Eczema is an itchy, cracked, dry skin condition that commonly appears to children under the age of 2.  It is an indication that the skin barrier does not work effectively as it should. The skin becomes prone to infections making allergens to get through the skin easily, hence making the condition severe.

Causes of Eczema in Babies

There are no clear causes of eczema but there are some environmental and genetic factors that are considered.

  • If a family member or a parent has a history of eczema, asthma or hay fever, the baby is likely to develop the condition as well.
  • An immune system dysfunction is also another cause of eczema as it holds germs in, lets out moisture, and affects the skin barrier.
  • Detergents such as shampoo, fabric softeners, bubble baths can trigger skin irritation leading to eczema.
  • Presence of few fatty cells in the body which makes the skin to lose water, hence becomes dry.

Other causes may include:

  •         Hot rooms
  •         Chemicals in the swimming pools
  •         Scratching the irritated skin area
  •         Bacterial infections
  •         Synthetic or woolen clothes

How You Can Identify Eczema

Eczema can be identified through various signs and symptoms. These are such as:

  • Eczema in babies tends to appear on the face first.
  • Rashes can be seen on the cheeks and scalp.
  • Leaking fluids from rashes
  • Extreme itchiness which may interfere with the baby’s sleep
  • Rashes can be seen on the ankles, neck, or at creases between the legs and buttock
  • Bumpy rashes
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Swelling on parts of the body
  • Scaly patches on the skin
  • Inflamed sensitive skin
  • An extremely dry skin
  • Scratching the skin until it bleeds

How to Curb Eczema

Eczema has no cure but it can be treated, and prevented. There are numerous ways that the skin can be supported back into its good condition and also alleviate symptoms.

  • Anti – inflammatory medication can be prescribed to help relieve symptoms such as itchiness and inflammation. Ointments can be applied directly to the skin while antihistamines and antibiotics can be taken by mouth.
  • Moisturizers should be used every day assist to repair the skin dryness and reduce water loss.
  • Phototherapy enables exposure to the ultraviolet waves, a method that mostly treats dermatitis.
  • Cotton clothes are recommended for the baby rather than synthetic or woolen fabrics.
  • Avoid things that may trigger the baby’s skin.
  • Use a humidifier in hot and cold weathers
  • Avoid activities or temperatures that may lead to sweating
  • In some cases, the baby may require wet dressing to rehydrate and cool the skin.

When Should You See the Doctor

If you are not sure of what might be irritating your baby’s skin, it is recommended that you see a doctor.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

 # Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor


Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: babycentre, webmd, nationaleczema, pregnancybirthbaby, medicalnewstoday

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