Is your baby's skin full of red, crusty patches that make the baby uncomfortable due to itchiness? If yes, your child might be suffering from baby eczema. Baby eczema often referred to as atopic dermatitis occurs in children below the age of 5 affecting about 15% of the children.
Baby eczema is characterized by red patches that tend to occur on the baby's cheeks, arms and legs but may spread all over the body if not treated in time. It tends to occur before a child reaches 5 years and is not contagious.
Main causes of baby eczema
There is no specific pathogen responsible for causing this ailment. Baby eczema is a reaction by the immune system triggered by the exposure of a baby to allergens. The infant is often exposed to these allergens through substances the baby uses every day such as the baby's food, bathing soap, baby creams and even the detergents used to wash the baby's clothes. Mold, pollen grains from the flowers near the house and a cigarette smoke can also trigger infant eczema.
Eczema is known to be hereditary. There is an increased chance of a baby getting infant eczema if any of the parents has ever suffered from the condition.
Factors that worsen baby eczema
The condition of a baby suffering from baby eczema can be worsened by continuous use of substances that irritates the baby's skin. Clothes made from wool, specific perfumes and even laundry detergent mostly irritate the baby's soft skin and this can worsen a baby's condition. Other factors that aggravate this condition are; dry skin, increased sweating, constant fluctuation in room temperature and stress.
How to identify if your baby suffers from atopic dermatitis
Most parents tend to confuse atopic dermatitis with contact dermatitis signs they show almost similar signs. Contact dermatitis, rashes develop on any part of the body once a child is exposed to an allergen. It tends to clear after a few days so long as the child is no longer being exposed to the allergen. This is different from atopic dermatitis which takes a long time to clear after rigorous treatment.
For you to determine if your baby suffers from baby eczema, you need to check out for any of the following signs.
Dry red skin full of bumps on the cheeks, forehead and sometimes on the scalp. Round slightly raised itchy rashes on the elbows, behind the knees and at the back of the wrists and ankles.Itchiness, tender dry rough and itchy skin on the face and the joints, constant irritation
Baby eczema treatment
There are various natural treatment methods that can work perfectly as eczema home remedies. They involve bathing of the baby and application of body creams. Below are guidelines that can help to treat eczema.
On your baby's bathing water add a teaspoon of sunflower oil and half a teaspoon of lemon juice and ascorbic acid. This helps in reduction of the water's pH. Bathe your baby for a short time with this water using Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts.
Dead Sea salts contain a wide range of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc that are essential for the treatment of eczema. Infant eczema has been associated with nutritional deficiency especially when a baby lacks zinc and magnesium which cannot be supplied by the breastfeeding milk. Breastfeeding milk is low in zinc. Washing your child with these salts ensures the minerals are absorbed through the skin which speeds up the healing process.
After bathing the baby, you can apply flaxseed oil on your baby's skin. It contains omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce skin itchiness and redness.
A combination of the above two treatments used for a few months helps heal rashes depending on the child's skin.
Baby creams that contain natural herbal ingredients such as Aloe Vera and zinc are also a perfect remedy. Application of a cream containing Aloe Vera and zinc is more effective to clear the rashes.
Before you start home treatment, it is vital to visit a dermatologist to confirm if your child is suffering from atopic dermatitis.
Baby eczema becomes worse by scratching. It is advisable for parents to prevent their children from scratching the affected areas. If possible, a parent should treat a child immediately signs of eczema appear to reduce itchiness and pain. Baby eczema is known to heal naturally as they grow older. This is not guaranteed for all children, it entirely depends on the immune system of the child and response to allergens.