Eczema In Babies: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments
Learn all about eczema in babies...
12 February 2018
Eczema, which is also known as ‘atopic dermatitis’ is a skin rash that appears in babies younger than 5 years old, usually on the cheeks, scalp and behind the ears. Eczema in babies can in some cases spread to the legs, arms, chest, and other body parts. After the baby’s first year, eczema is most likely to appear on the insides of the elbows, back of the knees, the wrists, ankles, and elsewhere.
Eczema in babies tends to come and go, and it isn’t contagious. However, it can be very uncomfortable because it’s very itchy. Scratching eczema can be a problem, and it might cause bigger problems if it goes untreated.
Nearly 20% of babies and children get eczema in infancy, as 65% of patients develop symptoms in the first year of life, and 90% before the age of 5.
Symptoms of Eczema
The rashes usually look like a dry, thickened, scaly skin. Or it could look as if it was made up of tiny red bumps that ooze or become infected if scratched.
The doctor can diagnose eczema by examining the baby’s skin. He might also refer you to a dermatologist for confirmation and treatment.
There’s no way parents can know beforehand if their baby will develop or get eczema. However, most babies outgrow eczema around the age of 2, and many other outgrow it by adulthood.
Causes of Eczema
It’s not yet confirmed what causes eczema, but experts indicate eczema is often inherited. Which means your child is most likely to have eczema if you or a close family member has eczema, asthma, or an allergy.
And while eczema is not an allergic reaction to a certain substance, it still might be triggered by some allergens or irritants in the environment, such as: pollen or cigarette smoke. It can also be triggered by allergens in your baby’s diet.
The heat can also aggravate the eczema, along with other irritants that come in contact with the skin, like: wool or chemicals in some soaps, fragrances, lotions, and detergents, changes in temperature, and dry skin. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of eczema.
Treatments of Eczema
Preventing eczema by avoiding its triggers is the best and number one advice. However, taking care of the baby’s or child’s skin helps prevent flare-ups.
Babies and children in Dubai and the UAE are more prone to eczema because of the dry air and harsh environment. And the hot and humid conditions in Dubai are great aggravtors of eczema, along with being in an air-conditioned environment, which affects the skin and make it go dry and cold, hence more itchy.
And according to specialist, the number of people developing eczema in Dubai is increasing each year, and although there is yet no ultimate treatment for eczema, you can still prevent it or cure the flare-ups in Dubai.
And here are 5 skin care tips you can follow to prevent eczema living in Dubai:
- Bathing: use mild soap or non-soap cleansers, and don’t let your baby sit in soapy water. Also don’t bathe your baby with warm water, as it dries out the skin faster.
- Moisturizing: after bathing, use moisturizer or emollient – an ointment, cream, or lotion that "seals in" the body's own moisture.
- Dress your baby in smooth natural fabrics, preferably cotton. And avoid any fabrics that could irritate sensitive skin like wool and other stretchy materials.
- Prevent scratching: your child will seek relief in scratching with their nails or against the pillow and sheets. Prevent that by keeping your baby’s nails short, and using the softest sheets possible for his crib.
- Soothe flare-ups by using cool compresses on the area several times a day.