How To Treat And Manage Baby Eczema On Hands
Babies and kids get itchy rashes on their hands from time to time. However, it’s a totally different story if we are talking about baby eczema on hands. It’s definitely something that you need to attend to and manage to keep flare-ups away.
So here’s the thing. You’ve got a lovely baby. All along you thought he or she is fine. Well, your baby has been active and it seems everything is normal and okay until —
One fine evening turned out to be something unexpected. It was summer. It was quite hotter than usual – global warming kind of thing. Your baby has been crying non-stop. He or she is fussy and irritable. Of course, human as you are, you are starting to get exhausted already. Needless to say, the deprivation of sleep made it even harder for you to compose yourself and be patient.
But as they say, the maternal instinct is unfathomable.
You knew. You just knew something is wrong. You know your baby too well. This is not him or her. This is totally out of your baby’s normal self. So, following your gutfeel, you started investigating on your baby.
He or she seems fine. No fever, the stomach is not bloated, no signs of hunger, and the diaper? It’s not even full yet. But, the baby is still not on his or her usual self. Everything seems great until you checked his or her hands. There were red rashes.
Initially, you thought it’s just some common rashes. However, it’s been two nights and days, and your baby remains the same.
And so with that, you finally decided to go see an expert to check on your baby. After several tests conducted, your baby’s doctor has finally come up with a diagnosis.
Your baby has eczema, and yes, the rashes you saw are baby eczema on hands.
It’s not a serious illness, but it still caused your world to shatter. Why? Because having a baby with eczema takes a lot of responsibility and work.
This scenario is very common among parents – especially the new ones. They thought everything is fine until such unexpected cases happen. Don’t worry if you are one of them, because we totally get you. We are parents too, and we cannot imagine how painful it is to deal with a health condition concerning your dear little human.
Anyway, having said all that, let’s move forward to serious business. Today, we are specifically dedicating this to parents whose children have eczema –
Today, we are going to share with you what eczema is all about (including baby eczema on hands), what triggers the symptoms, how to manage the symptoms, and a lot more beneficial information about baby eczema.
So, let’s begin with defining what eczema is all about.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
According to the National Eczema Association’s website, eczema or dermatitis refers to the skin condition wherein it becomes “red, itchy, and inflamed”.
Eczema has different forms, but the most common ones are atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, and the most well-known type of eczema on babies, seborrheic dermatitis or more commonly known as “cradle cap”.
Eczema appears anytime in a person’s lifetime – it occurs in as early as the first six months of life, up to even when the person is old already.
Unlike other skin conditions, eczema or dermatitis is not contagious. So, if you know someone who was diagnosed with eczema, you do not have to worry about getting near him or her because that’s totally fine. It won’t harm you at all.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ECZEMA?
The signs and symptoms of eczema or baby eczema on hands, in particular, vary depending on age and the specific eczema form or type that affected your baby. But for babies aged 2 to 6 months old, the common symptoms are dry, itchy, and red skin, and small bumps on their forehead, cheeks, or scalp.
Depending on the severity of the condition, rashes may spread to the baby’s legs, trunk, and arms. All the more, there is a chance that crusted, red, or open lesions may appear in affected areas.
In some cases of eczema flare-ups, there appears circular, slightly raised, scaly, and itchy rashes particularly in the bends of knees, elbows, as well as on the backs of the person’s wrists and ankles.
For older kids, the rashes usually look scalier compared to when the condition has begun. Moreover, the itch and dryness become more extreme. As time and age progress, the symptoms also worsen or in other cases, improve.
WHAT CAUSES ECZEMA FLARE-UPS?
Whether it be baby eczema on hands or eczema in general, the fact is, nobody knows exactly, even experts, what causes eczema or dermatitis.
However, some specialists say that that two of the most common culprits behind eczema flare-ups are first, the genes, and then second is the environment.
Let us talk more about these two. According to several studies conducted over the years, when a baby is born to parents with a family medical history of eczema or allergies, the baby is more likely to develop this skin condition. He or she becomes prone to inheriting the condition.
As for the environmental aspects, this includes irritants and allergens. There are several things surrounding us that may cause an allergic reaction or may irritate our skin. Usually, to be able to find out whether or not you have allergies is by going through the allergy test.
Now, apart from these two common causes of eczema, some other factors that experts consider that has also something to do with forming eczema are immune system problem and emotional disorders.
When a person has an immune system disorder, he or she is more prone to acquiring or forming certain health conditions including eczema. As with emotional disorders, it’s more of causing the symptoms to appear or make it even worse, but not necessarily cause eczema.
IS ECZEMA CURABLE?
Unfortunately, as of this day, there is still no cure for eczema. However, there are treatments that help address and manage eczema symptoms. The treatments available in the market today include over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, phototherapy, prescription topical medications, as well as immunosuppressants.
But apart from these treatments, there’s other good news, especially for your eczema patients. According to studies, there is a great chance that when a baby has it at such a young age, he or she gets to outgrow the skin condition. So, as the child grows old, the greater the chance that eczema goes away permanently.
But in the case of people who developed the skin condition in mid to later years of their life, it’s going to be there forever, and all you have to do is manage the symptoms to avoid flare-ups.
HOW TO TREAT BABY ECZEMA ON HANDS?
As we mentioned earlier, there are treatments available to help ease out the symptoms of baby eczema on hands and eczema in general.
These treatments include:
– Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products
Over-the-Counter (OTC) products refer to any medications that you can buy at pharmacies without the need for a doctor’s prescription. Some of the common OTC products for eczema has something to do with moisturizing the skin, while some are used to help manage eczema symptoms like itch, redness, and itch. Other OTC products for eczema include gentle skin cleansers used to prevent infection.
– Moisturizing Creams and Lotions
Dryness is one of the main culprits behind eczema flare-ups, and it can also worsen an occurring flare-up. That is why it is very important to keep your skin hydrated and most importantly, moisturized.
Just in case you are not aware of some of the common reasons behind skin dryness are cold temperatures, low humidity, wind, use of harsh soaps, and guess what? Too much washing of the skin especially the hands (so if your child has baby eczema on hands, it is a big no-no).
To help you manage dryness of skin, you have to use a moisturizer every single time possible. There are so many eczema moisturizers available in the market today. All you have to do is choose the best that suits you.
Now, it is important though that you are aware of when and how to use moisturizer. Experts highly recommend putting on moisturizers to the skin as soon as after bathing – ideally within 5 minutes after bathing. This helps the moisturizers to get into the skin.
As for those with baby eczema on hands, they have to moisturizer every after washing of hands. This will help a lot in keeping the skin moisturized and helps keep flare-ups away.
– Taking a Bath
The best way to treat dry skin is to keep the moisture in by taking a lukewarm bath and immediately putting on moisturizers after.
When you have flare-ups, soak in a lukewarm bath. Remember not to use hot water as the symptoms may get even worse. Also, keep it short. Too much soaking is not also healthy for the skin. After bathing, immediately put on moisturizer. As we mentioned earlier, make sure to apply as soon as you can or within 5 minutes after bathing.
Also, remember to pat dry. Never rub the skin as it will also worsen the skin situation.
By the way, when bathing, you may also add vinegar, salt, bleach, baking soda, or oatmeal in the water. These help calm specific eczema symptoms.
– Soaking Your Hand on Lukewarm Water
Specific to those with baby eczema on hands, you may do the same process in cleaning your hands. Use lukewarm water, and then after washing your hands, immediately apply moisturizing hand creams or lotions.
You may also soak your hand in the water with vinegar, salt, bleach, baking soda, or oatmeal. It will help manage the itchiness or redness of the skin.
– Prescription Topical
The most common forms of prescription topical medications include corticosteroids (steroids), topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), PDE4 inhibitors, and skin barrier creams.
Obviously, you only get to access these types of medications with your doctor’s prescriptions. Normally, doctors resort to prescribing topical creams when the condition gets unmanageable or are already causing too much discomfort on the person.
These medications are typically applied to affected areas to help ease out eczema symptoms like dryness, itching, and redness of the skin.
Some eczema patients go through the phototherapy process wherein experts use a special machine to help emit narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light into the skin. By doing so, it helps reduce inflammation, itching, as well as it helps increase vitamin D production, which is very essential to keep healthy skin. It also produces bacteria-fighting systems in the skin.
Compared to other treatments, though, this may be a little pricey. But it’s worth it anyway.
– Systemic Medications or Immunosuppresants
While there really is no known specific cause of eczema as of this time, researchers believe that this skin condition has something to do or is related to the immune system. Thus, systemic medications or immunosuppressants are also recommended for people with eczema.
This type of medication basically refers to a drug that helps control or suppress the immune system. By doing so, it helps slow down the symptoms of severe eczema. Yes, you read it right. This medication is specifically recommended for people with severe eczema conditions.
Biologic drugs refer to a specific piece of the immune system reaction that worsen or adds up to atopic dermatitis symptoms. Atopic dermatitis, by the way, is one of the most common forms of eczema or dermatitis. Yes, it may also appear on the hands.
Anyway, biologics contain “genetically engineered proteins” from human genes. What the experts do is they administer it intravenously or through the vein as infusions to specifically target parts of the immune system that help trigger inflammation.
HOW TO MANAGE BABY ECZEMA ON HANDS SYMPTOMS?
Now, while there are ways to help treat baby eczema on hands or eczema generally, there are also ways to help manage the occurrence of eczema symptoms.
These include the following:
- Stay away from triggers.
There are a lot of possible triggers that cause eczema flare-up or worsen it. It is important for someone diagnosed with eczema or as specific as baby eczema on hands to stay away from these triggers or you may suffer the consequences.
For your information, some of the most commonly known triggers are:
- harsh soaps and laundry detergents
- certain fabrics like wool, polyester, or coarsely woven materials
- certain skincare products, perfumes, and colognes that contain alcohol
- animal dander
- dry winter air with little moisture
- tobacco smoke
- high allergen food like dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy, and nuts
- emotional stress
- excessive heat
- Use moisturizer regularly.
Particularly choose the ones with high ceramides content as they help a lot in keeping the skin moisturized. We already mentioned it a few times earlier, nevertheless, be reminded that when applying moisturizer after a bath, apply it within the first five minutes after bath to lock in moisture into the skin.
As with baby eczema on hands, keep the hands moisturized by always using moisturizing hand creams or lotions every after handwashing.
- Avoid frequent hot baths.
As we mentioned earlier, hot baths are not good for people with eczema. It tends to dry the skin. Rather, use lukewarm water when taking a bath, and make sure to use mild, unscented soap.
- Avoid using harsh body and laundry soaps.
In relation to item number 3, avoid using harsh body and laundry soaps. Well, there are several available soaps in the market today that are specific for eczema patients. By using these soaps, you are assured that the manufacturers did not use harsh chemicals or ingredients. We highly recommend using natural or organic ones.
- Do not rub the skin after bath.
Rubbing the skin with a towel is harsh. Instead, just gently pat dry your skin.
- Dress comfortably.
Avoid putting on fitted clothes. They cause harm to the skin. Rather, use loose and comfortable clothes instead. Be mindful also of the fabric. Avoid clothes that are made of wool or polyester. Instead, use the ones made up of cotton fabric.
- Drink a lot of water.
Drinking lots of water helps keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. So, keep a handy tumbler and always fill it with water. Drink as much as you can in a day – increase it more during summer season.
- Avoid too much sun exposure.
Heat is the number one enemy of people with eczema. Too much sun exposure can easily cause flare-ups. Thus, as much as possible, stay away from the heat of the sun. Sorry, but sunbathing is a big no for people with eczema. Keep cool instead.
- Invest in a really good air humidifier.
An air humidifier helps keep moisture in the air. So, if you have a baby with eczema, you better invest in a really good air humidifier. If you can, put one in every room. Otherwise, keep one on the space where your baby is normally at.
So, there you have it! We hope that we were able to share knowledge and important information on what baby eczema on hands is and eczema is all about in general, and how to deal with it. We hope that by knowing all these, we were able to help you understand more this type of skin condition and what it requires to keep flare-ups away.