Treating your infants eczema
Eczema is a very common medical condition, and it commonly affects babies and young children. For some reason many of the literature that is available to new mothers fails to address eczema in babies. Few parents expect to have to cope with eczema in their new born baby, they imagine a glowing baby. Eczema in babies is very common, fortunately itís not too difficult to understand and treat.
Eczema is a form of dermatitis where the skin appears dry and itchy, the skin can also develop unattractive scales. Eczema is not contagious, but if it is scratched the scales themselves can become infected and become more of a problem.
Babies can develop eczema pretty much anywhere, the most common places babies develop eczema are behind the knees and on the elbows. Also babies commonly develop eczema on the face, neck, chest and belly. Eczema in babies normally becomes crusty and weepy.
It can be quite easy to treat your babyís eczema. Eczema normally dries the skin out, keeping the skin moisturized is the most important part of any eczema treatment. You should avoid taking too many baths, limit them to two or three a week, this will help your skin to maintain moisture.
Donít use a regular bar of soap, make sure you use a very mild soap, Dove is my personal favourite, when you get out of the bath be sure to dry your skin by patting it dry, donít rub it. Avoid using perfumed products and anything containing alcohol.
Straight after getting out of the bath you should put on some moisturizer, most doctors suggest that you should apply moisturisers four or five times a day. Personally I only put it on once, because it takes too much time, plus it makes me stick to my clothes! But babies canít complain, so you can put it on a lot more!
If the skin becomes red, irritated, and inflamed then some other creams could be considered. A mild topical steroid cream such as 1% hydrocortisone cream can be prescribed by your doctor. This cream contains a steroid, and should reduce inflammation and redness.
Eczema doesnít cause many problems in its own right, actually the scratching causes far more problems than the condition itself. It can be difficult getting children to stop scratching, even the ones that you can reason with, however with babies itís impossible. Many parents resort to putting socks or mittens on the babies hands so that they canít scratch. You could put one of those dog lamp shades on them too, it wouldnít do much to help, but it would make a good photo!
Your babies eczema must be carefully monitored for any signs of infection. If any open, weeping, or hot areas on the skin are noticed you should immediately alert your doctor and get it treated. The doctor may prescribe your baby with an antibiotic which will help the babies immune system to fight the infection.
Eczema is often a scary condition, especially for new parents. However eczema in babies is by no means a complicated condition, it can easily be managed and monitored for infection. With constant applications of moisturizer your babyís skin should start to improve. Many babies will grow out of eczema themselves without any medical intervention before they are 5 years old, some do keep the condition into their adulthood, however these are in the minority.
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