How to Treat Eczema in Babies & Toddlers?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition that is common in babies and toddlers. It causes discomfort, irritation, and itching in children. Eczema generally happens when the skin becomes sensitive due to the weakening of the skin’s protective barrier. This sensitive skin becomes prone to triggers like extreme heat, and allergens including dander, grass, etc. As an auto-immune response, the skin becomes inflamed with rashes and itchy, red patches.
With the right approach, eczema in babies can be managed and controlled. Many of the children who suffer from eczema outgrow it once they get older. But some may experience eczema flare ups from time to time. Let's know more about eczema in babies, its causes, and ways to treat it below.
What Causes Eczema in Babies?
Eczema is an auto-immune response to allergens. Some babies are genetically predisposed toward eczema and already have a family history of eczema. It happens due to the extreme auto-immune response of the body that may also cause asthma and other allergic reactions.
Most of the time, environmental triggers cause eczema flare ups in children. Some of these triggers include:
- Dry cold weather
- Extreme sweating due to hot weather
- Dust, pollen, pet dander, and other environmental allergens
- Saliva and drool when sleeping or during the teething period
- Viral infections
- Stress and anxiety (Yes, even children experience it)
- Synthetic and itchy fabrics like nylon, polyester, and wool
- Harsh soaps and laundry detergents
- Certain scents, fragrances, and tobacco smoke
By avoiding these triggers, you can prevent eczema flare ups in your children. Bathing your children in lukewarm water and hydrating and moisturizing their skin properly also prevents eczema flare ups. Also, dressing your children in light cotton clothes and making their sleeping area comfortable( Neither too hot nor cold) also helps a lot.
Eczema in Babies Foods to Avoid
Some foods may also trigger the body's auto-immune response and make eczema worse. Some foods that are known to trigger eczema symptoms are :
- Dairy especially milk
- Fish and shellfish
- Tree nuts like almond, pecan nuts, etc.
- Wheat and gluten products
- Eggs, and
- Soy Products
Other than direct consumption, the compounds in these food items are also passed down to babies through breast milk. So, either avoid these food items or identify the foods that trigger eczema. You can zero in on the triggers with the help of a medical professional. They will identify the food responsible through allergy tests or direct skin testing. You can also isolate the foods responsible by eliminating them at a time from your and your children's diet. Eliminate one food item for two weeks and see the response. Then reintroduce the food again and check if it causes an eczema flare-up. This process may take time but is effective and best for a long-term strategy.
How to Stop Eczema Itching in Babies?
Eczema on baby face and other parts of the body causes itching and the urge to scratch in children. Here are some of the ways to stop itching in babies.
- Soak a soft washcloth in cool water and squeeze the water dry. Then put it on the itchy skin like a compress to soothe it.
- After removing the compress, moisturize with a kid and skin-friendly product like O'mumsie's "Baby Soft" face and body butter.
- Do not forbid your child to stop scratching. They will unnecessarily get stressed out. Instead try to distract your baby through games, stories, or any other fun and playful activity that keeps them engaged.
- Trim your children's nails so that they do not break the skin and cause infections due to itching. For infants, you can cover their hands with baby mittens. For toddlers use eczema sleeves that cover their limbs so that fingernails do not damage the skin much.
- Cover the itchy skin and do not expose it to the elements, which may worsen eczema symptoms. Use garments and bed sheets for children that are made of natural fabrics like cotton, and cotton-blend. Do not use wool and synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester.
- If eczema on baby face or other parts is itching, then gently pinch the nearby skin that is not affected by eczema. It will help alleviate the itching. For toddlers and older children, ask them to pinch and sometimes tap the nearby skin for the same results.
Eczema in Babies- Simple Home Remedies
Here are some of the home remedies to try to prevent eczema flare-ups and reduce its symptoms in children.
- Add colloidal oatmeal to your children's bath to relieve dry and itchy skin.
- Keep the children's bath times short. Use lukewarm water and use a gentle baby wash that does not harm the baby's sensitive skin. You can also go for sponge baths for infants.
- After the bath, moisturize the baby's skin with a baby-friendly and organic cream or body butter like O'mumsie face and body butter for children.
- Use the wet wrapping procedure also called "the soak and seal technique to trap the moisture and soothe itching in the affected part. Clean the affected area of the skin and then moisturize it properly. Immediately after moisturizing, wrap the affected area with a clean wet cloth or towel to lock the moisture in and hydrate the skin.
So, these are some of the home remedies to treat eczema in babies. You should also visit a medical practitioner if eczema persists or becomes severe. They may prescribe different treatments or a combination of them. Some effective treatments include phototherapy, prescription of oral and topical antihistamines, immunosuppressants or topical steroids, or hydrocortisone creams.
O’mumsie “Baby Soft” Face and Body Butter-Helps Alleviate Eczema in BabiesO’mumsie’s whipped baby butter is made of shea and cocoa butter, colloidal oatmeal, and organic and skin-beneficial essential oils. It is an all-natural product without any chemicals and filled with vitamins, nourishing fatty acids, and antioxidants. This non-sticky baby butter reduces skin inflammation, moisturizes and protects the skin, and soothes eczema in babies. It is also helpful in other skin conditions like diaper rashes, insect bites, etc. Use it regularly after baths and other times so that your baby has soft and supple skin. With O'mumsie's face and body butter, you get no dryness, no rough skin, and that too all-natural and without any chemicals.