This first appeared on The Standard on 25 December 2016
What is it?
Your baby has a very sensitive skin. It is easily affected by what you eat, the weather or simply by the cloth they wear. Infant Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions that affect the skin during your child’s first few months. It usually appears on the cheeks, hands and sometimes behind the knees and diaper area. Eczema makes the skin dry, flaky and reddish and it develops pimples filled with fluid as it progresses. It is mostly itchy.
What causes it?
Eczema is common with babies in a family with history of allergies, asthma or eczema itself. But things like perfumed soaps, detergents and shampoos can trigger it.
How to treat it
- Mild Eczema usually goes on its own but it is better to have the doctor review in person. Once you suspect your child had Eczema, visit the doctor.
- The doctor will usually prescribe steroid creams. It is not harmful as long as you follow the doctor’s order.
- Try to see if what you are using is the cause. If so, switch to mild unscented moisturizer, soap, non-fragrance laundry soap or fabric softener made for sensitive skin.
- Keep the skin moisturized. The more it gets dry the more it gets itchy.
- Breastfeed more often and apply the breast milk on the affected area. It contains strong antibodies and antitoxins that promote healing.
- Keep bath time short and the water luke warm.
- Cut your baby’s nails short to prevent scratching.
Eczema happens when the body makes too few fatty cells called ceramides. If you don’t have enough of them, your skin will lose water and become very dry.