Eczema in babies can look very scary. No mother can remain calm when rough, red spots appear on the skin of a baby who is only a few months old. However, these rashes do not necessarily mean that the baby has eczema. In addition, eczema is quite easy to treat, and it can pass on its own over time. But to confirm the diagnosis, you need to contact your pediatrician.
Baby eczema or atopic dermatitis appears in one form or another in about 10-15% of infants. Most often, the symptoms of the disease are red, rough spots on the child’s skin. These spots can appear on any part of the body, but most frequently on the cheeks or the folds of the arms and legs.
Pediatric eczema is very similar in appearance to another skin condition, seborrhea eczema, which usually appears on the part of the head covered with hair.
At present, it is not known exactly what causes this disease. Childhood eczema is the result of a malfunction of the immune system. The cause of such a malfunction can be anything. However, it is known that the most common cause is an allergy to certain creams, detergents, shampoos. An important factor, in this case, is heredity. That is, if parents had eczema, then the probability of their child having the disease will be about 50%.
Fortunately, in most cases, recovery in children occurs before they reach school age. Only a few children have had eczema for many years. At the same time, it should be remembered that periods of remission of the disease may take several years.
Factors that trigger eczema
What caused eczema in one baby will not necessarily cause the disease in another. However, there are some common factors that contribute to the disease. They should always be borne in mind by parents:
- Аtopic dermatitis in a child may appear after severe stress, or the disease may be a consequence of a reaction to an inoculation;
- Often eczema in a child appears in the winter when the heating is too drying the air in the room. In other words, the condition can develop when a baby’s skin is too dry.
- Exactly what substances can cause eczema to recur is not known. However, doctors have found that the likelihood of a child getting eczema is increased by consumption of cow’s milk, peanuts, and citrus fruits;
- Atopic dermatitis can be triggered by irritating woolen clothing, soaps, and cosmetic substances.
- In addition, according to repeated studies, it has been found that heat worsens the course of the disease. In this case, sweat acts as an irritant.
Childhood eczema from foods
Eczema in a child may be related to intestinal peculiarities. This fact has recently been established by Finnish scientists. Specialists have found that children with atopic dermatitis have significant deviations in their gut bacterial composition compared to healthy children.
In the study, doctors compared the bacterial spectrum of the gut in healthy children and those with eczema. Children one and a half years old participated in this study. It turned out that the types of bacteria in the intestines of children with atopic dermatitis are typical of the bacterial composition of the intestines of adults.
Thus, it was concluded that the composition of bacteria in the child’s gut is closely related to the choice of foods he consumes. Too abrupt or premature a child’s transition to the adult diet causes a deviation in the ratio of microorganisms in the gut, which in turn increases the risk of eczema.
Eczema in infants is an allergic inflammatory skin condition that manifests itself in the appearance of rashes and blisters accompanied by itching, burning. True eczema and seborrhea eczema occur in infants. In true eczema, there are wet areas on the baby’s skin, as well as swelling and redness. In seborrhea eczema, pronounced dryness of the affected skin areas and moderate redness predominate.
Specialists believe that the main causes of eczema in infants are intestinal dysbacteriosis, constipation, unfavorable pregnancy, and childbirth.
In true eczema in the infant, the inflammation most often appears on the skin of the cheeks, limbs, and much less often on the torso. The rash is itchy and can spread quickly. In addition, the baby may have liquid stools, increased gas.
In seborrhea (dry) eczema, the baby is seen with a pink-red-colored spotty rash. Most frequently they are localized on the skin of the trunk, face, and extremities.
The effectiveness of treatment of eczema in infants depends largely on the speed and accuracy of identifying the causes of the disease and their elimination. It is very important to establish a child’s diet and normalize the activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
In eczema, it is not recommended that infants bathe frequently, since water can further dry out the skin, as well as aggravate the itching and inflammatory response. It is best to bathe your baby three times a week.
The best food for a baby is breast milk, but if this is not possible, you must be very careful to choose an artificial formula. When feeding babies with food allergies caused by cow’s milk proteins, you can try Holle Formula based on goat’s milk, if this does not help you should use soy-based formula. Use the formula based on whey protein hydrolyses.
As the child gets older and is given complementary foods, it should be noted that vegetable fats (sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil) are essential for the repair of damaged skin in eczema. Vegetable oil should constitute about a quarter of all fats eaten, and butter is also helpful. Lard and other animal fats for an allergic child are best avoided.
А child has atopic dermatitis – what should parents do?
Careful attention to the child’s skin can greatly facilitate the course of the disease and speed recovery. Parents of the baby can give him a very important help and significantly reduce discomfort. Let’s look at the main aids that effectively help a child with eczema.
Moisturizing creams are effective for atopic dermatitis. Provided they are used daily, the child’s skin will retain its natural moisture. Moisturizing creams should be used after a warm bath, which is a good way to moisturize and relieve discomfort. They significantly reduce the itching of the skin.
As for active treatment with antihistamines, this issue should be coordinated in consultation with the pediatrician. In some cases, antibiotics and ultraviolet irradiation are used to treat eczema. An influential aspect of preventing children’s eczema is to prevent scratching damaged skin. Scratching promotes the spread of rashes on the skin and increases itching. To prevent spontaneous scratching, you should systematically cut the child’s nails, and try to dress the child in shirts with long sleeves and socks. Such clothes cover the affected areas of the body. It should also be noted that eczema clothing should be simple and loose, without wool and synthetics. But the most significant thing is not to procrastinate, and if there is a suspicion of atopic dermatitis in a child, you should immediately consult a doctor.