Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis. Eczema is known to affect babies during the first few months after birth [1]. Eczema in babies is a very uncomfortable experience for both the parent and the baby. Children affected by eczema are very uncomfortable, and the fact that they cannot be able to scratch themselves can cause your baby get stressed.

Eczema is a medical condition that makes patches of baby skin become inflamed and rough. Eczema in babies is characterized by crusty and red patched and the skin disease is treatable. Most of the babies often overgrow the disease easily. It causes itching, redness, dryness and cracking of the baby skin. Most of the babies are affected on their cheeks, neck, arms and legs and for the chronic eczema it affects the whole body. It is known to affect about 15% of babies globally, and it is more prevalent in infants. Kids infected with the disease may be susceptible to other kinds of allergies like the asthma and hay fever. Eczema in babies is not an allergic reaction. Eczema condition appears and disappears periodically, and it is important to know how to handle eczema and there is no complete cure for the condition.

Symptoms of Eczema in babies

Eczema in babies affects the scalp and cheeks of the child before spreading to other parts of the baby body like the arms, chest and legs and sometimes the whole body [2]. The symptoms of eczema in babies vary with the location of the inflammation on the surface of the skin. The baby eczema occurs with differing degree of severity and also at different areas of the baby body, and it also depends on the age of the baby. The typical symptoms of eczema in babies include:

  • Patches of red skin- The patches of red skin mostly appear inside of the baby ankles, wrist, and eyebrows and back of the baby knees. These happen because of the inflamed skin.
  • Itchingandscratching- Itching andscratchingwhendone intensively can cause oozing lesionsorblisters. Itching is normallyworse at night
  • Dry, thickened and scaly rash- The skin becomes thicker than the normal skin usually as a result of scratching

The above are the most common symptom of eczema in children, and they cause lots of discomfort to the baby.

Causes of Eczema in babies

Experts believe that there are no possible causes of disease. They believe that eczema is caused due to some combination of genetic factors that are triggered by environment factors. Eczema in babies differs from one kid to another; here are some of the common causes of Eczema.

Genetic factor

Eczema is believed to be hereditarily transmitted diseases. The gene of a father or mother or both of them carry the skin diseases from one generation to another thus causing the sensitivity of the skin. Those families that suffer from hay fever or asthma have high chances of their babies having eczema.

Auto-immunity of the baby

How your baby immune system responds to the baby body cells can lead to eczema. Bacterial infection in children can also result in abnormal immunity that in turn can lead to disease.

Lacking protective barriers in baby skin

Any defect in the baby natural skin can also lead to eczema and especially if the baby skin is naturally dry [3]. Conditions leading to dry skin loss of moisture in the baby skin or dryness of the baby skin can allow allergic germs to enter the baby body through the skin. Dryness of the baby skin may be caused by living in area’s that are extremely hot or cold, winter and summer seasons, prolonged exposure of the baby to water, and lack of applying skin oil.

Poor circulation of fluids and blood

The poor flow of the baby skin fluids and blood and especially on the lower extremities of the baby skin. It usually leads to building up of pressure in the baby blood capillaries. The high pressure can cause inflammation of the baby skin causing bouts of dermatitis.

Environmental conditions

Some environmental conditions are known to trigger an allergic response to your baby skin thus leading to eczema. Exposure to cold and dry climate may lead to dermatitis, urbanization, and the pollutions agents are also known to cause eczema. Some of the known environmental conditions that are proved to trigger eczema include:

  • Irritantssuch as detergents, soaps, shampoos, disinfectants andsomejuicesandmeatare known to trigger eczema.
  • Allergens such as- Allergies, molds, pollen, flowers, pets, dust mites and dandruff are known to trigger eczema.
  • Someparticulartypes of micro robes like the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus andsomecertaintypes of virusandfungi
  • Prolongedexposure to loworhighhumidconditions.
  • Certaintypes of food like thedairyproducts, soy products, nuts, wheat, eggsandseeds can containsome allergen that can trigger dermatitis.
  • Breastfeeding- If you are breastfeeding your babyand at thesametimeeatingfood that trigger eczema that can be thecause of your babyhavingeczema
  • Antibiotics-If, your baby has been on antibiotic eczema can be caused due to yeast.
  • Fabric- Most of thetimes our babiesare covered with fabric with wooland scratchy material can trigger eczema in children.

Stress

Babies also get stressed up, and that may also be a trigger for eczema.

Treatment of baby’s Eczema

The time required for the treatment of the eczema in babies depend on the how intensity of the condition. Medication of eczema in children will depend on the type of eczema the child is suffering. There is no complete cure for dermatitis, and the treatment is limited to mostly managing the symptoms and signs. The common treatment for the children with eczema includes:

  • Moisturizing creams: In order to prevent dryness of the baby skin it is important for a parent to use moisturizing creams that contain the ceramides and any other baby lotions that are free from fragrances. These should be applied after the baby has taken bath or twice per day according to the intense of the condition.
  • Warm bath: The bath should be warm water, and it is most recommended way of treating baby eczema. Specifickind of soap should be usedwhengivingbath to your baby.Warmbathprevents your child from itching, andithelps to keep your babiesskin
  • Topical Steroids: Topical steroids like the hydrocortisone creams and ointments may be applied to the baby skin to reduce redness and inflammation of the baby skin. Thecreamsandtheointments should be implemented as thedoctor has advised since they may causethinning of thebabyskinwhenit is usedfor a longtime.
  • Antibiotic: To reduce inflammation and infection antibiotics ointments are prescribed. Staying away from those things that trigger eczema like food, and environmental factors may contribute to reducing the increase of the condition in your baby.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy: For chronic eczema your baby has to go through the ultraviolet light therapy may be used but not recommended to children.

Home remedies

There are home remedies that help treat your baby dermatitis, here are some home remedies you can use to the comfort of your home:

  • Coconut oil- Coconut oil is known to very effective for symptomatic relieve of eczema flares.
  • Aloe Vera gel mixed with vitamin E helps to reduce inflammation and rash.
  • Paste of carrot or cucumber applied to the affected areas can help relieve.

Prevention of eczema in babies

Prevention is the best than cure, and it is crucial to prevent Eczema in your babies [4]. The prevention of disease will go a long way to making your baby skin healthy and moisturized. Here are things hat can prevent eczema in children:

  • Avoid long bath: It is important to shorten the washing of your baby. Bathing your baby for a long time and especially in hot water can dry the surface of your baby skin thus triggering eczema. The longest time you should wash your baby is ten minutes, and use of bath oils will keep the baby skin moisturized and nourished. The water should be warm and Lukewarm, not hot or cold.
  • Avoiding soaps: You should avoid using detergents or soap-based shampoos on your baby. They are alkaline in nature, and they tend to deprive your baby skin of moisture. Use of moisturized soaps and shampoos are the best because they prevent dryness and keep the skin moisture. Using baby body oils after the bath will keep your baby skin moisture and prevent the eczema. It is even recommended using clear water with mild soap if your baby skin is sensate.
  • Use Moisturizers: The use of emollients on your baby skin and frequently will go a long way to keeping the baby skin moisture and soft. The moisturizers help to prevent scratching and It is important for a parent to buy natural or the herbal moistures and avoid using those that contain perfumes. It is recommended to apply emollients after bath and twice per day.
  • Wearing light clothes: It is paramount for the parents to use clothes and blankets made of cotton on your baby. The baby clothes should be free from irritating fabrics like wool and polyester as they prove to be harsher to baby skin.
  • Avoid pollutants and heat exposure: If the baby has sensitive skin you should avoid taking him or her outside when the sun is hot, heat exposure leads to sweating. One should cover their children with clothes to prevent direct contact with dust and other pollutants that trigger eczema in infants.
  • Diet control: Parents should avoid giving their babies food that triggers eczema such as dairy products. In case the baby is breastfeeding the mother should avoid those foods that trigger eczema.
  • Breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding your baby will increase natural immunity of your child thus helping them fight infections.
  • Probiotics:  If your family has a long history of eczema, it is important for the pregnant mother to take some probiotics, thus helping to lessen development of eczema in their babies.

Management of eczema in babies

When your child is diagnosed with eczema, it is important to manage the condition the best way possible by making your baby comfortable. The best way you can manage eczema in children is to:

  • Avoid using soaps and detergents that are sensitive to your baby skin, instead use clear water for bathing your baby.
  • Keep your baby warm enough but not sweating; avoid overdressing your baby since it can cause sweating that will in turn cause irritation of eczema flares.
  • Bath your baby with warm or lukewarm water and keep his skin moisturized and soft.
  • Apply recommended cream to your baby skin to help keep the skin moisturized and contribute to preventing itching and scratching
    if the scratching and itching become intense apply some antibiotic cream.
  • Maintain the humidity of your air indoors, use humidifiers during the winter and air conditioners during the summer seasons.
  • Avoid covering your baby with wool materials and use loose clothes made of pure cotton.
  • Moist and cool bandages should be applied to sensitive baby skin areas to provide skin relief.
  • Combine with some medications like the topical corticosteroids they will help to reduce the inflammation of your baby skin.
  • Use of antihistamines should go a long way to preventing allergic attacks. Using the anti-itching medication on your baby skin will stop scratching and give relief to your baby.
  • Avoid giving your baby food that can trigger eczema instead change your child diet to food that will help ease eczema. Avoid giving your baby cow milk and formulas instead practice on exclusive feeding for six months.
  • Keep your home clean and remove those things in your house that cause pollutants like dust that can trigger dermatitis.
  • Do not at any cost scratch your baby skins instead apply some cream to ease the scratching.
  • Avoid all those products that may make your baby skin sensitive.
  • Lifestyle change: Change of environment can be a good way to manage your baby eczema. If you live in an area where there are pollutants like dust, flowers, pets and dust mites, it is advisable you shift.

Eczema in babies has no cure, but it can be managed and prevented [5]. Parents should be keen about their baby skin and in case they notice something more than a rash they should consult a doctor early enough. It is good to avoid using products that are skin sensitive to your baby and keep the baby skin moisturized.

 

References


[1] A Multicentre Study Assessing The Prevalence Of Sensitizations In Patients With Asthma And/Or Rhinitis In China, Zhao D, Tan G, Wu J, Zhao H; 64(7):1083-92- 2009 Jul- DOI: 10.1111/J.1398-9995.2009.01967.X, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210346


[2] Sensitization To Dermatophagoides, Blomia Tropicalis, And Other Mites In Atopic Patients, Sade K, Roitman D, Kivity S; 47(8):849-52- 2010 Oct-DOI: 10.3109/02770903.2010.506683, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20846087


[3] Infant Feeding And Subsequent Risk Of Atopic Eczema, W J Moore,  R E Midwinter,   A F Morris; 60:722-726-Jul 1985- DOI:10.1136/Adc.60.8.722, http://adc.bmj.org/content/60/8/722.abstract


[4] Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Proliferative Responses In The First Year Of Life In Babies Born To Allergic Parents, M. COLWEEL,  T. N. BRYANT Andj. O. Warner; 780–788- 27 APR 2006- DOI: 10.1111/J.1365-2222.1996.Tb00608.X, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.org/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2222.1996.tb00608.x/citedby


[5] Infant Feeding And Subsequent Risk Of Atopic Eczema,W J Moore,  R E Midwinter  A F Morris;60:8 722-726-1985-DOI:1136/Adc.60.8.722, http://adc.bmj.org/search?qbe=archdischild%3B60%2F8%2F722&citation=Moore%20et%20al.%2060%20%288%29:%20722&submit=yes