No mother wants to worry about skin rashes, inflamed skin and irritation on her baby’s body caused by atopic dermatitis, which is a type of eczema. It is a skin condition (usually hereditary or in infants with allergies) that cause patches of tiny itchy red bumps that tend to develop on the baby’s scalp face and cheeks. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema that affects infants. It is important to know what to expect and how healing eczema is easier with below guide.
Don’t be alarmed; the skin condition isn’t harmful. Conversely, it can be extremely irritating for infants and painful to watch. The first stages usually occur with infants between two to six months of age. It usually disappears or improves from two to three years of age.
If an infant has eczema, small patches of red bumps can appear severely on the cheeks and forehead. In some cases the reddened bumps become moist and fluid filled. They may look scaly or like thickened dry skin that feels like sand paper. It appears on the scalp (which can also be cradle cap) neck, armpits and throughout parts of the body.
Eczema usually appears within the baby’s first year. It manifests as skin rash on the cheeks, scalp, chin, forehead, back of the ears, and arms. The skin becomes dry, scaly and terribly itchy. It is so frustrating for parents to see their baby struggling very hard to be able to scratch. But the good news is that most babies outgrow eczema by the time they reach 5 years of age. In the meantime, here are some practical steps to manage infant eczema.
Eczema Caused By Infant Milk & Diet
Eczema can be caused by an infant’s allergy to milk. If breast feeding, the baby can be allergic to what the mother is eating. To find out if this is the cause, a mother may need to take the infant to the allergist to get tested for allergies. Towards healing eczema the doctor can prescribe a milk that is compatible with your infants system. Infant milks that are recommended for Eczema are Enfamil Nutramigen, and Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Baby Formula.
Under the Table and Natural Treatments for Eczema
While healing eczema specialist prescribe a 1% hydrocortisone cream, such as Locoid Lipocream, but one should take caution in African American babies with eczema because it bleaches the skin. A thin film of a .01% hydrocortisone cream on the area will be sufficient.
The best remedy is keeping the skin moisturized. Good moisturizers for eczema that are recommended by doctors are Eucerin Aquaphore and Eucerin Plus Lotion. They soothe the infected skin. Another good remedy, that also works for cradle cap, is 100% pure sweet almond oil. For itching, parents may use calamine lotion. Babies can also take an antihistamine by mouth, but doctors don’t recommend this for babies under five months of age.
Also, while in the process of healing eczema it is important to make sure that babies are not bathing too frequently. If frequent baths are necessary, they should be shorter baths with lukewarm water. Water that is too hot dries out the skin. When bathing an infant with atopic dermatitis, Dove and Tone Soap are gentle enough to use on a baby’s skin. Pouring baby oil in the bathtub water also keeps the skin moisturized.
Moisturize Baby’s Skin Regularly
Since eczema makes the skin very dry, it is important to moisturize the baby’s skin. In moisturizing, many parents find that Vaseline helps a lot. Others use Spectro Kids Intense Moisturizing Cream which is not sticky like Vaseline. For others, Cetaphil is the best for their baby. Experimenting is the key. Try different moisturizing products and find which one will work best for the baby. Just be sure that the product is fragrance-free because chemicals often trigger flare-ups. This way the healing eczema process is faster.
Keep Baby’s Skin Hydrated
It is best to bathe the baby everyday as this helps in hydrating the skin. Use mild liquid body wash. Avoid using bar soaps as these make the skin dry and healing eczema could be delayed. Again, experimenting is the key. There a lot of products to choose from: Cetaphil Moisturizing Wash, Spectro Kids Moisturizing Wash, Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment. There are other equally effective soaps available in pharmacies.
Avoid Infant Eczema Triggers
Infant skin is sensitive, so the wrong treatment can irritate the skin. The baby’s skin needs a natural moisturizer that does not have a strong fragrance. Avoid things that trigger an outbreak (contact dermatitis) such as: glues and dyes, liberal use of moisturizers and lubricants, nickel on pants buttons, poison ivy, wool or irritating fabrics and the use of steroid creams for flare ups.
Call Baby’s Pediatrician if Eczema Symptoms Worsen
The eczema specialist should be contacted if the baby’s rashes do not improve with home remedies or if they worsen. Also, a pediatrician should be called if the baby gets a fever or infection or if blisters, redness, pain, oozing fluids or yellow crust occur.
Many infants get eczema in their first months of life. If parents apply these rules to the babies who are experiencing these skin conditions, they can control the problem. Their babies will be able to live happier healthier lives.
A baby’s sensitive skin is susceptible to all kinds of bumps or rashes. Most infant skin conditions are harmless and will disappear on their own. More than likely, the baby’s skin will soon be back to being ‘baby soft, but parents should always consult a pediatrician if any skin condition worsens or if the infant is uncomfortable.
Parents can help relieve the symptoms of eczema by using mild soaps and moisturizers. Some parents believe that products that contain oatmeal are soothing as well. Parents should bathe their infant in warm, not overly hot water as hot water can cause additional dryness.
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