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Baby eczema: what you should know about it
Baby eczema can be a really disturbing problem, especially for new moms who have no idea how to deal with this kind of condition. Eczema in babies is characterized by red patches on the skin and it is usually dry, tender, and itchy for the infant. It often appears on the cheeks and at the joints of the arms and the legs. Although eczema can prove to be really irritating for the infant, it is a common condition – it occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of children – that is easily treatable. But before we get into the prescribed treatments, let us know first why babies acquire eczema in the first place.
It has not yet been determined what exactly causes baby eczema although medical experts think that heredity plays a role in this condition – if one (or both) of the parents had eczema as babies then their own children will most likely acquire it too. It can also be caused by certain immune reactions to foreign substances such as soaps, detergents, and topical creams. If not addressed immediately, it can be aggravated by other factors such as sweat and heat.
Can Baby Eczema Be Cured?
As was mentioned previously, baby eczema is a very irritating condition for infants; however, it is not exactly a cause for alarm. In fact, baby eczema goes away by itself in time—usually before the child reaches preschool age. A small number of children who had eczema as an infant experience a remission in their adulthood.
To know whether your child – or your baby brother or sister for that matter – has acquired eczema, you should be watchful of the following symptoms:
Dry skin – dry skin is usually caused by low humidity and/or low temperature, so most often, people acquire this during the winter season. Dry skin is often pointed as the cause of eczema or as an aggravator of a previously existing skin condition.
Infant eczema. Symptoms and options lechnie eczema in children.
Irritants – as was mentioned before, certain products can irritate the baby’s skin and trigger an allergic reaction. The most common culprits include bath soaps, laundry soaps, perfume, and certain clothing materials like wool.
Stress – if you think stress is an experience only limited to adults then you are gravely mistaken – even infants can be subject to stress too! You should be especially wary with this kind of reaction in infants because usually, infants stress over their eczema which in turn worsens their condition. Babies usually react to stressful conditions by flushing so if you see baby reacting like this, then attend to him or her immediately.
Allergens – it hasn’t been determined yet whether allergens found in food can cause baby eczema. However, if your baby is already suffering from this condition, medical experts strongly advise that you remove certain food products in your baby’s diet such as milk, eggs, and peanuts as they are known to contain the most common food allergens.
Now that you know what usually triggers and aggravates eczema in babies, you should also know how to address these problems. Here are some of the most recommended eczema treatments for infants:
Lukewarm bath – a bath will help hydrate the baby’s skin and potentially reduce the itching.
Moisturizers and creams – to increase moisture in your baby’s skin, apply moisturizing ointments and fragrance-free creams. On the other hand, if you want to retain your baby’s natural moisture, use petroleum jelly. Apply this soon after giving your baby a warm bath.
Over-the-counter steroids – these are used for more severe cases of eczema. Although these treatment creams are relatively safe, they can cause skin thinning if they are repeatedly applied in the same area. (Necessarily consult with your doctor!)