A skin disease or infection which afflicts infants between the ages two and six months is called baby eczema. This skin problem is characterized by itchy, dry and sensitive skin. Blistery looking, crusty red patches appears on the infant’s body.
The parts of the body which are affected most my eczema are scalp, neck, face and upper chest area. There are many ways of treating the problem of infant eczema. However if this skin condition persists, it is best to approach a pediatrician who can prescribe medications to keep the infant comfortable.
Although different types of eczema are present, infants or young babies are most commonly affected with a type of eczema called atopic eczema. In this condition pus filled blisters appear on the baby’s skin. Affecting nearly fifteen percent of all infants, atopic eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by intense itching. Atopic eczema which also goes by the name of atopic dermatitis is usually a recurring skin condition in very young babies.
Baby eczema is greater in infants who are born to parents with a prior history of this skin condition. Baby eczema is often misunderstood for cradle cap, another childhood skin infection. It has been noted that infants with low body moisture levels and also children who are made to wear clothes which have been washed in harsh detergents or those who are fed certain types of food are more likely to suffer this skin problem. Dust, change in temperature and wearing fabrics made of wool can also cause eczema in infants.
Immunological, genetic and skin barrier defects increases the incidence of infant eczema. Increase in serum Ige levels can determine the strength of an atopic eczema attack in infants. It is very important for parents to understand the factors which trigger an episode of eczema in their babies. The following are some of the trigger factors of eczema.
During the winter season, babies are more likely to suffer from eczema, because of the low atmospheric moisture levels. Even babies are susceptible to stress and an increase in stress is often marked by the skin becoming inflamed, in babies who are predisposed to this skin condition.
Excessive heat and the resultant sweating can increase the chances of a baby suffering from eczema. It has also been noted that certain foods that a breastfeeding mother eats can trigger off eczema in her baby. If a child is predisposed to atopic eczema, the mother should avoid foods like eggs, citrus fruits, peanuts and milk. Sometimes certain chemicals which are used in the home can also act as trigger factor in baby eczema. Home cleaners, astringents, paint strippers and pesticides should be kept as far away from young children as possible.
Some of the treatment options for combating the problem of eczema include aromatherapy sessions using herb oils like lavender, juniper, geranium, neroli, nettle and cleavers. Applying evening primrose oil on the affected parts can also bring great relief from the severe itching that a baby experiences. Application of topical creams, which has been prescribed by the pediatrician like hydrocortisone creams can bring great relief to the infant. Parents can also apply fragrance free moisturizers and petroleum jelly on the babies to increase the skin moisture levels.