Baby Eczema is quite common with babies, with approximately 20% of all babies developing eczema. Eczema is a skin rash that usually appears before the baby’s first birthday. In fact, 65% of the people that have eczema develop it in the first year of their life. Baby eczema will usually show up first on their forehead, cheeks or scalp, but it may also be on the legs, arms, chest or anywhere on their body. Baby eczema can be very frightening to new parents that are unfamiliar with the condition.
Baby eczema may look like thick, scaly and dry skin or it can consist of small red bubbly bumps that may blister or ooze. An infection may develop if the rash is scratched too much. Because eczema is very itchy, scratching may become a serious problem. Although baby eczema isn’t contagious, it can be very bothersome to the baby as well as to the parents that are trying to help their baby get through this period.
Even doctors aren’t sure of what causes adult or baby eczema, but it is a well-known fact that although eczema may not be hereditary, the tendency to develop baby eczema may be inherited. In other words, if you or someone else in the family has had allergies such as eczema or asthma, the baby may be more inclined to have baby eczema. Although eczema is not the result of an allergic reaction to any one thing, its onset can be brought on by different allergens in the baby’s diet or environment. It can also be in the diet of the mother if she’s breastfeeding. Different things may aggravate the baby’s rash such as heat or other irritants that are exposed to their skin like chemicals in their lotion, soap or detergent. Dry skin and sudden temperature changes may also aggravate the baby eczema rash.
There are different things your can do to help your baby during their bout with baby eczema. It’s very important that their skin not be allowed to become too dry. Bathing is known to help babies with eczema, but don’t let the water become too warm because warm water tends to dry the skin out. Use very mild fragrance-free soap and shampoo and do the shampooing at the end of the bath so they don’t have to sit in soapy water. After the bath, dry them off very gently and apply plenty of cream, lotion or moisturizing ointment. Your doctor can recommend the best creams for your baby based on the age and seriousness of the eczema.
Dress your baby loosely in cotton clothing. Avoid using materials like wool, which can aggravate the skin. Rapid temperature changes can make the eczema worse as well. Remember that allergens in your home such as animal dander, dust mites or pollen can trigger baby eczema or worsen it. You may want to vacuum more often and use air filters in your home. As hard as it may seem, you and your baby will get through this.