Eczema in babies is usually characterized by a red rash on the face and scalp, but the rash can also change appearance. Although eczema can affect adults, this skin problem is most commonly found in children. In fact, 10-20% of children and infants are affected by the condition which is also called atopic dermatitis. In addition, 90% of those who have experienced this skin problem, experienced it when they were less than 5 years old.
According to the National Eczema Association, eczema often affects babies in the first 6 months from birth. Eczema in babies is usually experienced by babies during childhood, can even recur when he grows up. To find out more about this skin problem, here are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eczema according to the Everyday Health website.
Also read: ‘Blister’ Skin Disease, Blisters on the Skin
Causes and Factors
It’s still not clear what causes eczema in babies. But chances are, this condition is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Eczema itself is not a contagious disease. Babies are more prone to developing eczema if family members have a history of the skin disease, allergic rhinitis, or asthma.
Even if these diseases are not mutually exclusive, babies are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis or asthma if they have eczema.
Eczema itself is thought to be the result of a dysfunction or problem in the immune system that affects the baby’s outermost layer of skin, which functions to maintain skin moisture. Various environmental factors can also cause the immune system to react when the body is exposed to harmful substances, and eventually cause inflammation,
The things that can trigger eczema in babies are:
- Pet dander, pollen, dust mites
- Allergenic foods (such as nuts, soy, and eggs)
- Clothing made of cotton or synthetic fibers
- Cigarette smoke
- Products that contain fragrance, such as detergents and perfumes
- Excessive heat and dryness
- skin infection
Symptoms of Eczema in Babies
The most common symptoms of eczema in babies is a red rash that causes dry, itchy, rough and flaky skin. The rash can also have small, fluid-filled bumps. Symptoms or forms of eczema usually change as the baby grows.
Baby eczema most often affects the skin on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp during the first few months after the baby is born. But when the baby starts crawling (aged 6-12 months), eczema can also attack the skin on the elbows and knees.
By the time your child is 2 years old, eczema tends to affect the inside of the elbows, the back of the knees, wrists, ankles, and hands. At that age, eczema symptoms also tend to be less red, drier, rougher, and thicker. Eczema is usually a skin disease whose symptoms last for a long time, and when it heals it can recur, especially in infants and children.
Also read: 11 Skin Problems That Often Affect Newborns
Eczema Treatment in Babies
There is no drug that can completely cure eczema in babies. However, usually over time, the severity will subside. Treatment is usually focused on managing the symptoms, such as reducing skin dryness to prevent severe recurrence, and relieving skin inflammation.
Doctors will usually recommend several strategies to parents, if their child has eczema:
- Avoid bathing the baby using warm water for too long (bathe baby using cold or medium water). Also avoid too often wipe the baby’s skin, especially using a towel or a rough cloth.
- Wear baby clothes made of cotton but soft.
- Avoid using products that contain fragrance on babies.
- Clip your baby’s nails to prevent them from scratching or scratching themselves. The reason is, it can damage the skin and cause inflammation and infection to get worse.
- As much as possible remove things that can cause irritation and allergies from the house.
- Make sure the baby is always in cool air to avoid excessive sweating.
- Moisturize baby’s skin at all times with creams, lotions, and more, especially after bathing him.
Doctors will usually also recommend eczema medications for babies, such as:
- Topical Corticosteroids
- Antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals to relieve skin infections
- Oral drugs to regulate the immune system
Also read: Besides Eczema, Here Are 6 Types Of Skin Disorders In Children
Eczema in infants is common. Although it can’t be completely cured, you don’t have to worry. This skin problem will subside as the child grows. (UH/OCH)