A child may have eczema in early childhood. Although many of them will overcome the itchy rash and itchy spots on their skin, some babies will need extra support.
What is the best way to treat eczema and stop itching in your baby? Check out our top tips for treating baby eczema.
What is baby eczema?
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a dry, itchy skin rash that can appear on any part of the body but usually on the face or limbs. One person can have eczema, including newborns.
Eczema is a very common phenomenon in children. It affects up to 25% of children, about 60% of whom develop it in the first year of life. Although the condition can be lifelong, some children have it.
Some things tend to make people more prone to developing eczema, including:
- Family history of eczema
- Family history: hay fever, allergies or asthma
- Living in cold, humid climates
- Exposure to environmental irritants (eg smoke, detergents, odors և pollution)
- Having an overactive immune system
In the United States, black children are 1.7 times more likely to develop eczema than white children. It is not known why eczema affects disproportionately children, but theories include inadequate access to health care so that darker skin can mask the rash, leading to a later diagnosis.
What does baby eczema look like?
Eczema often occurs on the skin of the face and scalp in infants under 6 months of age. The rash is usually red; it can blister, leak fluid, and then come out of the crust. Older children may develop eczema on the elbows and knees.
Eczema is not usually found in the diaper area as the skin stays extremely moist. The rash in this area is more likely to be diaper rash.
Eczema itching can make a baby very uncomfortable. The child may not be able to tell the caregiver what is wrong, but his or her behavior may indicate that the eczema is distressing.
Signs to look for include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin infections (caused by scratching or rubbing the rash)
- Uss training
Eczema of the child. Diagnosis և treatment
Your child’s doctor will diagnose eczema based on an assessment of symptoms, rash appearance, family և individual medical history և potential allergies.
There is no specific test to diagnose eczema, but your doctor may order blood tests և skin tests to look for allergies or to rule out other skin conditions.
Detection of provocateurs
Some things called triggers can cause eczema flares. Your pediatrician will be interested to know what your child is prone to causing a rash. Common factors include:
- Allergens (eg dust, pollen, animal dander և some foods)
- Irritants (for example, fragrances, certain fabrics և cigarette smoke)
- At nausea and sweating
Once you know what causes eczema in your child, avoiding these signals can help prevent the outbreak.
Treatment of eczema
There is no cure for eczema, but there are treatments that control dry skin, itching, irritation, and infection.
Common treatments for eczema include:
- Keep skin well hydratedBathe your baby in lukewarm water և dry his skin. Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.
- Avoid regular irritantsUse scented soaps and detergents to wash your baby’s laundry. Dress your baby in soft fabrics, such as cotton.
- Avoid common allergens. Protect your home, especially your baby’s room, from dust and pet mud.
- Prevent scratchesCut your baby’s nails short և Cover his hands with socks or gloves if they try to scratch the skin. You can also apply it on damp skin. If your itching is severe, your pediatrician may recommend an antihistamine.
- Treat the skinYour pediatrician may suggest topical steroids for your baby’s skin – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Prevent infection. A popular home remedy for eczema is a diluted whitening bath. While these are not the only treatments to alleviate or prevent flare-ups, they can be part of your eczema treatment regimen.
When to call a doctor
Eczema rashes can be infected, especially if they are scratched. Infections may require antibiotics or other medications. If you think your baby’s skin is infected, call your pediatrician.
Ways to prevent eczema in children
Eczema itself cannot be prevented, but knowing and avoiding the signals can help prevent outbreaks.
Some ways to reduce the factors include:
- Keep your baby away from cold, dry air.
- If they are 6 months old or older, make sure your child gets an annual flu shot.
- Read product labels to help your family avoid common irritants.
- Rinse the laundry twice to remove any detergent residue.
- Have your child tested for allergies.
- Use a provocative diary to help keep track of things that may be related to your child’s eczema outbreaks.
- Moisturize your baby’s skin.
Eczema in children can be a frustrating experience for both newborns and caregivers. It is difficult to know how to help your child when an itchy, painful rash causes them discomfort.
Word from Verywell
Eczema is not curable, but there are treatments. You can also minimize flare-ups by knowing what causes your child’s eczema by taking care of their skin (for example, by moisturizing it).
Whether eczema can be a lifelong condition, your child can overcome it. Even if they do not, you can learn how to manage it with the help of their doctor or dermatologist.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost my child after eczema treatment?
Some children with eczema will be older than usual at 4 years old. However, not all eczema is cured, it can be a lifelong condition.
What causes eczema in children?
Eczema can cause many outbreaks, but the most common are environmental irritants and allergens.
Examples of other factors in pediatric eczema include:
- Some clothing fabrics
- Dry skin
- Some foods
- Sweat production
When should a child see a doctor for eczema treatment?
If your child has symptoms of eczema (such as red, itchy spots on the skin) և Home treatment has not helped, see your pediatrician.
If your child’s eczema is brittle, fluid is leaking, or if your child shows other signs of infection (such as fever), call your pediatrician right away. Eczema rashes can be infected and may require treatment with antibiotics.
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