When To See A Doctor
While you can do a lot to control your babys eczema, sometimes you have to seek medical attention. Look out for the following signs and see a doctor if any of these occur.
- Unresponsiveness to over-the-counter medications. There are a lot of over-the-counter creams available that can sooth eczema. These ointments are very good at treating eczema for your baby. If they arent working, however, you should see a doctor to get prescription medicine instead.
- Changes in responsiveness to prescription medicine. Just because one medicine is working today doesnt mean it will always work. If you have prescription medication for your babys eczema and you see it doesnt work as well as it previously did to control symptoms, its time to reevaluate the medicine. Your doctor will be able to examine your baby and see if another medicine will be better.
- Appearance of yellow crust on the eczema patches. Yellow crust indicates that there may be a bacterial infection. This needs to be checked out immediately by a doctor because if it goes untreated, it will get worse. Your doctor will be able to determine if antibiotics should be prescribed to stop the infection.
- Development of pus-filled blisters on the eczema patches. Blisters are also a sign that there may be an infection. They are also very painful and a sign that the eczema isnt being managed adequately. A doctor can evaluate your management plan and make adjustments, so you can better control your childs eczema symptoms.
Treating Infantile Atopic Eczema
Keeping the skin moist helps to soothe the symptoms of atopic eczema. Some people use wet cloths or bandages on areas of dry and irritated skin. Using soaps or bath preparations which contain moisturizers or oils can be helpful in soothing the skin and protecting against irritating substances. Steroid creams are often used to treat flares of eczema. Antihistamine tablets can also be helpful to reduce itchiness.
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.
Also Check: Is Eczema A Medical Condition
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.
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Don’t Miss: Acne & Eczema Whipped Shea Butter
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.
Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
Don’t Miss: Eczema On Face And Neck
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.
Treating Eczema In Babies
For babies, medications are not often needed. Instead, application of a fragrance-free cream or ointment several times per day, and immediately after every bath, is often enough to control eczema.
If emollients aren’t doing the trick, your healthcare provider may suggest over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or, in severe cases, prescription medications. Only very mild steroids are used in babies because of the risk of side effects.
Crisaborole is a non-steroid cream that can be prescribed for FDA-approved indication of mild-to-severe atopic dermatitis in infants as young as 3 months insurance may not cover this medication.
Other things you can do to help control your baby’s eczema include:
If you can’t get your baby’s eczema under control with home treatment, let your child’s pediatrician know.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Eczema Scars On Babies
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.
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.
You May Like: Good Baby Wash For Eczema
What To Do About Itching
Try to keep your baby from scratching their itchy skin. Scratching can make the rash worse, lead to an infection, and cause the irritated skin to get thicker and more leathery.
Trim their nails often, and then take the edge off of them with a file if you can. Some parents also slip “scratch mittens” onto their little one’s hands. Others try long socks, tucked in under a long-sleeved shirt, so they’re harder for a baby to remove. View a slideshow to get more eczema skin care tips.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Cradle Cap
Babies can develop seborrheic dermatitis when they’re between 2 weeks and 12 months old. It usually starts with cradle cap. A baby with cradle cap will have slightly red scaly or crusty yellow patches on the scalp. It may also start on the face or diaper area and spread to other parts of the body.
- red and moist in skin creases and folds
- yellowish with greasy patches or crusts
- scaly or flaky
Seborrheic dermatitis might look uncomfortable or irritating to the skin. But it usually isn’t itchy and doesn’t seem to bother infants.
Recommended Reading: Does Eczema Move Around The Body
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.
How Do I Know If I Have Eczema
If you have eczema, the rash may go away at first. But then it comes back again and again.
Not all rashes itch. But eczema is itchy, itchy, itchy! It often starts in the folds inside your elbows and on the back of your knees. It can also be on your face and other parts of your body. Many things besides eczema can cause a rash. That’s why your doctor is the best person to see to figure out what’s causing your rash.
Read Also: What Is Eczema And Psoriasis
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 .
Causes Of Discoid Eczema
The cause of discoid eczema is unknown, although it may happen as a result of having particularly dry skin.
When your skin is very dry it cannot provide an effective barrier against substances that come into contact with it. This could allow a previously harmless substance, such as soap, to irritate your skin.
It’s important to look carefully at all the chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries that may have come into contact with your skin. Contact dermatitis, a type of eczema caused by coming into contact with a particular irritant, may have a role in discoid eczema.
Some people with discoid eczema also have a history of atopic eczema, which often happens in people who are prone to asthma and hay fever. However, unlike atopic eczema, discoid eczema does not seem to run in families.
Don’t Miss: What’s Best To Use For Eczema
The Atopic March Food Allergies And 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.
Why Does My Baby Have Eczema
The exact causes of eczema are not really known, but in many cases, your baby may suffer from eczema due to a food allergy, e.g. Cows Milk Protein Allergy . Many babies who develop eczema early on in infancy are allergic to one or more allergy-causing substances. If there is a family history of allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever, your baby may be more likely to develop eczema.
Baby eczema is one of the most common symptoms of CMPA
You May Like: Does Colloidal Oatmeal Help Eczema
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.
Will My Baby Have Eczema All Her Life
In some babies with atopic dermatitis, the condition stays put. But, fortunately, eczema clears up in many babies by the time they turn 4 years old.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Don’t Miss: Oatmeal Bath For Toddler Eczema
Which Foods Should You Give Your Baby First
Many parents start their babies with iron-fortified rice or oatmeal cereals, and then graduate them to fruits and vegetables. Still, it’s perfectly fine to start your kid on stage 1 fruits and vegetables or puree a veggie or fruit yourself.
“The biggest issue for parents of children with eczema is they need to introduce one food at a time so they can know what is causing a problem,” says Chris Adigun, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. “Stick with that food for at least 4 or 5 days before you move on to the next food.”
After each new one, watch out for signs of an allergy, like:
- Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
Recommended Reading: Eczema Cream Prescribed By Doctors