Baby Eczema

image001 It is not uncommon to see crusty, red patches associated with eczema on your baby, but this can be concerning for parents. Eczema affects as many as 20 percent of infants, though most outgrow this condition. Symptoms include itchy, red, dry patches on the skin. It is most common in babies 2-6 months old. If you see these appearing, then there are steps you can take to help soothe your child’s skin.

What Is Baby Eczema?

Eczema is a skin rash which usually develops on the scalp or cheeks, but can also spread to other parts of the body such as the chest, arms or legs with many seeing breakouts on the ankles, insides of the elbows, wrists or knees. This typically develops before your child reaches the age of five. An eczema rash will come and go, creating dry, scaly skin which may ooze or thicken. The rash will be uncomfortable and itchy, so scratching can cause the skin to darken or scar. If you notice a rash on your child, your doctor can diagnose if it is eczema, then you can start getting treatment.

If you want to know more about baby eczema, you can watch the video below:

What Causes Baby Eczema?

  • Eczema is caused by a low amount of ceramides in the fatty cells which provide protection for the skin. Without this protection, the skin becomes dry and allows germs or outside moisture into the body.
  • Defects in your child’s skin barrier can pose a similar risk.
  • There is a strong hereditary link with eczema, so if you or your partner has this condition, you will need to watch for it in your child.
  • Stress can cause eczema flare-ups to appear as stress causes flushing which will irritate the skin.
  • Sweating or getting too warm can also cause outbreaks.
  • Many children who get dry skin from low humidity can get itchy skin or increased eczema breakouts.
  • There is also a high risk of developing this rash from exposure to allergens or irritants such as food allergies, body soap, perfume, laundry soap or wool clothing.

How to Treat Baby Eczema

1. For Mild Conditions

If the condition is mild, you can focus on managing your child’s eczema by providing relief. A lukewarm bath can help to soothe itching. Follow up with an over-the-counter moisturizer. Seek out a moisturizer with no added fragrance to avoid further irritation. Petroleum jelly can also help your baby’s skin retain moisture and stop itching.

2. For Severe Conditions

More severe cases of eczema can be managed with a topical steroid from your doctor. Hydrocortisone is commonly used to take down inflammation from this condition. Avoid placing this cream in one area of your child’s body for too long as this can cause skin thinning. If eczema is very severe, antibiotics may be necessary to fight an infection stemming from the rash. Ultraviolet light therapy has also been helpful in reducing inflammation from severe eczema.

Here is a video to show you how to treat eczema in baby:

How to Soothe My Baby at Home



Wear scratch mittens

If you know your child suffers from eczema, there are steps you can take to reduce their discomfort. Start by trimming your child’s nails or investing in scratch mittens to avoid your child scratching their rash.

Avoid hot water bathing

Avoid bathing your child in hot water that can strip the natural moisture from their skin. Only use soap where your child is dirty such as the genitals or hands and simply rinse the rest of their body.

Limit bathing time

If possible, restrict bath time to 10 minutes and use unscented, mild soap. Some find that adding oatmeal to your child’s bath during outbreaks can help with itchiness. After your child is bathed, place a moisturizer on their skin while they are still wet. Pat your child’s skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing their skin.

Put away scented items

Avoid any perfumed deodorants, laundry soap or bath products around the house which could trigger eczema outbreaks.

Avoid sweating

Also avoid putting too many layers of clothing or blankets on your child as sweating can cause an eczema outbreak.

Dress your baby properly

Dress them in loose clothing that will allow their child to breathe and only dress your child in clothes that have been washed.

How to Prevent Baby Eczema

  • Breastfeeding as much as you can. Studies have found that you can lower the risk of allergic reactions and eczema by breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months. Some have found that children who develop eczema are also allergic to cow’s milk, so those that are not breastfeeding should remove this from their child’s diet in favor of formula which contains goats’ milk or soy.
  • Talk to your doctor. Some suggest that taking probiotic supplements while breastfeeding can reduce the risk of eczema, but the correlation of this is still unclear. There is also little evidence that eating certain foods while breastfeeding can contribute to eczema. However, if it appears that your child develops a breakout after you eat certain foods, talk to your doctor. Your child may have an allergy to this substance.

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