Infant eczema is simply a name given to eczema that occurs in young children. Infant eczema is actually quite common and can occur in some children within days of birth. In a vast majority of cases, infants out grow the eczema by the age of 2 or 3 and in other cases, the condition will clear by adolescence. In a few cases, the eczema may extend into adulthood and remain with a person their entire life.
Infant eczema is a condition of dry extra sensitive skin that seems at times to run in unbreakable cycles. Something will irritate the baby’s skin making it break out into an inflamed dry patch that itches, the baby will rub or scratch the itch making it even more inflamed and itchy which results in more scratching and more inflammation and itching. However, if the breakout is spotted early and mild ointment is applied to help stop the itching the breakout can often be cleared up in a short amount of time without further irritation.
The best course of action is to prevent breakouts from occurring in the first place. While there is no cure for infant eczema, there are things that you as a parent can do to help reduce the number of eczema flare-ups your child has. Here are some things you can do that will help reduce the chances of a break out.
- Limit the amount of dust, pollen and mold your baby comes in contact with by vacuuming the floors, drapes and overstuffed furniture several times a week and dusting regularly. Wash your babies bedding in a fragrance and dye free detergent in hot water and then rinse two or three times to help ensure that all of the detergent is rinsed from the bedding. Dry without fabric softener. Also wash any stuffed animals regularly.
- Keep your home reasonably cool and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- If your infant is eating solid foods, make sure that he/she is getting an adequate amount of fatty acids.
- Also make sure your baby is drinking enough fluids as drinking water will help to keep your baby’s skin hydrated.
- Bathe your child in lukewarm rather than hot water and use baby shampoo and soap designed especially for babies with sensitive skin.
- Be alert to any breakouts your baby should have when they eat certain foods and try to eliminate these foods from their diet.
- If not on solid foods, breast-feed your baby as long as possible as breast-feeding may reduce the chances of an eczema outbreak from occurring.
- Dress your child in well-ventilated natural fiber clothing. Organic cotton may be the best choice.
- Limit your baby’s exposure to the sun and household chemicals. Steam cleaning without cleaning products may prove to be advantageous for not only your child’s health but, for your entire family’s health.
Remember the key to fighting infant eczema is to do everything possible to prevent an outbreak of this condition and should an outbreak occur do everything possible to keep your baby comfortable.