What comes to your mind when you encounter symptoms of baby eczema weeping?
Dealing with eczema especially when babies and children are involved can be worrisome. All the more when symptoms of baby eczema weeping happen. But you know what? Being well-aware about the skin condition and how to manage it makes a lot of difference.
My baby was about 5 months old when he was diagnosed with baby eczema, and I tell you, I panicked upon learning about it. I have heard about eczema before through friends with babies having the same case. I knew the condition can be long-lasting.
I got so worried about my child. I feel scared for his future.
Although generally, eczema is not considered as a life-threatening disease, when complications such as infection happen, it can be troublesome – not only for the child but for parents too.
I remember the first time baby eczema flare happened to my kid, the moment I saw the rashes, I felt scared. I immediately brought him to the doctor. I did not waste any time. I am a believer that when it comes to babies, you should never self-assess or self-medicate. It always better to overreact than to just relax and chill, because really, it is so hard to tell whether your kid is okay or not.
Anyway, it took a while before my son was fully diagnosed with eczema. We had to visit one doctor to another. You know, as parents, we will not stop until everything is clear. And it was only when we visited a pediatric dermatologist that our son’s skin condition was confirmed.
By the way, as a mom of a baby with eczema, I highly suggest you go see a specialist like a pediatric dermatologist. Since these people specialize in skin conditions, they have better knowledge and the expertise to help you as you journey on with such condition.
I remember one of our doctor’s directives is to always make sure our baby is away from possible triggers, and if he does have a flare, we have to make sure we follow the eczema management plan the doctor specially made for our son. An eczema management plan is basically like a strategy on how to prevent, manage, and treat eczema flare.
You know, it helped us a lot especially when or baby had a really bad flare wherein the symptoms of baby eczema weeping. We did not see that coming. We thought we were following the plan correctly but we, apparently missed some points. We brought him to the doctor and thankfully, we managed to treat the symptoms right on time – meaning, before it even got worse.
As I mentioned earlier, being well-educated, apart from following your doctor’s orders religiously is very important for parents with babies diagnosed with eczema. It does not only help you manage or treat eczema, but it also gives you a certain peace of mind.
With that said, let me share with you some of what I consider as essential information that every eczema parent should know.
Let us start with what baby eczema is all about.
BABY ECZEMA: WHAT IS IT?
Eczema or dermatitis is a very common skin condition not only among children but adults too. In fact, there are over 30 million people in the United States who are diagnosed with this skin condition.
Baby eczema is one of the most common skin conditions among babies and children. According to research, one in every ten babies and children is affected by baby eczema.
According to the Better Health Channel website, eczema is “an inherited, chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually appears in early childhood. Patches of skin become red, scaly and itchy. Sometimes, tiny blisters containing clear fluid can form and the affected areas of skin can weep. Weeping is a sign that dermatitis has become infected, usually with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (‘golden staph’).”
By, now I guess you will have an idea of how scary having symptoms of baby eczema weeping can be. While eczema, as I said earlier, is not considered as a serious health condition, it can be a threat to life if taken for granted or not treated immediately.
Many people thought that eczema is contagious. Well, with how it looks, people are sometimes scared to go near someone with eczema. But here’s a fact, eczema is not contagious, and it is totally safe to go near someone with eczema.
As a parent, it can be so heartbreaking to see your kid being excluded by other kids just because he or she has an eczema rash. That is information is key also to make people aware that there is really nothing to worry about.
The cases of Eczema vary depending on the severity of the case and the symptoms. Among babies, for instance, eczema is categorized into three. These are mild baby eczema, moderate baby eczema, and severe baby eczema. What category does your baby’s condition belong will depend on the doctor’s diagnosis.
Just so you know, when eczema becomes worse, it may disrupt sleep or even worse, may get infected. That is why seeing your healthcare provider immediately is a must-do.
BABY ECZEMA: WHAT CAUSES IT?
Now, for those wondering what causes baby eczema, unfortunately, the main cause of this skin condition remains unknown up to this day.
However, over the years, after several studies conducted, researchers found out that most people with eczema have eczema in their family medical history, or may have allergies or asthma or hay fever.
With that, experts believe that while the main cause of eczema is still unknown, it may have something to do with the genetic order of the person. Meaning, the skin condition is inherited. So, if you or your husband have had eczema or your family medical history show eczema, the more likely it is for your baby to develop the said skin condition.
Furthermore, in a report posted on Better Health Channel, a study conducted show that another possible cause of eczema is when the “person is unable to repair damage to the skin barrier due to a mutation in the gene called filaggrin.” This is too technical already, but the report says that filaggrin is an important aspect of the formation of a person’s skin barrier. In a normal case, every cell situated in the skin has two copies of the filaggrin gene. But in the case of people who are vulnerable to eczema, they only have a single copy of the said gene.
By having only one copy of the gene, the person’s skin becomes more sensitive when exposed to allergens and irritants, which may lead to an allergic reaction, and then eczema flare. I think I will have to leave this at it. If you need further information about this, you may ask your doctor for a proper explanation.
Now, there are also some cases wherein a person’s diet may cause a flare. But it is actually related to allergies as well. When you are allergic to certain food like cow’s milk, nuts, etc. you also become more susceptible to eczema.
Stress may also have something to do with it! Yes, it’s kind of amazing how stress can trigger a lot of health conditions including eczema flare-ups.
Now, if you noticed, most of these are related to the symptoms of eczema only. Because as I said earlier, the main root or cause of why eczema exists remains a mystery still.
In addition, just to show you the data I gathered from Seattle’s Children’s website, it says:
- About 30% of babies with severe eczema were discovered to also have food allergies. The most common allergen is cow’s milk.
- Over 10% of children have eczema. It’s the most common skin condition among children from 0 to ten years of age.
BABY ECZEMA: WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
I mentioned earlier about baby eczema weeping. Well, that kind of symptom only appears when the eczema is considered as under moderate to severe category, or in some cases, it happens when not treated right away (which was what happened to my son once).
But on a regular basis, here are some of the symptoms of baby eczema based on what is stated in the Seattle’s Children’s website:
- The main symptom of eczema is itching. Here’s the thing, if it doesn’t itch, it’s not eczema. It may be something else.
- During flare-ups, the rash becomes red or even raw and weepy.
- Onset: Average onset at 3 months old. Range: 1-6 months old. It usually begins at 2 years old.
- Typical eczema begins on the cheeks at 1 to 6 months of age. In usual cases, it can spread to the rest of the face or other parts of the body.
- In infants, the symptoms usually appear on the outer surfaces of the arms and legs, and may also spread out to other parts of the body.
- As you can see, where the symptoms appear changes as the child grows old, but how the rashes look like stays the same. Now, in older children, eczema is found in the joint creases. The symptoms are also commonly found in a child’s elbows, wrists, and knees.
- The rash is usually the same on both sides of the body.
To simply put it, if you see any of the following symptoms, you better see your doctor immediately:
- skin dryness
- red and scaly areas on the front of the elbows and the back of the knees
- baby eczema weeping
- lesions (sores) that may become infected by bacteria or viruses.
BABY ECZEMA: WHAT TRIGGERS FLARE-UPS?
There are a lot of possible triggers. But some of the most common ones are the following:
- Baby and Laundry Soaps
- Animal Dander
- Certain Types of Food
- Wool, Polyester, and Other Synthetic Fabrics
- Dry Air
- Herpes Virus Infection (Serious)
- Certain Chemicals
- Dust Mites
- Metal, Nickel, etc.
- Too Much Heat or Hotness
- Too Cold Temperature
- Dryness of Skin
To be able to manage your baby’s eczema, you better stay away from these possible triggers.
BABY ECZEMA: HOW TO PREVENT AND MANAGE IT?
Prevention and management of baby eczema depend on the severity of your baby’s eczema case. Nevertheless, there is totally nothing wrong if you follow some of the most common and proven effective ways to prevent and manage eczema.
As a mom whose child is an eczema patient, I have to say that since we followed these preventive and management measures, our baby rarely experiences a flare.
So, here we go:
- Use a very good moisturizer regularly. Apply it as soon as after bathing – at least within the first 3 minutes after.
- Bathe your baby on a regular basis or as told by your healthcare provider. Make sure to use lukewarm water only as hot water causes the skin to dry.
- Avoid using bubble bath as it can cause a major flare-up.
- Use mild, hypoallergenic, and unscented baby soap.
- Avoid scrubbing, subbing, or scratching the skin. After taking a bath, gently pat dry the skin instead.
- Wear soft, loose clothing made of cotton fabrics. Avoid fitted clothing as it may rub off the skin, which may cause a flare.
- Put on mittens of gloves to your baby’s hands as they tend to scratch the affected skin especially when it is too itchy. If your baby doesn’t like mittens or gloves, at least make sure to always trim short his or her fingernails.
- Keep your child away from lying on the grass especially during the grass pollen season.
- Certain animals may cause the rash worse, so better stay away from them.
- If breastfeeding, make sure to avoid any food that your baby may be allergic to. Remember, what comes through your mouth may be passed through the breastmilk, which your baby takes.
- Avoid using clothes made of fabrics like wool and polyester or other scratchy, rough materials.
- Use an air humidifier to keep the air moist.
- Keep your baby away from people with or suspected to have fever blisters (cold sores). Unfortunately, the herpes virus can trigger serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
- Avoid the heat of the sun or any places that are too hot or even places that are too cold. Rather, keep your baby inside warm places.
- Avoid overheating your baby’s body or putting on too much layer of clothing when as it may lead to sweating, and sweat may trigger baby eczema flare.
- Upon your doctor’s discretion, apply prescribed medications.
BABY ECZEMA: HOW TO TREAT IT?
The above mentioned ways of prevention and managing eczema are also applicable in treating the skin condition. But to be more specific about the available treatments there are, see below list:
- Use emollients or moisturizers. When your baby has flares, make sure to use moisturizers at least two to three times daily, or as directed by the doctor. Moisturizer, as you know it, helps keep the skin moisturized and keeps dryness away, which happens to be an enemy of people with eczema problems.
- Use of anti-inflammatory creams or ointments. Depending on the severity of the baby eczema, your doctor may prescribe either topical corticosteroids or non-steroidal snit-inflammatory ointments like pimecrolimus. While it may be tempting to buy over-the-counter steroid creams, I highly suggest you go see your doctor before using any creams or ointments on your baby’s skin.
- Making necessary dietary changes. If your baby is allergic with certain foods that you eat, which are being passed through breastmilk, make sure that you do necessary changes in your diet. You have to avoid the foods that may cause an allergic reaction and lead to eczema flare.
- Use of coal tar. This may sound new to some but coal tar actually helps reduce itchiness.
- Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy. Also known as phototherapy is one of the emerging ways to help treat eczema symptoms. Again, it is upon the discretion of your doctor. Do not undergo such without your doctor’s advice.
- Taking oral medication. It is more likely for older children to be prescribed with oral medications. Most of the oral medication also helps ease out itchiness.
BABY ECZEMA: WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR?
Generally, eczema is not life-threatening, but as you know, any simple sickness may lead to something big if not taken action right away. The same goes for eczema. If you do not mind the symptoms immediately, it might lead to bigger problems like getting an infection.
Now, call the doctor as soon as you can if you see the following symptoms:
– Babies who are aged 12 weeks and below have rashes and fever.
– The symptoms looks infected (there is pus, baby eczema weeping, spreading redness), and may or may not be accompanied by fever.
– There are small blisters or punched-out sores coming out.
– Your baby looks very sick.
– Severe itching occurs that makes your kid extra fussy and restless.
– Your baby is crying non-stop.
– The medications are not working.
As I said earlier, dealing with eczema is no easy feat especially for parents with babies diagnosed with the said skin condition. It takes a lot of dedication, love, and care from parents to their children.
You know, when my baby had symptoms of baby eczema weeping, I promised myself that was going to be the first and last time he has to go through that. I knew it was painful and uncomfortable. And as much as I want to spare him from all that, I just couldn’t.
That is why since then, I promised myself to never be uneducated again, and to always be reactive in a positive way whenever I see or feel something is wrong with my baby. Never to dilly-dally again.
To end, I hope I was able to open your mind about eczema and how to deal with it. But more than that, I hope I was able to impart to you my personal learnings having gone through and going through this case.