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Why Do So Many Babies Have Eczema

Managing And Preventing Skin Infections

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Bacteria and viruses can make eczema rashes worse. It’s important to watch for signs of infection.

Look for oozing, crusting, pus bumps, blisters or a worsening rash that is not getting better with your usual treatments. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think your child’s skin is infected. Infections may require antibiotic or antiviral medicines!

How To Avoid Eczema Triggers And Prevent Flare

Once you know what triggers your child’s eczema, try to avoid those things. These are the most common eczema triggers:

Allergens. Examples include pollen, dust, pet dander, food coloring, and preservatives. If eczema seems to be triggered by environmental allergens, such asseasonal allergies, you might want to consult an allergist for tips on how to deal with these allergies.

In about 10 percent of eczema cases, allergenic foodsare the triggers. The most likely culprits are cow’s milk and eggs, followed by soy, wheat, peanuts, and fish. If you’re using formula and your baby has eczema, the doctor may suggest switching to a hypoallergenic variety.

Temperature extremes. In hot weather, sweat is very irritating. In cold weather, the air and skin tend to be dry.

Scratchy or synthetic fabrics. Allow your child’s skin to breathe and stay cool. Dress your him in smooth natural fabrics, like cotton. Avoid wool and other scratchy materials, which can irritate sensitive skin.

Irritating ingredients in skin products. Use mild, fragrance-free soaps, shampoos, creams, and detergents or those made for sensitive skin. Don’t use fabric softeners or dryer sheets.

Tips To Prevent Flare

To manage eczema, you need to moisturize daily and take your medication as your doctor prescribed it. It also helps to avoid allergy triggers. Try these tips:

You can also ask your doctor about allergy shots. These slowly expose your body to more and more of something that triggers your allergies. Over time, these shots can stop allergy symptoms. They can also help some people with their eczema.

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Eczema In Children Is Increasing But Diet Is Not The Cause Study Suggests

Date:
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Summary:
One in five children are now affected by this skin condition, which is often associated with an allergy. Many people believe that certain foods are responsible, or at least make the symptoms worse. However the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care stresses that parents should be cautious about eliminating important foods like milk from their baby’s or child’s diet.

The number of children who have eczema has risen one in five children are now affected by this skin condition, which is often associated with an allergy. Researchers are not yet sure what is causing this growing problem. Many people believe that certain foods are responsible, or at least make the symptoms worse.

However, in information published March 20, the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care stresses that parents should be cautious about eliminating important foods like milk from their babys or childs diet. Elimination diets probably only help if the child has a proven food sensitivity or allergy. The Institute advises that most babies and small children with mild eczema will grow out of it, and parents will usually not have to change their familys eating habits.

The increase in eczema in children remains a mystery

Research knowledge on eczema in babies and children is growing rapidly

Story Source:

What You Can Do

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We cant cure eczema, but its absolutely a controllable disease, stresses Weinstein. Experts recommend a daily 15-minute soak in a warm, water-only bath, which will add moisture back to the skin. Avoid hot water, harsh soaps and bubble baths, which can irritate the skin, causing itchiness, redness and kick off an eczema flare-up. Use plain water to wash all but the visibly soiled areas, like the hands, feet and diaper area. On those, use a gentle, non-irritating soap or cleanser.

When your kid gets out of the bath, gently pat away excess water just until the skin is damp, and generously apply a thick, unscented, non-irritating moisturizing cream to seal in the water. Shore up that replacement barrier by reapplying the lotion two or three more times a day.

While coating a wiggly, fussy baby in greasy cream can be a struggle at first, its one of the keys to controlling your kids eczema, and it gets easier with practice. After his bath, when Nathan was still on the changing table, wed coat him with moisturizer, Cresswell-Melville says. We also got into the habit of applying it every time we changed his diaper.

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Talk To A Doctor About Food Allergies

Its rare that your childs eczema flare-ups are caused by food allergies, but it is possible. If you have removed all potential environmental triggers and are applying a daily emollient but the flare-up refuses to go away, its time to consult your doctor or pediatrician. They can test your child for food allergies and help identify what might be irritating your childs sensitive skin.

Will My Child Always Have Eczema

Most children grow out of eczema. It cannot be cured, but there are many ways of controlling it. Most children with atopic eczema will see their eczema improve as they get older, with 60% clear by their teens, according to the BAD.

However, many of these people will continue to have dry skin and so need to continue to avoid irritants such as soaps, detergents and bubble baths.

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Can You Cure It Or Prevent It From Happening

There is no cure for eczema, and there are no certain ways to prevent eczema from making its first appearance. The Mayo Clinic reports on some evidence that taking probiotics during pregnancy, as well as breast-feeding and using petroleum jelly products on your babyâs skin after birth may reduce the risk of the eczema rash from developing, but research is still inconclusive.The good news is that while atopic dermatitis canât be cured, most children tend to outgrow it at some point, often before the age of four. And for those few who continue to have eczema throughout their lives, there are many treatments to help control and manage flare-ups.

How Is Atopic Dermatitis Treated In A Child

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Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. The goals of treatment are to ease itching and inflammation, add moisture, and prevent infection.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis includes:

  • Staying away from irritants, as advised by your child’s healthcare provider

  • Bathing with a gentle cleaner or body wash advised by the healthcare provider

  • Keeping your child’s fingernails short, to help prevent scratching that can cause skin irritation and infection

  • Using moisturizing lotion advised by the healthcare provider

Your child’s healthcare provider may also prescribe medicines. They may be used alone or together. The following are most commonly used to treat atopic dermatitis:

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Washing Bathing/ Showering With Eczema

Washing helps treat eczema skin by removing dry skin and any build-up of emollients, reducing bacterial levels on the skin and softening the skin ready for the application of emollients and/or steroids. Soaps and detergents can be very irritant to the skin in eczema and cause it to worsen. It is recommended to use a soap substitute in place of standard soap, cleansing products for hand washing, bathing and showering.

The following tips can help to reduce any discomfort to the skin when bathing or showering

Tips for bathing/ showering

  • Water alone is very drying on the skin so using a soap substitute when washing showering or bathing including adding a bath oil or emollient to the water is important.

*Caution Emollients and oils can make the bath or shower environment slippery for a baby or child so be careful.

  • Bath water should be tepid/ luke warm , as heat is a common trigger for eczema and having the bath water too hot may trigger the itch scratch cycle.
  • Skin should be patted dry rather than rubbed dry to prevent any further damage and stimulating the itch scratch cycle.
  • Use a separate towel for the individual with eczema that has not been used by the rest of the household so there is no soap residue on the towel.
  • Even with the addition of a bath oil or emollient wash product, emollients need to be applied after bathing to trap moisture in and prevent dryness.

What Is The Mechanism Of Itch

Itch in atopic dermatitis generally originates in the skin. Medical names for itch starting in the skin can be pruritus, dermatological itch, or pruritoceptive itch. This type of itch begins when free nerve fibers are stimulated by nerve endings called C fibers in the top layer of the skin . The nerve endings can be stimulated by different factors, including external irritants, dry skin, eczema flares, or chemical mediators in the skin .

In response to itch in the skin, nerve pathways are activated and messages travel to the brain. People often respond to itch with a behavior , which is often scratching. However, itch in atopic dermatitis is not as straightforward as this it is actually thought to be very complex. This is because there are two other types of itchneurogenic itch and psychogenic itchthat are also thought to play a part.

Neurogenic itch is generated in the central nervous system in response to circulating itch factors. Psychogenic itch is completely different as it relates to itch being stimulated by psychological factors. In eczema these include unconscious or conscious urges to scratch, habit, or a response to stress.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Eczema

  • if your child has eczema, their skin feels dry and rough to touch, and it is itchy
  • their skin can become inflamed , and may even get infected , particularly with scratching
  • in babies, the rash often involves their face
  • in older children, the skin in the creases of their knees and elbows, around their neck and on their hands is often affected
  • in some children, the skin over their entire body is affected
  • at times your child’s skin will look good and at other times it gets worse – this is part of eczema and not necessarily caused by bad care

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Baby Eczema

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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.

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What Are The Factors That Causes Eczema In Babies

The actual cause for the development of eczema in babies is unknown, however, it is most commonly linked to genetics and environmental factors. The outside elements might trigger the immune system to generate a response that results in red and itchy skin.

Family history of Atopic Dermatitis, hay fever or asthma is another factor linked to the occurrence of Atopic Dermatitis in babies. As these babies grow, they may develop symptoms of hay fever or asthma.

However, the skin condition is not a communicable disease, so the baby cant get infected by another person. Same way the baby cant transmit the infection to someone else.

Most children get itchy rashes at some time during their childhood. Eczema generally is a nuisance that will make you scratch until bleeding and cracking of skin. The word atopic describes conditions that occur when immune system is overly sensitive to environmental allergens or irritants. These include pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, and targeted foods. Dermatitis signifies that the epidermis is infected, or red and sore.

Kids who get eczema normally have household members with hay fever, bronchial asthma, or other allergies. Some professionals suppose that these children may be genetically inclined to get eczema, which means that characteristics were handed on from mothers and fathers by way of genes that make a child more likely to get it.

Avoid Triggers And Treat Infection

Stay cool

Getting too hot from clothing or heating can make eczema worse – stay cool.

Avoid soap and fragrances

Soap and fragrances are the most common triggers of eczema. Only use skin care products designed for eczema. Many are available on prescription from your doctor or nurse prescriber.

Eczema is made worse by infection such as from:

  • school sores
  • the cold sore virus which can cause severe painful infection of eczema

Avoid contact with cold sores. See your family doctor urgently if your child gets an infection from cold sores.

Find out more about school sores.

Removing foods from your child’s diet does not usually help eczema

Removing foods from your child’s diet does not usually help eczema and can be dangerous, leading to anaphylaxis.Please talk with your doctor about this.

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Proper Skincare To Decrease Itchiness And Prevent Scratching

Try to stop your child from scratching as much as possible since scratching can make the skin feel even more itchy. Scratching can also lead to open sores which can lead to skin infections. Keep your child’s nails cut short. Consider scratch sleeves for sleep.

Wet wrap treatments. Apply wet wraps AFTER bathing and applying topical medicines and moisturizers. Here’s how:

  • Soak a pair of pajamas or onesies in warm water.
  • Wring out the pajamas until they are damp and not dripping.
  • Put the damp pajamas on your child, with dry pajamas on top.
  • Make sure the room is warm or provide a warm blanket, so your child doesn’t feel cold.
  • Keep the wet wraps on for at least a half an hour, or leave them on overnight.

Formula Feeding In Young Children

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For many years, food has been considered a trigger for eczema, resulting in elimination diets, on occasion at the cost of malnutrition and emotional stress for children.1 According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the timing of introducing solid food can also affect the development of AD.4 It is recommended that initiating solid food be delayed until 4 to 6 months of age, and whole cows milk be delayed until 12 months of age.4

Several studies have evaluated the potential for hydrolyzed formula to reduce the risk of allergies compared with cows milk. In a randomized double-blind trial from the German Infant Nutritional Intervention study, among more than 2000 children offered hydrolyzed formulas from birth to 1 year of age, those offered extensively hydrolyzed casein formula and partially hydrolyzed whey formula had significantly reduced incidence of AD compared with those offered cows milk formula.5

In a Cochrane review comparing soy formula and cows milk formula, Osborn and Sinn6 included 3 studies with 875 infants 0 to 6 months of age without clinical evidence of allergy or food intolerance. After comparing the effect of adapted soy formula with human milk, cows milk formula, and hydrolyzed protein formula on the development of atopy, they found that soy formula offered no significant benefit in preventing infant eczema .6

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But How Do They Get It

First of all, eczema is not contagious. Your child did not get it from another child or touching a surface or animal. And you cannot get it from your child. No, baby eczema is a result of a genetic predisposition and environmental triggers. Eczema tends to be hereditary, or run in families. Many children who have it come from a family with a history of eczema, as well as hay fever and asthma. Angelica, mother of a boy and a girl, two years apart, reports that both her children developed baby eczema. When she saw it on her son, the older of the two, she said, âI didnât freak out because I knew what it was from my own experience with eczema.â For children who suffer from atopic dermatitis, either their skin is having an allergic reaction to an environmental trigger due to this hereditary predisposition, or there is a problem with their skinâs natural moisture barrier so that instead of holding moisture in, it loses moisture and dries out, resulting in irritation and infection.

Managing Babys Eczema: Bathing

Daily bathing and moisturizing is essential to managing baby eczema. Never skip a bath!

Babys compromised skin barrier makes it easy for moisture to escape from the skin, which can lead to dryness and flare-ups. But giving baby a daily bath, and moisturizing them regularly, helps keep that moisture from escaping.

National Jewish Health shares more on why a daily bath is so essential for baby eczema care:

The best way to bathe eczema babies, and stop dryness and flares, is with the “soak and seal” method. In the “soak and seal” method, you bathe your baby daily, then apply moisturizer right after the bath.

Follow these steps for the best way to give a soak and seal eczema bath:

Use The Right Temperature Water

Use warm water, not hot water. Keep the water temperature between 97 and 98.6 for the most comfortable bath.

  • Water thats too hot for babys skin may make flare-ups worse.
  • Also, repeated hot baths can make babies’ skin dry out more, compared to adult skin. Your baby’s skin hasn’t fully developed, so its more sensitive.
  • Buying and using a bath thermometer is helpful for checking the water temperature.

Use Unscented Body Wash, Not Soap

Mild liquid body wash is the best way to cleanse your baby’s skin.

  • This type of cleanser doesnt dry out the skin, because it doesnt affect the skin’s PH.
  • Make sure the wash is unscented, mild, fragrance-free and dye-free

Stay away from soaps.

Scrub With Care

Have Baby Soak For The Right Time

Gently, Partially Dry Baby

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