scalp, elbows, and knees. In children, symptoms usually affect the skin inside the elbows, on the back of the knees, the sides of the neck, around the mouth, and on the wrists, ankles, and hands.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
Dry, scaly skin
Pale skin on the face
Small, raised bumps that may become crusty and leak fluid if scratched
Rough bumps on the face, upper arms, and thighs
Darkened skin of eyelids or around the eyes
Skin changes around the mouth, eyes, or ears
Raised, red areas
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Recognizing This Type Of Eczema
Atopic eczema symptoms:
Red patches become covered in little vesicles which tend to ooze and ultimately form scabs.
Parents sometimes confuse eczema with urticaria or vice versa. The two are easy to distinguish, however: the red patches resulting from urticaria move around and do not ooze.
How long do atopic eczema flare-ups last?
This type of eczema has an important characteristic: alternating periods of flare-ups and remission. Treating flare-ups with a topical corticosteroid is important to speed up the healing process.
In most cases, flare-ups will gradually become less frequent and severe, before going away entirely after a few years. In some cases, however, atopic dermatitis continues into the adult years.
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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.
Baby Eczema And Cradle Cap Symptoms
- Thickened skin
- Darkened skin on the eyelids and around the eyes
- Changes to the skin around the mouth, eyes, or ears
Cradle cap causes symptoms not commonly seen in other types of infantile eczema, such as greasy yellow scales on the scalp that sometimes appear in a thick layer covering the entire top of the head. Over time, the scales become flaky and rub off.
Most babies do not appear to be bothered by cradle cap, though it sometimes itches.
A baby with atopic dermatitis has an increased risk of other atopic conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and food allergies.
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Identify Your Babys Triggers
One of the most important things you can do for your babys eczema is to look for things in your environment that seem to trigger your babys flare-ups or make them worse. Products in your home could be causing or contributing to the problem.
In babies, the most common triggers are things that touch their skin. Rarely, environmental allergens like mold or pollen might be a trigger. Other known triggers that are rare in babies are infections and stress. Common triggers for babies are:
- harsh soaps and detergents
- rough or nonbreathable clothing fabrics
If your baby is having a particularly severe eczema flare-up, ask your pediatrician about doing a wet dressing, or wet wrap therapy. This treatment is sometimes used with prescription steroid cream under close medical supervision.
The wrap helps ensure that topical treatments stay moist and get better absorbed into the skin.
How to apply a wet dressing:
You can continue applying the wet dressing for 24 to 72 hours or overnight. Continue for a maximum of one week.
Before using wet wrap therapy, always discuss it with your pediatrician.
Other Types Of Eczema
Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated skin.
Other types of eczema include:
- discoid eczema a type of eczema that occurs in circular or oval patches on the skin
- contact dermatitis a type of eczema that occurs when the body comes into contact with a particular substance
- varicose eczema a type of eczema that most often affects the lower legs and is caused by problems with the flow of blood through the leg veins
- seborrhoeic eczema a type of eczema where red, scaly patches develop on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears and scalp
- dyshidrotic eczema a type of eczema that causes tiny blisters to erupt across the palms of the hands
Page last reviewed: 05 December 2019 Next review due: 05 December 2022
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Did Your Baby Outgrow Eczema
When I first received the diagnosis of eczema , I recall learning about it in Physician Assistant school, the hospital and clinic. I remember it was a skin problem that becomes dry and itchy. Treatment options include anti-histamine, steroids, emollients, etc. It was just a condition that I learned about, nothing more until I experienced it myself. As a health care worker, the conditions we learn become real when it hits close to home. Whether it is something we experience ourselves or in loved ones. The frustrations that I felt with my children having eczema was surreal to say the least. We tried all the standard treatments prescribed by our pediatrician, which helped but not completely. One of the things I kept hearing was, most children grow out of eczema. These words meant the world to me because it gave me hope that maybe one day, things could be better would be better. Are you asking the same question, did your baby outgrow eczema? Read on to find out why you should have hope!
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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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.
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.
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Does Eczema Really Go Away Did Your Baby Outgrow Eczema
If you Google about children outgrowing eczema, many authority websites will indeed state that children outgrow atopic dermatitis . Some say that by age of 4-5 years old children outgrow eczema. Others say by the age of 3. There may be occasional flareups and then it may resume again during puberty due to hormones and stress.
About half of those with eczema develop symptoms before they are 1 year old. Almost all children develop symptoms by age of 5 years old. About ¾ of children with eczema will have symptoms resolve before puberty. The rest will go on to have eczema as adults or eczema may come back suddenly.
Another paper states that atopic dermatitis persists in children who develop it during ages 2 to 5 years old. It can resolve by age 10 in 80% of children with eczema and by age 20 in up to 95% of afflicted people.
In other words, there is a very good chance your child will outgrow their eczema or eczema will go away with time.
Don’t Forget About The Feet
Shoes can even be a concern. Thermoplastic, rubber-boxed toes, and the chemicals used in the shoe-tanning process can cause flare-ups around your baby’s ankles. Look for genuine or eco-leather shoes that are made of chrome-free leather. This will let your baby’s foot breathe easily, leading to fewer irritations.
Brand that Works for Ethan: Bobux. Their shoes are made from eco-leather and are chrome-free.
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When To Speak With A Doctor
It is advisable to speak with a doctor if symptoms become more severe or if it is difficult to manage the condition at home. If eczema is beginning to impact a childs everyday life, such as disrupting sleep or there are frequent infections from scratching their skin, a parent caregiver can consider contacting a doctor.
Use Skin Medications When Needed
For some babies and children with eczema, daily bathing and moisturizing is not enough for good control. These children also need a medical treatment plan, which often includes medicated creams or ointments that calm the immune system in the skin and control irritation. Medical treatment plans also include instructions on how often and when to apply the cream or ointment.
There are a variety of skin medications available for eczema, each with a different strength. The strength of the medication prescribed should be right for the area of the body that needs medication. For example, a child may have one medication prescribed for the face and another one for the elbows and knees. Do not use the percent on the label to judge the strength of your child’s medication. Speak to your child’s doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about medication strength.
Follow the treatment plan provided by your child’s doctor, so your child gets the most possible benefit from the medication. It is especially important to follow your doctor’s advice about how much of the medication to apply, so you do not use too little or too much. Some doctors recommend applying a layer of medication to eczema patches every day for about two to four weeks. The medication is more effective if you apply it to skin immediately after the bath, while the skin is still damp.
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Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Eczema
Yes. Take your child to see your GP if your child:
- might have eczema for the first time
- is very itchy and uncomfortable
- has eczema thats weeping or bleeding
- has eczema that hasnt improved much after a few days, even though youve been treating it as usual
- is having trouble sleeping because the rash is so itchy
- has painful or eczema that has developed pus
- has eczema and is generally unwell for example, has a fever and/or is sweating, feeding poorly or tired.
You should also take your child to the GP if youre not sure whether the rash is eczema.
If your childs eczema doesnt improve with a combination of medical treatment and management at home, your GP might refer your child to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs eczema might be from allergies, they might also refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist.
Why Do Babies Get Eczema
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.
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Living With Dry Skin And Eczema
When my son, Ethan, turned 3 months old, he was diagnosed with eczema . Like any first-time mother, I was crushed as the eczema progressed and expanded over every part of his body. By his fourth month, he had severe eczema. Eczema is severe form of dry skin. Unlike traditional dry skin, eczema frequently has an underlying allergy — in Ethan’s case, a food allergy. Each doctor and specialist I saw prescribed the same thing: hydrocortisone cream. The cream would help some areas, but doctors didn’t recommended using it often or over Ethan’s full body because of its high potency.
I knew there had to be more I could do.
Completely frustrated, I began doing my own research. The more I read, the more I became aware of hundreds of items that could be causing such a reaction in my baby. To fight back against the eczema, I knew I needed a plan, so I set goals for myself:
* Goal 1: Relieve pain and itchy sensations for my son.
* Goal 2: Find the cause of flare-ups .
* Goal 3: Eliminate household irritants.
* Goal 4: Maintain Ethan’s healthy skin and know how to combat flare-ups if they arise.
My battle reformed not only how I raise my baby, but it changed my own lifestyle, too. I learned so much that applied to eczema, but I have also incorporated the nutrition changes to my own diet.