Have you seen baby eczema bumps on your baby’s skin? Before you even panic, learn more about baby eczema and the ways to prevent, manage, and treat eczema flares. We tell you, being informed and knowledgeable about the situation makes a lot of difference.
You carried your baby for nine months. All along you dreamed nothing but the best for him or her. The best of everything – including his or her health.
However, no matter how hard we try to shield our children from harm or certain health conditions, there are just some things that are way out of our control – and one of them is the occurrence of baby eczema.
Eczema or also known as dermatitis is a very common skin condition that hits babies and children. In fact, according to statistics, one in every ten children develops a certain type of eczema between zero to five years of age.
To be honest, it is so hard to tell whether a rash is related to baby eczema or not. Well, for a fact, a lot of people sometimes confuse baby eczema bumps to those of ringworms, diaper rash, and other types of skin conditions, which symptoms come in the form of rashes, too.
In one of our mommy get together sessions, a friend shared about her experience with baby eczema. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was healthy and happy. She is like a light to every single person she encounters. She does become fussy at times, but when she does, it’s normally nothing serious.
One summer night, her baby was about five months then, she and her husband were awakened in the middle of the night because their baby was crying loud. Initially, she thought she was just hungry, and so she offered milk. Instead of calming down, the baby continued crying. She then checked her nappies, but it wasn’t even full yet and no signs of poop.
The baby kept crying. As a mom, she said she knew something is wrong, but unfortunately, to her frustration, she didn’t have any idea. It was a first!
As the baby continues to cry, it was as if there was a light bulb moment, but we thought it was a mother’s instinct that led her to check every area of her baby’s skin. True enough, there were rashes on her neck. While it was tempting for her to apply over-the-counter baby rash creams, she hesitated. Instead, she Googled about rashes on babies’ neck. And the search result? Well, she was bombarded with information about eczema.
Without having to think twice, when the sun rose, she immediately brought her child to her pediatrician. To cut the long story short, indeed, it was baby eczema! What was on her baby’s neck are not ordinary rashes, but baby eczema bumps!
You see, imagine if our dear friend did not follow her instinct, it could have been worse, right? You know, with her story, it really makes us believe that as parents, especially us, moms, it is very important to listen and follow our gutfeel. It really helps a lot! In fact, it could save a life.
Moving on, so, today, we are glad that you are here as we are going to dedicate this to parents like us who wants more information and knowledge about eczema and of course, know more about the ways on how to prevent, manage, and treat baby eczema bumps.
With such a prevalent health case among children, it is really important that we are informed. So, in case we suspect our child or a family member’s child does have baby eczema bumps, we know what to do.
Anyway, so let us begin with today’s discussion. Let us start with some baby eczema 101 first.
What is baby eczema?
According to the website, EverydayHealth.com, baby eczema is a “red, oozing rash on the face and scalp”. But apart from the face and scalp, it may also appear in other parts of the body like the neck, back, and even in the arms and legs. Depending on the severity of eczema, it may also cause itching and irritation.
While it affects adult people, eczema is also very common among babies and children. In fact, based on the report published by the journal entitled, Dermatitis, about 13% of American children younger than 18 years old are diagnosed with eczema.
Moreover, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90% of people affected by eczema had it even before they reached the age of five, while about 60% of those with atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, developed the said condition before they turned one year old.
Baby eczema or also called infantile eczema is believed to persist throughout childhood, and may crossover to his or her adolescent years, and in some cases, even into adulthood. While this may sound alarming and overwhelming, do not feel bad for your child yet. Because according to research, children who had eczema at such a young age have a greater chance of outgrowing the said skin condition. Yes, there is a chance that eczema may disappear forever!
What causes baby eczema?
Unfortunately, researchers and medical experts have yet to discover the very cause of baby eczema. This skin condition seems to be very mysterious that up to this day, even the most brilliant minds could not figure out yet why it even exists!
However, these same people believe that the child’s genetic and his or her environmental condition may have something to do with it. Apparently, most people with eczema have either inherited the said skin condition from one of their parents or have certain forms of allergy. Some of the people affected by eczema also have a family medical history of hay fever or asthma.
Based on the report published in EverydayHealth.com, eczema may also be a result of an “immune-system dysfunction that affects the skin barrier and its ability to hold in moisture.”
By the way, just in case you are getting confused, eczema is the general term that refers to various inflammatory skin conditions. When we say baby eczema, we specifically address the kind of eczema that hits our little ones.
Anyway, just so you know, apart from atopic dermatitis, some of the other types of eczema that may also affect young people are contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema (foot-and-hand eczema), and seborrheic dermatitis (also known as “cradle cap”).
Is baby eczema contagious?
Well, here’s a piece of good news, while this skin condition may be long-lasting, and untreatable, it is, however, not contagious. Thus, do not keep your child away from his or her siblings or from other children and family members. He/She is totally safe and is not harmful.
In the same way that if you do not have a child with eczema, and your friend’s kid has, do not isolate the other kid. Rather, let your child play with him/her.
You know, having a positive and happy environment helps a lot for someone with such a kind of health condition.
What are the symptoms of baby eczema?
Normally, in almost all types of eczema, the initial symptoms are red rashes that make the skin itchy, dry, and sometimes, scaly. In some cases, baby eczema bumps exist that may weep or ooze fluid. But apart from these, there are also other symptoms to watch out for, and these include the following:
– thickened skin
– darkened skin around the eyes
– darkened skin on the eyelids
– certain changes to how the skin around the eyes, mouth, and ears look like
In the case of cradle cap, which is a very common form of eczema among babies and infants, symptoms include:
– greasy yellow scales on the scalp (it sometimes appear in a thick layer on top of the head)
– flaky scales
– sometimes, it may be itchy as well
For babies with atopic dermatitis, experts say that they have a greater risk in acquiring other allergic conditions like hay fever, asthma, as well as food allergies.
If you see any of these signs and symptoms on your child, no dilly-dallying, immediately call your doctor’s clinic and have your baby checked. The earlier the eczema is detected, the better. That means you will be able to prevent flares from coming up by following a certain eczema management plan for your child.
What triggers eczema symptoms?
As we earlier mentioned, even to this day, experts have yet to come up or discover the right treatment or medication for eczema cases. But eczema has become manageable by ensuring that symptom is prevented and/or treated, which we will discuss later on.
Meanwhile, here are some of the triggers that lead to baby eczema flares:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Allergenic foods like eggs, peanuts, soy, cow’s milk (If your opting feed formula milk for your baby, you better make sure to check your doctor for the right milk for your baby.)
- Clothing made of wool or synthetic fibers
- Cigarette smoke (The smell in itself is harmful to your baby. No wonder why it is harmful on the skin too.)
- Scented products like laundry detergents, perfume, and air fresheners
- Products that contain alcohol
- Excessive heat or dryness (That is why keeping your baby under the heat of the sun is a crime.)
- Dry winter air with little moisture
- Skin infections
- Sweating (Regardless of weather, hot or cold, letting your baby sweat is a big no-no.)
- Stress (Yes! Even babies can get stressed if you put him/her in stressful situations.)
These are just some of the many environmental factors that cause a person’s immune system to respond negatively, or in this case, cause or worsen eczema flares.
How to prevent and/or treat baby eczema?
The American Academy for Pediatricians (AAP) cited four main goals of treating baby eczema. These are the following:
- Skin maintenance. It is important for someone who has eczema to have skin maintenance as it helps repair and keep a healthy skin barrier. It also helps prevent future flare-ups.
- Anti-inflammatory skin medications. By using such medications, it helps reduce the inflammatory response when there is a flare-up. However, this may not always be necessary among babies – unless of course, the doctor finds it necessary.
- Itch Control. Scratching the affected area generally increases the itch. Itch control becomes necessary to avoid the temptation to scratch the area.
- Managing triggers. Of all these, managing triggers help a lot to reduce or prevent eczema flare-ups.
With these four goals in mind, here are five ways on how you can treat baby eczema at the comforts of your home.
- Give baby a warm bath, and immediately apply moisturizer after.
Regularly give your baby a warm bath. Remember to always keep the bathing short. A good 5 to ten minutes is more than enough. Also, remember to use lukewarm water. The use of hot water may worsen the skin condition of your baby. Gently pat dry your baby’s skin, Avoid scrubbing or rubbing as it will cause harm to the skin.
Right after bathing, immediately apply moisturizer on your baby’s skin. Ideally, you apply it within 3 to 5 minutes after the baby’s bath.
By the way, when bathing your baby, make sure to use mild, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free body soap. Also, although it is advisable to bath your baby regularly, you also have to keep in mind that every child is different. So, you better pay attention to how your baby’s skin responds to the frequency of the bath. If you think too much bathing makes your baby’s skin dryer or something like that, then, at most thrice a week is okay.
- Use an ointment on your baby’s skin.
Studies show that using skin ointments are better than using lighter moisturizing creams. But then again, it is a case-to-case basis. It still depends on how your baby’s skin reacts to the ointment or cream.
Skin ointments are said to be more effective in treating eczema because they help keep more moisture in the skin.
When choosing an ointment, opt for the ones with the most natural formula. Avoid ointments that contain scents and preservatives as it may cause irritation on your baby. While there are so many over-the-counter ointments in the market today, according to studies, prescription ointments and creams are still far more effective compared to the ones available OTC.
- Identify what triggers your baby’s eczema.
The best way to help prevent and treat baby eczema flares is to keep away from possible triggers, all the more the ones that are identified as triggers.
Check the products you use for yourself and your baby. Yes, including you, especially if you are always near your baby or you are always close to your baby. Whatever you use, may also irritate your baby’s skin. Check also the home products you use as they may also trigger eczema flares.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, or if your baby is already eating solids, check the food you eat as they may be the culprit of your baby’s eczema flare. You may check the list we provided earlier for possible eczema triggers.
- Apply a wet dressing
This is particularly advised to when your baby is experiencing severe eczema flare. However, you have to consult with your pediatrician first before applying a wet dressing or also known as wet wrap therapy, because, at times, this is used along with a prescription steroid cream under very close medical supervision.
The wrap is used to ensure that the tropical treatments keep moist and be better absorbed into your baby’s skin.
To give you an idea, here’s the process of applying wet dressing:
- Give your baby a quick warm bath, and gently pat dry the skin.
- Immediately apply a cream or moisturizer.
- Wet the gauze or cotton clothing using clean and warm water, and then apply it to the affected area of the skin.
- Cover the wet layer using another layer of dry clothing.
- Leave the dressing for about three to eight hours.
A wet dressing may be applied for 24 to 72 hours or overnight for a maximum of one week. But then again, as we said earlier, make sure to consult and discuss it with your pediatrician first.
- Take oral antihistamines.
This is probably one of the last resorts. You know, when you have done everything already, yet the itch continues and is causing too much discomfort on your baby already.
Prescribing oral antihistamine helps reduce itchiness. While there are non-drowsy antihistamines, please note that they don’t help with the itch. What is effected are the drowsy ones like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and other older antihistamines. That said, do not be surprised if your baby falls asleep after taking the medication.
But as we said, giving this type of medication is generally the last resort among doctors. That said, do not dare give an antihistamine to your child without your doctor’s recommendation because ideally, this medication should not be given to children under 2 years of age.
Before we end, remember to always be mindful of your baby. The moment he or she becomes not on his or her usual self, take is like a clue that something is wrong. Now, if you suspect that your baby has baby eczema bumps, do not hesitate to immediately see your doctor.
As with regards to managing baby eczema, it all depends on us, parents. But here’s a sure thing, with the proper guidance of your child’s pediatrician, you will surely be able to do things right.
Good luck, and may your baby stays healthy and happy.