We all want our babies to be happy and healthy but this unfortunately not possible all the time, especially if your baby has an ailment of any type. Many babies suffer from eczema, especially during the first few months of their lives. Thankfully it is treatable and very often your baby will outgrow it.
What Is Baby Eczema
Baby eczema is patches of red or dry skin that can be rough. It is usually very itchy too. It can appear anywhere on your baby’s body but the most common places for it to occur is on the cheeks and in the joints of the arms and legs.
If one or both parents have eczema it is more likely your baby will get it since it does run in families.
Problems with the skin’s barrier could be a cause, allowing the moisture to go out and germs to come in. Eczema occurs when the body makes too little ceramides (fatty cells) which causes the skin to lose water and become very dry.
Eczema is often confused with cradle cap. Cradle cap is not as red or scaly. It appears on the mostly on the scalp, behind the ears , eyelids and eyebrows, and on the sides on of the nose.
The first step in treating baby eczema will be to get a correct diagnosis from your doctor and getting some advice for treatment.
Managing Baby Eczema
No matter how you choose to treat your baby’s eczema it is important to look at a few ways to manage looking after your baby with eczema. There are many things at play that may have an effect on your baby’s eczema that you may want to take a look at.
According to WebMD 1 in 3 baby’s with eczema also have a food allergy. This is not to say that the food allergy has caused the eczema but rather that the food allergy makes the eczema symptoms worse. Figuring out which are the trigger foods and cutting them out can be quite tricky, you may want to work with an allergist to get this right.
Some common trigger foods are eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy and wheat.
While breastfeeding is considered the better option over formula for babies with eczema make sure to consider your diet too since this could be affecting your baby’s eczema symptoms.
If your bottle fed baby has eczema consider feeding your baby formula with hydrolyzed proteins since this is less likely to trigger a reaction.
Allergies are not always food related. It could be your pets, dust mites or pollen that is worsening your child’s eczema.
Keep The Skin Moisturized
Keeping your baby’s skin moisturized should be a top priority every day. Make sure to use fragrance free moisturizer that is gentle on the skin.
Make sure to dry your baby thoroughly after bathing, paying special attention to the folds of the skin and the areas to the affected areas. Moisturize the entire body after bathing and during the day too as needed.
Keep your baby’s nails short and put mittens on your baby to prevent scratching when your baby itches. If your baby scratches it will result in the itchiness worsening.
Your baby’s skin will be sensitive, try and itchy. Make sure to make your baby as comfortable as possible and avoid anything that may irritate the skin. Here are some things you can do:
- wear soft clothing – 100% cotton is best
- use fragrance free, mild soap that is suitable for sensitive skin
- keep baths time short with water that is room temperature
- use laundry detergent that is free from dye and perfume
Baby Eczema Treatment
Managing your baby’s eczema in the above ways will be very helpful but it may not resolve the problem. In this case you will need to discuss with your doctor the best way to treat your baby’s eczema. The treatment your doctor prescribes will depend on how severe your baby’s eczema is, as well as other factors such as where on the body the eczema is appearing.
Medication for eczema can be administered orally (taken by mouth) in pill or liquid form or topically (applied to the skin).
Over The Counter Medication
There are plenty of over the counter products for treating and managing eczema such as the Eczema Therapy CALM Line from Kamedis Dermatology which provides a range of cleansing products and creams specially formulated for treating eczema for every age group.
Over the counter medications include:
- Topical steroids (hydrocortisone ointments or creams) that may help relieve itchiness and reduce inflammation.
- Steroid-free topical itch relief which may give fast relief for itchy, dry skin with few side effects.
- Oral antihistamines which may relieve the itchiness.
There are a number of prescribed medications that you can get from your doctor to treat your baby’s eczema including topical steroids, topical immunomodulators, oral antihistamines, oral antibiotics and oral steroids.
It is important to remember that eczema is a chronic condition which means that it will come and go. So it is important to ensure that even if your baby is not showing any symptoms for a period of time you should continue to ensure that your baby’s skin is always moisturized and that you are making sure to minimize anything that may cause it to flare up again.