Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a dry, itchy skin condition that usually affects children from one to five years old. In general, it’s easily confused with dry patches on the newborn skin, check out this article to know if it’s the case for your baby. The main difference between dry skin and an eczema outbreak is that dry skin is typically less painful and itchy. Eczema, on the other hand, often includes cracked or bleeding skin, as well as blisters or sores.
Eczema in babies tends to show up on their cheeks and scalp first. It may then spread to other parts such as the face, arms, legs, chest, back, neck and elbows. When a baby has eczema, the skin’s barrier is less effective than usual. As a result, skin is less supple, and because it is cracked, it is easier for allergens or infections to enter the skin. This makes the condition worse. There is no official cure for baby eczema, but there are many treatments available.
Areas on the body that baby eczema may appear
Causes of Baby Eczema
No one knows exactly what causes eczema in babies, but it is genetically inherited. Therefore, a baby is more likely to contract eczema if it runs in the family. Moreover, it is also more likely to occur if the family medical history includes a history of ailments such as asthma or allergies.
There are many possible causes of eczema in babies. Allergens or irritants in the environment can trigger an outbreak. Chemicals that are found in all sorts of household and beauty products have been known to cause a reaction resulting in eczema or some other form of dermatitis. For example, an adult with sensitive skin is prone to cracked and bleeding skin simply from washing the dishes without rubber gloves. Laundry detergent can trigger or even create allergies over time, resulting in rashes and itchiness. People often deny that their detergent is to blame for a reaction because they’ve used it for years, but our skin can change and adapt over time. This means that you can develop an allergy to something you never had an allergy to before.
Any beauty products that contain fragrances or harsh chemicals can also trigger breakouts of eczema or other skin disorders. Hand moisturizers that smell of perfume should be avoided, for example. There are a range of products available for people with sensitive skin. To avoid baby eczema, you should only use natural products. Look for products that use ingredients like cocoa butter, aloe vera, and oatmeal, as all of these are known for their skin healing qualities. Everyone is different when it comes to skin disorders and treatments. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. The same goes for your baby. The only way of really finding out what works is trial and error, unfortunately.
Symptoms of Baby Eczema
The severity of eczema ranges from mild to very severe, as you can see in the below baby eczema photos:
Mild eczema on hands
Severe eczema on hands
As a result, it can be difficult to know if your baby just has normal dry skin or eczema. Dry skin will not have any severe cracks or any bleeding. It will often resolve itself if you use a good quality moisturizer regularly. If the skin turns into an itchy rash and the rash appears frequently, it is more likely to be baby eczema.
Eczema is also sometimes confused with cradle cap, but there are some key differences. Cradle cap is much less red and scaly, and usually appears on parts of the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and behind the ears.
The main symptom that stands out when it’s eczema is the notable scaliness, and cracked appearance of the skin. This is the main symptom you should look out for, as the other symptoms occur with other skin imperfections, too. When it comes to skin disorders, misdiagnosis isn’t a serious issue, as they are all treated with similar products.
Treatments for Baby Eczema
As said above, eczema can’t be cured, but it can be managed with the correct treatments. When living with eczema, it is really important to keep symptoms under control. Thus, you need to know about the everyday triggers that might affect you or your child’s eczema conditions. Make sure you have a proper skin-care routine and avoid chemicals or environments that cause eczema flare-ups. There are a number of things you can do in order to treat baby eczema:
Whenever the skin gets too dry, it may become irritated which can contribute to outbreaks of eczema in babies. There are many factors that lead to dry skin including wind, low humidity, cold, harsh soaps and bathing/showering often without moisturizing afterwards. Moisturizing is one of the most important things you can do to help control any form of dermatitis. There are a wide variety of moisturizers available specifically for people with problematic skin.
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Under the care and advice of your doctor, you can apply medications such as corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors directly to the affected area in order to ease the redness, rash, and itching.
With this kind of treatment, the doctor will use a special machine to emit narrowband ultraviolet B light onto the skin for purpose of reducing itching and inflammation, increasing vitamin D production and bacteria-fighting systems of the skin.
As mentioned above, the root cause of baby dermatitis is still not fully known, but it is known that it is connected to an imbalanced immune system. Depending on the severity of the eczema, a systemic medication may be prescribed by the doctor in order to stop your immune system from overreacting.
The fact shows that alternative therapies can be beneficial in controlling eczema conditions. These Alternative therapies can be beneficial in controlling eczema conditions. These therapies include natural food ingredients that act as moisturizers (cod liver oil, coconut oil), detox baths, and homemade healing salves. Coconut oil, for example, can be used as a moisturizer, hair conditioner, oil cleanser, and even in cooking.
Stay cool to allow skin to breathe
Try to limit contact with materials like wool and scratchy materials that may irritate very sensitive skin. Dress in natural fabrics if possible. Silk, linen, and cotton are popular choices of natural fabrics, and are readily available.
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No scratching :
Scratching your itchy areas with hands or rubbing the face against the sheet when sleeping may bring temporary relief but these actions can make your condition worse. Make sure to keep your baby’s nails clipped, so they don’t scratch themselves with long nails. If your baby is having serious trouble sleeping, you could ask your doctor for an antihistamine to help with the itching so that your baby gets a good night’s sleep.
Soaps and cleansers
If your child gets eczema, you should use kinds of special soaps and cleansers made especially for sensitive skin. The reason soaps can irritate the skin is because of the pH level. Skin generally has a pH level of between 4 and 5, while most soaps have a pH of 9 or 10. Their high alkaline content can cause irritation; depending, of course, on the sensitivity of your skin. Always look at labels when buying any healthcare or beauty products, because regulations require companies to outline their composition. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can find out just by reading a label.
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Foods and drinks
Avoid allergic foods and drinks that may irritate the skin. Some aren’t relevant when your baby is very young, but it’s best to take note of them anyway, just in case their eczema continues into later life. Food and drink which trigger eczema include cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and nuts. Make sure that you don’t eliminate these food groups entirely, particularly if the eczema is mild.
In order to prevent your baby from getting eczema, or manage it if they already have it, try to avoid all triggers that may irritate their skin.
- Try to buy natural materials when choosing clothes for your baby.
- Purchase soft, cotton clothes for your baby. A comfortable gear for your baby will do just fine.
- Keep the baby cool by monitoring the room temperature regularly
- Avoid smoking around the baby
- Use cleansing products made for sensitive skin. Always read the ingredient list on the bottles before you buy as some products claim to be natural but aren’t at all.
- Avoid foods and drinks that can trigger eczema.
In conclusion, baby eczema can cause a lot of discomfort for your child. Taking good care of their skin should be a high priority. When they get older, make sure to communicate with your child about their eczema so that you have sufficient information to get suitable treatment. Most children outgrow eczema before school age, but it’s best to be prepared just in case.