Eczema is a skin rash that can affect people at any age. But it is heartbreaking to see a baby with this skin condition. They just don’t understand why their skin is itchy and irritable. They are just miserable and cranky. This condition makes for a very unhappy baby and frustrated parents as well!
Most of the time, infant eczema is caused by the baby developing an intolerance to something in their diet or in their immediate surroundings. Chemicals and additives to our foods or in detergents, carpets, clothing, etc. can all be contributing sources of skin irritation in babies.
Babies can start showing signs of eczema at around two months old, although it can start at any age. The most common area for an eczema rash to appear is on the baby’s cheeks, forehead, and scalp. Many times babies will show signs of eczema on other parts of their body as well. As the baby gets older, the rashes will gradually decrease and some children even outgrow eczema completely.
You can help your baby feel better while he or she is experiencing the misery of eczema rashes. Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your baby is to keep their skin hydrated with hypoallergenic lotions or creams. Make sure you use a mild soap and warm, not hot water when bathing your baby. Hot water pulls moisture from the skin, so take care with the water temperature. Make sure it is warm enough to be comfortable, but not too hot! If your baby’s condition does not improve you may want to ask your doctor to recommend soaps or lotions that will help.
When skin becomes too dry it is more susceptible to rashes and skin conditions such as eczema. This is more apparent during the winter months when forced air heating causes the air in homes to become drier. You may want to consider running a humidifier in your home to replace the lost moisture in the air.
Try to keep your home free from pollen and pet dander. If you have a pet in the home, keep the carpets vacuumed and try to keep the pet away from the baby’s sleeping area. Pollen and pet dander are known allergens and can be the cause of your baby’s skin rash.
Many times clothing is the culprit. By washing your family’s clothing in mild detergents you can help to avoid any allergic reactions caused by chemicals. Choose clothing that is made with natural materials such as cotton and bamboo. These fabrics allow the skin to breathe. However, take care to avoid wool because of its scratchy nature.
Finding the cause of your baby’s eczema can be a source of frustration for parents, but by using a process of elimination you may be successful. The most important thing is to keep your baby happy and comfortable. Keeping the skin hydrated, the air moist and the home free from irritants are vital. If necessary, put small mittens or socks on your child’s hands to prevent scratching. If your child’s condition does not improve, consult your doctor for more information.
It is possible to have a happy, healthy baby in spite of the misery of eczema. Just follow the guidelines for keeping your baby’s skin hydrated and you will all be happier!