Baby Eczema

facial baby eczema

Eczema affects around 15-20% of all children and commonly appears before the age of two, resulting in dry, itchy skin. Baby eczema is usually grown out of however, and most children will be largely free of the condition by the time they reach their teens and start worrying instead about acne. Children who suffer from eczema are more likely to also be affected by asthma and hayfever, as well as food allergies, and are described as being atopic. Eczema in infants can be upsetting for both parent and child as the baby’s skin can crack, weep, and bleed, with red, itchy, and dry patches. It can be difficult to prevent small children from scratching their skin, but it is important to try as persistent scratching may worsen the condition or lead to infection.

Baby Eczema Hot-Spots

Baby eczema usually affects the infant’s hands, neck, face, the backs of the knees, and the inside of the elbows and the condition means that the usual protective skin barrier is not functioning as it should. The location of the eczema can aid diagnosis and ensure that proper baby eczema treatment is given. The baby’s skin has difficulty maintaining proper moisture levels, will be more prone to infections and allergic reactions, such as occur in contact dermatitis, and severe baby eczema or excessive scratching may lead to scarring or loss of pigmentation in skin patches.

Itchy Skin and Infection

Itchy, dry skin can lead to chronic scratching of the face, neck, or hands. This may result in red and inflamed skin and possible scarring, which can make older children feel self-conscious. Allergic reactions and infections may also exacerbate baby eczema symptoms and care should be taken to reduce exposure to possible skin allergens and maintain good hygiene standards so as to reduce the risks of infection.

Causes of Baby Eczema

Although the causes of baby eczema are not understood completely, It is thought that baby eczema is a largely hereditary phenomenon with several family members often suffering from atopic eczema, asthma, or hayfever, along with food allergies or intolerances. Flare-ups of eczema can occur when the skin is irritated by certain chemicals, and this form of contact eczema may worsen the atopic baby eczema in a number of infants. Taking care when bathing a baby and when choosing skin lotions and moisturisers for baby eczema is important to reduce the risks of flare-ups. Special baby eczema creams are available that are free from fragrances and harsh chemicals.

Allergens and Childhood Eczema

Where the baby’s skin is red and itchy a lot of the time but then suddenly becomes much worse it is possible that an allergic reaction has occurred, often to a common household chemical such as detergents found in bubble baths, laundry soap, or shampoos. Isolating the culprit can be difficult for a busy young family but removing the offending item(s) can significantly reduce the pain and suffering of eczema in infants and reduce the need for intensive eczema treatment. Many parents are unsure of how to treat baby eczema and worry that they will be considered bad parents if their child’s skin looks red, angry, and painful.

Treating Baby Eczema

Medical help should be sought for any unusual skin rash in an infant or child. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for appropriate treatment of eczema in infants and older children. They can also offer advice on how to prevent flare-ups of childhood eczema. There are also many natural remedies for baby eczema, as well as those lotions masquerading as natural eczema skin creams but with the potential to worsen the condition. Many support groups are available, both online and offline, for parents of children with atopic conditions, and controlling baby eczema is important so as to minimise the potential for asthma-related problems in a child.

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