Baby Eczema Causes And How To Manage The Condition
Have you ever wondered what baby eczema causes are, and how to deal with them? Have you found the answers yet? If you haven’t, we’re going to share with you how to treat common causes of baby eczema today.
Before anything else, congratulations on having a new baby! And if you are a first-time mom, welcome to motherhood. It’s going to be one exciting, thrilling, and amazing ride!
Anyway, so you have given birth to a healthy baby – or so you thought until one day, he or she was so fussy, you do not know what to do anymore.
You already tried almost everything to stop your baby from crying. You are starting to get frustrated and disappointment is starting to creep in your system. You know you can’t let the emotions take the best of you, or you might just snap.
After a while, you thought of checking your baby’s skin. It was like a lightbulb moment or maybe someone whispered to check your baby closely. You do not know. It’s just that you felt you needed to do check on every part of his or her body.
And guess what you found? Rashes!
You found some red rashes on his or her face, and other areas like the chin and scalp. Of course, you initially thought it’s just ordinary rashes that develop on babies. So, you immediately put on some cream, hoping that this will finally help your baby feel better.
But, sad to say, it didn’t help that much.
Finally, you and your husband decided to have your baby checked by his or her pediatrician. After a few tests, the doctor broke the news – your baby has baby eczema. The rashes? They are just one of the many symptoms of baby eczema that you have to deal with – along with learning all the baby eczema causes to help ensure that these symptoms will stay away from your baby.
Does this scenario seem very familiar to you? Are you one of those parents whose babies are suffering from baby eczema? Well, today, we hope to help you by giving some important information about what baby eczema is, what baby eczema causes are, what the symptoms are, and of course, how to keep eczema away – or at least lessen it.
So, let’s begin with some baby eczema 101.
WHAT IS BABY ECZEMA?
According to the National Eczema Association, baby eczema or eczema (in general), also known as dermatitis, refers to “a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed.”
It is a skin condition that manifests at no particular age or time. It could reveal as early as a few months old after birth, or even on older people. Specifically, babies may have it within the first six months of their lives, up to five years of age.
While it is very common, unfortunately, to this date, there is still no specific cure to this skin condition. In fact, medical practitioners consider this as a life-long condition especially when this occurs in older people.
As with babies, there is a chance that the condition will disappear as the baby grows old. However, in some cases, it reoccurs.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF ECZEMA?
Still, according to the National Eczema Association, there are various types of eczema. These are:
– Atopic Dermatitis
It is the most common type of eczema and is considered as chronic or long-lasting. In fact, according to, NEA, 13% of all children in the United States are suffering from atopic dermatitis.
– Contact Dermatitis
This form of eczema occurs when the “skin comes into contact with the substance in the environment that a person is allergic to”. Normally, the skin reacts, causing it to become red and itchy.
– Dyshidrotic Eczema
This one’s another common type of eczema. This causes “small intensely itchy blisters on the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet”. According to research, it commonly appears on women than in men.
– Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis is the most common form of eczema among babies. It appears in areas of the body that with a lot of oil-producing glands. It normally occurs on the nose, back, and scalp.
Seborrheic Dermatitis normally appears on the scalp of infants. In fact, it is also known as “cradle cap”. However, seborrheic dermatitis, which appears on the scalp of older children is called dandruff.
IS ECZEMA CONTAGIOUS?
While it may look like one, the answer is NO. Eczema or dermatitis is definitely transferable to anyone. So, even if you make skin contact with someone who is affected with eczema, you do not have to worry because it won’t hurt you at all. Meaning, the condition will not get into your system.
HOW DOES ECZEMA LOOK LIKE?
Eczema looks differently among babies and toddlers. It is important, as parents to know how it looks and where it happens on the body of our children, so we can easily distinguish flare-ups, and manage it accordingly.
To give you an idea, here’s a guide on what eczema looks and where it appears according to a child’s age:
Infants (0-6 Months Old)
During this stage of life, eczema commonly appears on the cheeks, forehead, face, chin, and the scalp. In some cases, it may also spread through other areas of the body like the diaper area. At this stage, eczema symptoms look like red and weepy.
Babies (6-12 Months Old)
At this age, symptoms of eczema flare-ups on babies appear on the babies’ elbows and knees, which are normally the parts of the body that babies tend to scratch or rub when crawling. It is important that you keep an eye on your baby as when eczema rashes become infected, it may cause some yellow crust (or small pus bumps) to form on the skin. That’s the last thing you want to happen.
Toddlers (2-5 Years Old)
When a child reaches the age of two, eczema usually appears in the creases of your child’s elbows and knees, as well as on his or her hands, wrists, and ankles. In some cases, it also appears on the skin around your child’s eyelids and mouth. At this point, your child’s skin may start to look scaly and dry. It may also look thick with deeper lines.
Children (5 Years Old and Above)
For children over five years, eczema flare-ups appear in the folds of knees and elbows. There are cases though wherein it only appears on the child’s hands, while others see redness and experience itchiness behind the ears, feet, or even scalp. However, you have to have it checked as sometimes it may also be symptoms of another health condition.
WHAT ARE BABY ECZEMA CAUSES?
There really is no specific known cause of why baby (or anyone in particular) gets eczema.
However, according to research, eczema may be caused by a “combination of genes,” which means if one of the baby’s parents do have eczema, there is a greater chance that it will develop on the baby as well.
Another cause of eczema is “environmental triggers”. There are several environmental irritants that may cause eczema flare-ups.
Another possible reason, too, is when the baby has skin barrier problems, which allows moisture out while the germs come in.
Now, while there are really no concrete reasons behind baby eczema or eczema as a whole, there are some factors that make symptoms of eczema even worse if not avoided.
Please note that one of the most effective ways to avoid baby eczema flare-ups is to manage the symptoms. To avoid the symptoms to happen, you have to keep your baby away from the following:
One of the common baby eczema causes or triggers is irritants. When we talk about irritants, we are referring to body soaps, perfumes, laundry soaps, clothes made up of either polyester or wool, and more. These irritants help trigger eczema symptoms.
Another common reason for eczema flare-ups is when the baby has an allergic reaction to something – it may be food or things around us. To give you an idea, some of the most common allergens are pollens, cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, as well as certain fruits. Please know that if the baby is breastfed, the mom has also to stay away from eating such allergens as it may be passed on while breastfeeding.
– Dry Skin
Dry skin is probably one of the most common triggers that lead to eczema flare-ups. The baby’s skin, in general, is really dry. That is why it is highly recommended to keep a baby’s skin moisturized by applying moisturizing lotion or creams. Dry skin is a great factor in the occurrence of itch on the skin. Keep in mind that low humidity, particularly in the winter season, may cause the skin to dry. So make sure to keep your baby’s skin hydrated and moisturized to avoid flare-ups.
– Heat and Sweat
Too much sun exposure is a no-no when your baby is diagnosed with eczema. Also, avoid putting on too much clothing on your baby as it may trigger sweating. Both instances may cause itchiness, and eventually, could lead to an eczema flare-up.
Believe it or not, even babies encounter stress. Normally, babies or children with eczema reacts to stress through flushing, which can lead to itchy and irritated skin. So, keep your baby away from stressors – as much as possible.
HOW TO MANAGE BABY ECZEMA?
Now that you already know what eczema is all about and what the baby eczema causes are, let’s move on to managing the symptoms to at least lessen down eczema flare-ups.
With that said, here are some of the actions and things that you may consider to help you manage eczema symptoms:
Before even thinking about dealing with medicines, try out these home treatments first. You know, babies’ skin is very delicate and sensitive. Well, generally, a baby is still very delicate. Thus, as much as possible, avoid too much medicine exposure – unless required because of the seriousness of the condition.
Anyway, so here are some of the home treatments that you may practice to keep your baby’s skin away from eczema flare-ups:
One of the common ways to help manage eczema symptoms is to keep your baby’s skin moisturized. Ideally, choose a moisturizer with ceramides on it. Ceramide is an ingredient that helps keep moisture on your baby’s skin.
There are a lot of available non-prescription products out there, however, we highly suggest asking your baby’s doctor for his or her recommendation. While there is nothing wrong with experimenting with products, we just feel like babies’ are too fragile. So, as much as possible, you stick to what’s best for his or her skin.
But if you are the adventurous type or parent, go ahead. But, please keep in mind that apart from ceramide content, a good moisturizer is fragrance-free.
If you are not a fan of moisturizers, other options are creams and ointments like petroleum jelly are good alternatives also. These products help retain the natural moisture of your baby’s skin.
How to Use: There is no limit when it comes to how much you put on your baby’s skin. Use it as needed and as regularly as possible. Although, ideally, you put on the moisturizer immediately after your baby’s bath.
Use of Mild and Unscented Body and Laundry Soap
As much as possible, rather at all times, avoid scented body soap or wash on your baby. They will help trigger eczema symptoms. Instead, go for soap products that are unscented, and fragrance-free.
With regards to laundry soaps, apart from staying away from products that are perfumed, avoid the ones with deodorant, and antibacterial content, as well as these, can be harsh on your baby’s very sensitive skin.
Give Your Baby a Lukewarm Bath
A lukewarm bath on babies helps keep their skin hydrated and cool. During flare-ups, it also helps ease out the itchy feel.
When bathing your baby, always ensure that the water is not hot. It’s a big no-no for babies with eczema to take a hot bath as it triggers flare-ups. Also, always keep your baby’s bath short. When we say short, we mean no more than 10 minutes long.
If your baby is not allergic to oats, you may also ass oatmeal soaking products to your baby’s tub to help soothe itchiness.
Pat Skin Dry
Always dry off your baby’s skin after bath. Please note though to avoid rubbing, rather, just pat dry. Remember, a baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive. You have to give it proper care.
Avoid tight-fitting or those clothes that rub the skin. Choose clothing that is breathable, loose instead. Also, no to clothing made of polyester or wool materials, rather, use cotton-based clothing. If it’s 100% cotton material, then, that’s way better.
Do not forget to wash new clothes before putting them on your baby. As mentioned earlier, when washing your baby’s clothes, use mild, fragrance-free laundry products only.
Now, let’s say you have already done your part, yet again, the eczema flare-ups happen. What to do next?
Well, the answer is, go have your baby checked by an expert or by his or her attending doctor. That way you will be guided on how to help ease out the flare-ups.
In this case, normally, doctors will prescribe medicines or topical creams that will help keep eczema symptoms away.
As parents, we play a very vital role to help keep our babies comfortable.
It is important – whether it be eczema or any other illness or conditions – that we act as early as possible. Meaning, the moment we see something wrong with our baby or we noticed something unusual on his or her skin, we immediately bring him or her to the doctor. That way, we are able to manage the condition as early as possible.
By doing so, it will also benefit you, parents. How? Well, it lessens down the stress of thinking about what’s going on with your baby.
For parents with babies diagnosed with eczema, it is important that you are aware of what the baby eczema causes are. By knowing what causes your baby’s eczema, you are able to put the right attitude to the situation, and in the long run, are able to manage it.
We fully understand how painful it is for parents seeing their babies being uneasy or uncomfortable because of a health condition like eczema. It is truly heart-breaking every time flare-ups happen.
But parents, be strong for your children. All the more, be informed on how to help ease out the symptoms of this skin condition, and keep you’re your baby healthy and happy.
We hope that through the information we share with you today – what baby eczema is, the different types/forms of eczema, the baby eczema causes, and managing baby eczema symptoms – it brings you light that even though this skin condition can be long-lasting (although as we said earlier, experts say that babies may outgrow this condition), there are always ways to manage it. Also, do not forget to keep a positive outlook, it will help a lot in dealing with your baby’s situation.
You can do it! Good luck!