Why do babies get eczema?

Why-do-babies-get-eczemaThere isn’t one exact proven cause of baby eczema. Doctor’s believe that it may be the result of an immune system overreaction, baby eczema is most likely caused by a combination of both environmental triggers and genetics. Baby eczema is a common and treatable skin condition that manifests as red, crusty, and itchy patches of skin.

Studies show that between 20% and 30% of people with eczema have a specific gene variation that affects the outermost layer of skin, making it harder for the skin to fight off irritants and retain moisture. This gene variation means that babies with a family history of eczema are more likely to develop the condition as well.

Also, as the gene variation makes it harder for the skin to protect itself, eczema flare-ups are brought on by environmental factors, called triggers, such as allergens and bacteria.

Does My Baby Have Eczema?

The common signs and symptoms of baby eczema are red, raw, crusty, or weepy rashes and severe itching. Most baby eczema shows itself at around 3 months old, but onset can range from 1 to 6 months, with the latest being 2 years old. Baby eczema rashes generally form on the cheeks first but can eventually spread to the rest of the face or the outer edges of arms and legs.

Many parents confuse baby eczema with seborrheic dermatitis, often referred to as “cradle cap.” This is understandable as the two can seem similar at first glance. However, there are a few key differences between baby eczema and “cradle cap,” the most significant being that “cradle cap” is less red and scaly and usually affects the scalp, eyebrows, and behind the ears more than the cheeks.

Understand the causes of Baby Eczema for potential treatments

There is no cure for baby eczema, but there are quite a few effective treatments that relieve symptoms. There are three main goals in treating baby eczema: skin care, itch control, and trigger management.

Proper skin care is the most important baby eczema treatment as it can help repair and maintain a healthy skin barrier and help prevent flare-ups.

There are two key components of proper skin care for baby eczema: daily bathing and using a mild cleanser or body wash for baby eczema. Limit baths to 15 minutes, taking care to fully rinse away all cleansers. Gently pat the baby dry and apply an ointment or fragrance-free cream while the skin is still damp. Feel free to moisturize twice a day in addition to after bath time.

Scratching can make baby eczema worse in that is intensifies the severity of the itch, can break or further injure already inflamed skin and can lead to infection. Help control baby eczema itch by preventing your baby from scratching. Keep nail’s clipped short or put on cotton mittens.

Managing triggers is the final component in treating baby eczema, as avoiding or managing triggers can greatly reduce flare-ups. Common triggers to avoid include:

  • Soaps like bubble baths or other fragrant products
  • Pollen
  • Certain foods
  • Animals and dander
  • Wool
  • Dry air

Alleviating Baby Eczema flare ups

One of the most common triggers for baby eczema is soap. Most soaps and shampoos available on the market have a pH of 9 to 10, meaning that they can negatively alter the pH of skin. Since studies have shown that maintaining a normal skin pH (between 4 and 6) can go a long way toward relieving eczema flare-ups, it is vital to use a gentle cleanser with a low pH.

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash is an eczema shampoo for babies that complies with pediatric dermatologist recommendations for eczema by being a non-soap cleanser that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and that has a low pH. Made with over 95% natural, plant-based ingredients like oatmeal extract, aloe vera, and licorice root extract, this moisturizing, non-soap cleanser is gentle enough for daily use on sensitive young skin.

Use Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash as a daily shampoo for eczema to soothe your baby’s skin.

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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