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Eczema for Baby: What You Need to Know about this Frustrating Condition

Updated on April 25, 2010
Baby Eczema on the Face
Baby Eczema on the Face

Eczema is a skin rash that is defined by very dry, red and itchy skin that does not heal with normal skin treatments. It can show up at any age but is especially common in babies. It is most difficult to control in babies since they cannot assist in their own treatment, and in their quest to relieve the itching, will often scratch themselves to no end.

Approximately 20% of infants and very young children have some variety of eczema. It is commonly accepted that most infant eczema cases have disappeared or greatly decreased in severity once a child reaches age two. Those who have eczema into childhood and even adulthood usually do not experience from such severe forms and are also much more capable of managing the condition without parental supervision.

The causes of eczema differs from person to person and many of the causes are still not fully understood by experts. There is a genetic link in many cases and if eczema runs in your family, there is a higher chance that if eczema for baby is present, that it will be a life-long condition. Thankfully, even with genetic eczema, the most intense part tends to occur in the first few years of life and them tapers off in severity.

Baby Eczema on the Legs
Baby Eczema on the Legs

Causes of Baby Eczema

But certainly, family history isn't the only cause of eczema. Making changes to a baby's life like the food they eat or the clothes they wear can greatly impact how much eczema for baby will be endured. The most common treatment you will receive from medical professionals comes in the form of ointments, creams, emollients and even steroids. While these products can do wonders in minimizing symptoms for the time being, they do nothing to try to solve the skin condition. On top of that, many of these skin treatments only provide temporary relief and can only be used so many times a day, so you will only be giving a bit of relief but not improving the condition.

Once you have dedicated yourself to eliminating eczema for baby, you will have to research what it is that triggers your baby's eczema flair-ups. A lot of different fabrics, from clothing, shoes, towels and bedding, come into contact with your baby's skin each day. The way cotton is grown these days isn't much different then how consumable crops are grown, with fertilizers and pesticides. While this has given us loads of cheap fabric, it can cause skin problems for some people. And what’s more, cloth is often dyed and put through a chemical bath to make it soft and durable.

All Over Eczema
All Over Eczema

Bathing an Infant with Eczema

Bath time is the largest chance you have each day to improve your baby's immediate eczema symptoms. Bathe you baby in mildly warm water, a hot bath is the fastest way to aggravate eczema symptoms. The bathwater itself can be an eczema trigger if it is highly treated or full of minerals. Putting in a water filter at the sink or bath where you bathe your baby is a smart idea.

Pick an unscented organic soap or a traditional fat based soap (like one made with olive oil), these soaps strip the least amount of moisture from the skin. Immediately after bathing, moisturize baby’s skin with an unscented moisturizer. A general rule of thumb is to never use scented and dyed products on a baby with eczema in order to minimize flair ups.

An Itch Free Baby is a Happy Baby
An Itch Free Baby is a Happy Baby

Additional ways to Treat Eczema

Making changes to your baby’s clothing, diet and bathing routine can yield massive results in the fight against eczema for baby. There are even more things you can try to alleviate your baby's eczema. Keep a home clean of dust and pollutants by washing floors and dusting regularly, and whenever possible, do not use harm cleaners.

To minimize scratching at night, look for pajamas that cover your baby's hands and feet so that she cannot use her nails to scratch while she sleeps. Using cloth diapers instead of plastic ones greatly reduces rashes from sweating and friction. Though they are a more pricey initial investment, over time cloth diaper are more economical.

You can learn more about eczema for baby and ways to beat it by visiting this website.


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