Baby eczema: What you need to know about tending to your child's sensitive skin

Baby eczema: What you need to know about tending to your child's sensitive skin
PHOTO: LianHe Zaobao

Baby eczema is an unfortunate condition that can leave your baby's skin red, raw, and irritated. It's not something you want to mess with.

So what causes baby eczema? Is there anything you can do to prevent it? And what should you do if you are in the middle of a flare-up? Here's everything you need to know.

What is baby eczema

Baby eczema is a skin condition that causes redness, flaking, and itchiness in babies. It can appear on the cheeks, behind the ears, or on other parts of the body. The condition is most common in babies between four months and two years old.

Baby eczema is not contagious, but it may be related to allergies. Babies allergic to cow's milk protein are more likely to develop the condition, but other allergens like dust mites or pet dander can also be triggers.

If you notice that your baby has developed redness or flaking on their skin, visit your doctor for an examination. If you think that your child may have an allergy to something in their diet or environment, your doctor may recommend an elimination diet where certain foods are removed from your child's diet for several weeks.

That's before reintroducing them one at a time to see if any cause a reaction.

Baby eczema is a common skin problem that can be very uncomfortable for your baby. It's also sometimes called atopic dermatitis.

What causes baby eczema

If you're wondering what causes baby eczema, a few different factors can play a role. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Genetics: If one or both parents have eczema, there is a higher risk that their child will develop it.
  • Environmental: Changes in climate, moisture levels, and even stress can trigger an episode of eczema.
  • Infection: A bacterial or viral infection can trigger an episode of eczema.
  • Allergens: Exposure to certain allergens such as pollen or dust mites can trigger an eczema flare-up in some children who suffer from atopic dermatitis.

What are the types of baby eczema

There are many different types of baby eczema, and it can be hard to know what''s going on with your little one! Here's a guide to the most common forms:

Atopic dermatitis

This is the most common type of eczema. It usually starts in early childhood and lasts into adulthood. It causes skin redness, itching, and dryness.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to an allergen or irritant such as nickel. It can also develop when the skin comes into contact with chemicals like poison ivy oil or detergents.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This type of baby eczema presents as flaky skin around the face, scalp, and neck in infants who have cradle caps at birth or baby acne later on.

Nummular eczema

This form of baby eczema presents as coin-shaped patches of dry skin on the trunk or extremities that may become scaly if left untreated.

Irritant eczema

This is caused by a specific irritant-like soap or laundry detergent and it usually appears on the hands and feet. This type of eczema isn't hereditary, so if your baby has it, you likely won't pass it along to any future children you have.

Neonatal acrodermatitis

This baby eczema affects premature newborns (before 37 weeks gestation). It's caused by an overactive immune system like you might have experienced if you had a terrible case of the flu. It's also called "the cradle cap" because it looks like dandruff, but it's dry skin flakes that can appear anywhere on the body.

Eczema rash on baby's face

When eczema develops on your baby's face, it can be very uncomfortable for them and may even cause a rash. If you notice an eczema rash on your child's face, there are several things you can do to help alleviate the discomfort and improve their skin.

Here are some tips for treating an eczema rash on your baby's face:

Use a moisturiser: You should apply a moisturising cream or lotion with aloe vera or vitamin E on your baby's face twice daily to keep their skin hydrated and reduce redness. Moisturisers will help hydrate dry skin, making eczema worse if left untreated.

Avoid certain foods: You should avoid giving your child foods that may aggravate their eczema by causing inflammation, like eggs or nuts. If possible, try substituting these foods with others that contain fewer allergens, such as fruits and vegetables instead of meats; this may help reduce inflammation caused by allergies and inflammation caused by eczema (which is often related).

Baby eczema vs acne

Eczema and acne are two skin conditions that can cause your baby to break out.

Baby eczema is a skin condition that causes redness, inflammation, dryness and itchiness. It's usually found on the cheeks, forehead and scalp. A build-up of oil causes baby acne in the pores of your baby's face. Baby acne can appear as whiteheads or blackheads on the cheeks and forehead.

If you think your baby has either of these skin conditions, it's important to talk to your paediatrician immediately! We know how frustrating it can be when our children have skin issues, but there are ways to treat them with medication or other therapies depending on the severity of their condition.

Heat rash baby eczema on the chest

Heat rash baby eczema on the chest is a common skin condition in children. It is caused by heat and sweat that irritate the skin, causing redness and irritation. Heat rash baby eczema on the chest can be treated with simple home remedies such as using a cold compress or a cool bath.

What causes heat rash baby eczema on the chest?

Heat rash baby eczema on the chest is caused by excessive sweating during hot weather or after exercising. This sweating irritates the skin and causes redness and irritation, which looks like patches of small pimples on the skin.

How do you treat heat rash baby eczema on the chest?

Heat rash baby eczema on the chest is easily treated at home with simple home remedies such as using a cold compress or a cool bath. You can also apply petroleum jelly over affected areas to soothe them until they go away.

Skin asthma in baby

Skin asthma is a skin condition that causes redness, inflammation, and dryness. The condition is most common in babies and young children but can also affect adults. The most common cause of this condition is eczema.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Redness or rash on your child's skin (typically on the cheeks, chin, arms or legs)
  • Dry patches of skin that are itchy or painful to touch
  • Scaly patches of skin that are red and inflamed (also called "eczema")
  • Skin blisters filled with clear fluid (called vesicles) that burst open, leaving raw patches of skin (called erosions)
  • Skin thickening (called lichenification)

If your child has any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor so that they can diagnose what's causing the problem and recommend treatment options based on your child's age and medical history.

How to relieve baby's eczema-prone skin

Red, itchy, and irritated skin is no fun for anyone, especially not for your baby. Find out how to care for your little one's eczema-prone skin and help them feel more comfortable with these expert tips:

  1. Bath your baby daily: Daily bathing and moisturising are key to treating baby eczema. Use a mild cleanser and warm water, and make sure to rinse completely. After the bath, gently pat your baby dry and apply a fragrance-free cream or ointment such as petroleum jelly, while the skin is still damp.
  2. Use gentle, fragrance-free products: Avoid using harsh soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners that may irritate your baby's skin. Instead, use gentle, fragrance-free products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin.
  3. Keep your baby's skin moisturised: Apply moisturiser to your baby's skin several times a day, especially after bathing or diaper changes. Look for a thick, fragrance-free cream or ointment that will help to lock in moisture.
  4. Dress your baby in loose, breathable clothing: Tight-fitting clothing or synthetic fabrics may aggravate your baby's eczema. Dress your baby in loose, breathable clothing made from natural fibres like cotton.
  5. Identify and avoid triggers: Eczema may be triggered by certain foods, allergens, or environmental factors. Keep a diary of your baby's symptoms and try to identify any triggers that may be causing flare-ups. Once you have identified the trigger, take steps to avoid it as much as possible.

Baby eczema - when to go to the doctor

It is important to monitor your baby's eczema and seek medical attention if necessary. You should bring your baby to the doctor if their eczema symptoms worsen or don't improve with at-home treatments, such as regular bathing and moisturising.

Additionally, if your baby has a fever along with a rash, it may be a sign of an infection and require evaluation by a doctor. Your paediatrician may suggest using medicated creams or ointments or trying bleach baths to help ease symptoms, but it is important to follow their guidance when using these treatments.

It is also worth noting that most children outgrow infantile eczema by three to five years of age.

ALSO READ: What you need to know about baby acne

This article was first published in theAsianparent.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.