It is estimated that about 10% of all infants in the U.S.A suffer from a form of eczema. Eczema refers to a wide range of skin conditions characterized by redness and itchiness of the skin. Usually appearing in the first six months to five years of a child’s life, eczema increases one’s risk of developing hay fever or asthma later in life.
There are different types of eczema but the most common type is the atopic dermatitis. This type of eczema usually affects those who have a family history of eczema, hay fever, or asthma. It is characterized by dry and scaly patches on the skin. These patches may appear on the scalp, forehead, and face.
Skin experts still don’t know the exact cause for most types of eczema. But many believed that this has something to do with the child’s genes as well as certain environmental factors.
Eczema in Infants and Toddlers is Different
Eczema in infants and toddlers can look different from that of eczema in older kids. The location or the appearance of eczema can be different as the child grows.
When eczema affects babies age 6 months or younger, the distinct rash and redness are more likely to appear on the scalp, forehead, cheeks, and the chin. It may also affect other parts of the body, usually the areas where moisture protects the skin.
For babies age 6 to 12 months, eczema may appear on areas that are usually rubbed when crawling. These include areas like the elbows and the knees. When left untreated, the affected sites can get infected causing the formation of small pus bumps on the skin.
As the child grows older, the symptoms of eczema would usually appear on the skin creases particularly of the elbows and the knees. They may also appear on the hands, wrists, and ankles.
Treating Eczema Naturally
Every infant or toddler can be affected by eczema differently. It would make a difference in managing eczema if you know its symptoms and the factors that can trigger it.
There are ways that can be done at home to manage the symptoms and reduce the incidence of eczema. Some of these include:
- Oatmeal bath
Oatmeal baths can help ease the itchiness brought on by eczema. To start one, simply add ⅓ cup of this bath soak to a tub of water. Mix thoroughly until it feels ‘silky.’ Let your child soak in this tub for about 20 minutes.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier
Dry skin can trigger or worsen existing eczema. You can moisten your child’s bedroom air with the use of a cool-mist humidifier.
- Lock in moisture by using hypoallergenic lotion
Avoid your baby’s skin from getting dry by locking in moisture after giving him/her a bath. After removing baby from the bath, gently pat babies skin dry, then use a gentle, hypoallergenic lotion such as this body butter. You can re-apply it for a couple of times in a day.
- Wash baby’s clothes in laundry detergent made for sensitive skin
The laundry detergent you use for washing your baby’s clothes can also trigger or worsen his/her existing eczema. So, make sure to only use a laundry detergent that’s made for sensitive skin. It’s also important to set your washer for an extra rinse cycle to get rid of the detergent residue.
- Try coconut oil
Many parents swear by the effectiveness of using coconut oil in easing itchiness and other eczema symptoms. It’s one of the most natural ways of treating your child’s eczema.
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