Infantile Eczema – Healing Eczema In Babies

infantile eczemaHaving a new baby can be a worrying time, especially if the baby gets spots on his/her body and face.  Usually this is caused by a very common complaint, infantile eczema.  However, deciding on an appropriate treatment for such a small child can be difficult. Many many babies develop this distressing skin problem but with the right information the severity can be greatly reduced.

What is Infantile Eczema?

Infantile eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is not a disease caused by a virus or bacteria, therefore it is not termed contagious. Eczema is simply an itchy skin disorder that is a hypersensitivity reaction in the skin that causes its inflammation. Similar to an allergic reaction, babies with infantile eczema often have a family history of hay fever or asthma. However, the direct cause is unknown.

In infants, eczema usually appears  in the form of a red, flaky and inflamed rash on the cheeks, elbows and knees, together with an intense itching.  The problem with infantile eczema, aside from the discomfort, is that it can lead to bacterial infection and permanent scarring due to inevitable scratching.

There is no known cure for this disorder but  conventional medicine offers cortisone cream that can be applied during a cycle of inflammation. As this is a rather harsh choice of treatment for such small babies, parents may wish to treat it more safely and naturally by trying to find the trigger.

Triggers of Infantile Eczema

  • Mothers who breastfeed their baby report less occurrence of infantile eczema and it is best that mothers avoid drinking cow’s milk while breastfeeding.
  • Stress has been found to be one of the greatest triggers of eczema, and babies are highly perceptive to stress. If parents can keep their stress levels in check, this will help soothe the baby and help prevent an outbreak of eczema.
  • There are environmental irritants that should be avoided as well. These  include cigarette smoke, pet hair, everyday household dust, sudden temperature changes, scratchy fabrics and certain soaps and detergents.
  • Dry skin can aggravate the condition.

Healing Eczema in Babies

To heal eczema in babies you need to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Do not use too much water or soap to clean the skin as this can be drying. Use a mild fragrance free soap and shampoo. After bathing, apply a lubricating cream or emollient onto the damp skin as this will help to lock the moisture in.

Keep the baby cool by dressing him/her in  natural fabrics, such as cotton, which won’t overheat the child.  This also applies to bedding. Switch to mild fragrance free detergents for washing
Keep baby’s finger nails short to prevent him/her from opening wounds and spreading infection. Put mitts on his/her hands, especially at night.

A parent need not despair in trying to help their baby who suffers from infantile eczema. Most babies will outgrow the symptoms by the age of 2 to 3 years old.

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Category: Skin Problems

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