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Quick Guide: Baby Eczema Symptoms, Triggers, and Treatments

Baby Eczema

When we think of babies we think of smiling bundles of joy with smooth and soft skin. While almost all babies grin from ear to ear, over 10% do not have the luxury of living their early years with silky smooth skin. Instead, these babies suffer with red, dry, and itchy skin from baby eczema. 

These babies are not the only ones that have it tough. Mothers can grow frustrated and crushed as eczema persists on their baby’s skin. 

One of the best gifts you can give your child, and yourself, is a feeling of control over baby eczema. This blog article will help you grow closer to this control by educating you about the symptoms of baby eczema, its triggers, and potential treatments.

Symptoms of Baby Eczema

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. 

Baby eczema is very common for children between the age of six months to five years old. Its symptoms usually include itching, scratching, and dry red skin. It can appear differently across age groups:

  • 1-6 months: During your baby’s first 6 months, eczema is likely to appear on the face, cheeks, forehead, and scalp. The skin looks red and ‘weepy’. 
  • 6-12 months: As your baby begins to crawl, eczema typically begins to appear on the elbows and knees. 
  • 2-5+ years: Eczema may continue to appear in the creases of elbows and knees as your baby becomes a toddler. It may also start showing up around your toddler’s ankles, wrists, hands, mouth, and eyelids. The skin may start to look more dry and scaly.

Causes and Triggers of Baby Eczema

The exact cause of baby eczema is a mystery. 

However, researchers have agreed that a combination of genes and outside irritants can lead to eczema. Children with eczema are more likely to come from families with a history of eczema or other allergies. Eczema is also likely to show up when your child has food allergies. About 30% of babies with severe eczema have food allergies.

Some of the most common triggers of baby eczema include:

  • Chemicals in laundry detergents and soaps. The chemicals and fragrances in these products can irritate the skin, causing dryness, itchiness, and redness. 
  • Heat and sweating. Heat can stimulate the itchy feeling of eczema and sweating may lure bacteria and unwanted chemicals to the skin. 
  • Clothing. Fabrics that are rough, too tight, or itchy can irritate the skin and cause an eczema flare-up.
  • Food. Eating certain foods, like dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can trigger eczema flare-ups. 
  • Allergens. Dust, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff can lead to eczema flare-ups.
  • Dry Air. Eczema is most common in the winter because the dry air makes it difficult for the skin to stay moist on its own.
  • Saliva from drooling. This may cause irritation on your baby’s cheeks, chin, and neck.
  • Anxiety and stress. When your baby’s body creates too much cortisol, it can suppress the immune system and cause inflammatory responses in the skin.

Treatments for Baby Eczema

Because the exact cause of eczema is a mystery, treating it is extremely difficult. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. 

The first step in treating your baby’s eczema is to build a plan and set goals for yourself. 

Goal 1: Relieve the pain and itch for your baby

First things first, you want to help alleviate the itch and pain your child faces with baby eczema flare-ups. To do this quickly and effectively, choose a moisturizing cream or lotion that provides safe, instant relief. 

It is difficult to choose a cream or lotion that is gentle and will preserve your baby’s skin. There are plenty of creams and lotions that use harsh chemicals and ingredients to soothe skin, but these are not suitable for your children. 

Choosing a gentle, all-natural approach like Eczema Care Cream will give you the peace of mind that you’re relieving your baby’s itch and pain without any harsh or nasty chemicals.

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Goal 2: Find the cause of your baby’s eczema flare-ups

With your baby’s itch relieved, begin paying close attention to what causes your child’s eczema to flare up. 

Does it flare up at a certain point of the day? During a certain season? After wearing a certain pair of clothes? After eating nuts, eggs, or dairy products?

Document when your baby has an eczema flare-up in a journal and write down the potential triggers that may have caused it. Taking pictures of the flare-ups can help with this too. You will quickly find patterns in your notes and pinpoint your baby’s specific triggers.

Goal 3: Avoid the triggers that cause your baby’s flare-ups as best you can

As you continue to investigate the causes of your baby’s eczema, begin taking action on your initial findings. 

For instance, if you notice wearing tight clothes triggers a flare-up for your child, try removing the tight clothes from your baby’s wardrobe. 

Continue to document your child’s eczema journey to see if your actions are effectively preventing new eczema flare-ups. 

Goal 4: Maintain healthy routines and fight flare-ups as they pop up

Perhaps one of the most important steps, you must build and maintain a skincare routine for your baby. Consistency is key. 

According to dermatologist Dr. Justine Kluk, it is essential to cleanse twice per day and moisturize up to three times per day, even when flare-ups have been put to rest. 

Moms we have talked with have found success with gently bathing their baby in the mornings and evenings and applying Eczema Care Cream to their child’s eczema-prone areas after they bathe. Some also apply our products midday as well. 

As flare-ups arrive, quickly treat your baby’s skin to relieve the itch and pain, but don’t forget to continue the routine you’ve established!

Conclusion

It can be extremely painful for babies and infants that suffer from eczema. It can be even more stressful for you as you watch your child itch and squirm. Although the exact causes of eczema are unknown, there are triggers you can watch out for and routines you can build to help conquer your baby’s flare-ups. At the end of the day, all you can do is make sure your babies are being taken care of to the best of your ability. At the Eczema Care Company, we are here to help you do just that.

 

References

  • “Eczema in Children.” National Eczema Association, nationaleczema.org/eczema/children/.
  • Harden, Melissa. “Real Mom: My Baby Has Eczema.” Parents, www.parents.com/baby/health/eczema/eczema/.
  • Coates, Hannah. “Suffer From Eczema? Here's How To Approach Your Skincare Routine.” British Vogue, British Vogue, 22 Sept. 2019, www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/article/eczema-skincare-routine.

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