- Kids Health
7 tips to deal with Eczema in Babies: Home remedies for Newborns
How Common is Eczema in Babies?
Estimates suggest that the incidence of eczema in babies, before the age of 5 years is approximately 20 percent. Reports also suggest that more than 60 percent of babies develop symptoms before they complete the first year of their life, while 90 percent of babies suffer from eczema at least once, before the age of five years.
There are two primary reasons why eczema is so common among babies,
- Firstly, the immune system in babies is not as developed as that of an adult, making them more prone to skin infections and responsive to allergens.
- Secondly, babies have a thinner skin compared to adults, which makes it more prone to eczema.
Skin care is an important aspect of eczema treatment; alongside, the right diet which helps fortifies the skin, gets rid of allergies and the boosts immune functioning.
How does eczema manifest in babies/ newborns?
In babies, eczema is commonly seen on the cheeks and the scalp; however, it may extend to the chest, arms, legs, or other body parts as well. Once the baby is one year or more, it may manifest on the elbows, back of the knees, wrists, and ankles.
The skin looks thickened, dry, and scaly, there may be tiny bumps that ooze or could get infected. Itching is an associated feature, which may lead to bleeding.
Eczema isn't infectious, but can be extremely uncomfortable. If left untreated, ugly scars may be left behind, and there could be frequent exacerbations.
Causes for Eczema in newborns: Managing Eczema triggers
Here are a few guidelines that can help prevent eczema and skin ailments in newborns and babies:
- Rapid temperature changes aggravate eczema, hence, try not to let your baby get too cold and then hot rapidly or vice versa.
- Keep the baby away from cigarette smoke.
- Stress is a very important trigger for eczema; even in babies! Ensure that your baby sleeps well, eats on time, does not stay hungry, is not exposed to too much heat / cold and is not handled by too many people.
- Avoid allergic foods: Some foods can trigger allergic skin eczema in babies and new borns. These foods should be ideally avoided. Some of these food items include chocolate, cow’s milk, soy, citrus fruits, berries and peanuts; they have been identified as common eczema triggers.
7 Simple tips to deal with eczema in Newborns
Here are some simple tips that can be beneficial as a part of home based treatment regimen for skin care for babies and newborns:
- Make sure that you make your baby wear only natural materials; no synthetics. Cotton is particularly preferable.
- Using cloth diapers may be very useful especially for the management of eczema around the buttocks. While cloth diapers may not be as easy to handle, compared to throwaway diapers, it is vital that only natural materials are in contact with the baby's sensitive parts.
- Ensure that the babies skin espeically around the buttocks is clean and dry at all times. This will help reduce the risk of developing eczema or other skin ailments.
- Local application of coconut oil or walnut oil, especially in dry weathers, keeps the skin healthy and moisturized. Massage your child regularly with oil to improve blood circulation to the skin and promote skin health.
- Use fragrance-free soaps and shampoos. Also, use mild, fragrance-free detergents to wash his clothes and bedding.
- Use very soft sheets in his bed; and keep the babies nails short, so that the skin does not get scratched.
- During a flare up, apply cool compresses to the affected area several times a day, followed by a moisturizer.
Home Remedies for Baby Eczema
Here are some simple home remedies and natural treatment options that can help in the effective management of baby eczema:
- Calendula cream: Calendula helps treat itching, redness, inflammation and scarring effectively. Apply the cream generously all over the affected area, several times during the day.
- Chamomile Essential Oil blended with Avocado oil: Chamomile essential oil has been dubbed ‘children’s essential oil’; it soothes the skin, fights irritation and ensures that the baby does not get too cranky and crabby. Avocado oil is packed with vitamin E which will speed up healing. Blend 1 drop of chamomile oil in 10 ml of avocado oil and apply.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera soothes and heals the skin quickly; it has shown incredible effectiveness in the management of eczema rash in babies.