Baby eczema is a skin condition that can leave your baby’s skin red, raw, and irritated — and is generally an unpleasant experience for your little one to go through. Here are the common causes of baby eczema and what you can do to help treat and reduce the occurrence of eczema in your baby.
What is baby eczema?
Baby eczema is a skin condition that causes redness, flaking, and itchiness, and appears on the cheeks, behind the ears, or on other parts of the body. The condition is most common in babies between 4 months and 2 years old.
Eczema in babies is not contagious, but it may be related to allergies. If you notice that your baby has developed redness or flaking on their skin, consult a doctor for an examination.
What causes baby eczema?
If you’re wondering what causes baby eczema, a few different factors can play a role. Here are some of the most common causes:
Genetics: If one or both parents have eczema, there is a higher risk that their child will develop it.
Environmental: Changes in climate, moisture levels, and even stress can trigger an episode of eczema.
Infection: A bacterial or viral infection can trigger an episode of eczema.
Allergens: Exposure to certain allergens such as pollen or dust mites can trigger an eczema flare-up in some children who suffer from atopic dermatitis.
What are the types of baby eczema?
There are many different types of baby eczema, and it can be hard to know what’s going on with your little one! Here’s a guide to the most common forms:
Atopic Dermatitis: This is the most common type of eczema. It usually starts in early childhood and lasts into adulthood. It causes skin redness, itching, and dryness.
Contact Dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to an allergen or irritant such as nickel. It can also develop when the skin comes into contact with chemicals like poison ivy oil or detergents.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: This type of baby eczema presents as flaky skin around the face, scalp, and neck in infants who have cradle caps at birth or baby acne later on.
Nummular Eczema: This form of baby eczema presents as coin-shaped patches of dry skin on the trunk or extremities that may become scaly if left untreated.
Irritant Eczema: This is caused by a specific irritant—like soap or laundry detergent—and usually appears on the hands and feet. This type of eczema isn’t hereditary.
Neonatal Acrodermatitis: Also called ‘the cradle cap’, this affects premature newborns and is caused by an overactive immune system. The dry skin flakes may appear anywhere on the body.
How do I treat and control baby eczema in my baby?
When eczema develops on your baby, it can be very uncomfortable for them and may even cause a rash. If you notice an eczema rash, there are several things you can do to help alleviate the discomfort and improve their skin.
Avoid bubble bath: Give your baby a 5–10 minute, lukewarm bath every day or every other day. Use only hypoallergenic, fragrance-free soaps, and do not use anything harsh to scrub your child's skin, like a loofah. Then, gently pat your baby’s skin to dry them.
Dressing your baby: Put your baby in soft clothing, such as 100% cotton. Make use of gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergents, and as much as possible, avoid using fabric softeners.
Use a moisturizer: You should apply a baby-friendly moisturizing cream or lotion with aloe vera or vitamin E on your baby’s skin twice daily to keep their skin hydrated and reduce redness. Moisturizers will help hydrate dry skin, making eczema worse if left untreated.
Avoid triggers: Ask your pediatrician if they would recommend allergy testing to further identify triggers that can be avoided.
Baby eczema can be very uncomfortable for your baby. Keep in mind that it is a chronic skin condition that calls for persistence and consistent skin care. So it’s best to consult a pediatrician for a proper diagnosis and to discuss the ideal daily routine that is best for your baby. Simply use Doctor Anywhere to book an appointment with licensed pediatricians online.
Download the Doctor Anywhere app for free on App Store or Google Play Store to create an account for your child. In the absence of an ID, please use their birth certificate and the "Registry number" as their ID number.