Eczema in Babies, Infants & Toddlers

WHAT IS ECZEMA?

Eczema is a chronic itchy skin condition. Eczema normally begins within the first 5 years of life, most often in the first six months. It normally lasts into youth and adolescence. In some cases it might last into adulthood. Eczema tends to wax and subside.

There are amount of times where the skin appears mildly affected or even normal, alternating with periods of moderate to severe participation. Some children have extremely mild eczema and others have severe eczema (likewise known as atopic dermatitis).

WHO GETS ECZEMA?

Eczema tends to be more common in families that have a history of eczema, hay fever, and asthma. These disorders are all a part of what is called the “atopic triad.” A first or second degree relative with a history of among these atopic conditions can often be recognized in the family of a child with eczema. Children with eczema may be more likely to develop allergies or asthma but one does not cause the other.

HOW IS ECZEMA DIFFERENT IN BABIES, COMPARED WITH TODDLERS AND OLDER CHILDREN?

Young child in strollerThe location and look of eczema modifications as children grow. In young infants, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp. It may influence the majority of the body however generally spares the diaper area. At 6 to 12 months of age, it is typically worst on the crawling surface areas, the elbows and knees. Around the age of two the distribution modifications and tends to involve the folds of the elbows and knees, the wrists, ankles, and hands. It may affect the skin around the mouth and the eyelids. Older children and teenagers might have eczema just involving the hands.

In young babies eczema has the tendency to be more red and weepy. In toddlers and older children it often appears more dry, and the skin may be thickened with prominent skin lines (a skin change called lichenification).

WHAT CAN TRIGGER A FLARE OF ECZEMA IN MY BABY?

Eczema flares happen when the skin is really dry, it is available in contact with irritating compounds or allergic triggers, or when the skin is infected. Eczema tends to be even worse in the winter when the air is dry and tends to improve in the summer season when it is more damp. In babies, saliva from drooling might cause added irritation, especially to the cheeks, chin and neck. In such cases, applying a lotion like Aquaphor or Vaseline can prevent direct contact with saliva and decrease skin irritation. Certain triggers can differ based on the child and can consist of animals, carpeting, allergen, fabrics (such as wool), cigarette smoke, and fragrant products (such as perfume, laundry detergent and air freshener). When the skin is infected your pediatrician or skin specialist might need to prescribe an oral antibiotic to enhance the eczema.

EXISTS A CURE FOR INFANT AND TODDLER ECZEMA?

Sadly, there are no treatments for eczema. Thankfully, in many children eczema becomes less severe with time. The good news is eczema can be managed.

HOW DO I TREAT INFANT AND TODDLER ECZEMA?

Treating eczema needs dealing with both skin dryness and skin inflammation. An excellent bathing routine is essential to treat skin dryness. Anti-inflammatory medications, like topical steroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), are used to deal with inflammation. Occasionally, oral anti-inflammatory agents are needed to deal with the most severe cases.

HOW SHOULD I BATHE MY CHILD WITH ECZEMA?

Daily bathing is suggested for infants and children with eczema. Baths are typically preferred over showers. Baths should be warm, not hot, and they need to be short in period, lasting about 10 minutes. Using soap ought to be restricted. Bubble bath, epson salts, and some other bath ingredients need to be avoided due to the fact that they can be annoying to the skin and intensify eczema. Likewise avoid using scrubbers, loofahs, and rough washcloths. Instantly after bathing, a moisturizer must be applied to the skin.

WHAT CLEANSERS ARE RECOMMENDED?

Cetaphil ® RESTORADERM ® Eczema Calming Body Wash, Stelatopia Cream Cleanser, Cetaphil © Gentle Skin Cleanser, and CeraVe © Hydrating Cleanser are examples of cleansers typically recommended by dermatologists to treat eczema. Cleansers should only be used to clean the diaper area and areas that appear unclean. They do not have to be used each day. See the Seal of Acceptance ™ Product Directory for recommended cleansers.

WHAT ARE BLEACH BATHS, AND WHY ARE THEY RECOMMENDED FOR SOME CHILDREN WITH ECZEMA?

Bleach baths may be recommended by your skin specialist if your child has moderate to severe eczema and/or a history of infection. Bleach baths help avoid infections and maintain better eczema control. Staphylococcal aureus is a bacteria that survives on the skin of many children with eczema and can occasionally grow to cause infection and eczema flares. Bleach baths can help manage the quantity of bacteria on the skin and result in fewer skin infections. Bleach baths are safe and are similar to bathing in a chlorinated swimming pool. Bleach baths are made by putting 1/4 cup of bleach into a half-filled bathtub. For babies with eczema, 1 to 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water may be contributed to a baby tub. Always be careful to dilute the bleach prior to contact, avoid getting bleach water in the eyes, and hydrate immediately after the bath. Bleach baths are normally advised a couple of times each week.

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