Eczema on infants
Eczema is not a serious disease, however it can be very irritating for both the baby and the parents! It isnít a life threatening disease, however it does cause the skin to develop ugly looking scaly patches all over the skin. These patches are very itchy, and so it can be difficult to stop the child scratching.
Eczema actually affects around ten to twenty percent of all of the babies in the states, so itís not an uncommon condition by any means. Nine times out of ten the condition resolves itself before the baby reaches its second birthday. Eczema can become a chronic disease and can affect children right into adulthood.
The most common type of eczema to affect babies is known as atopic eczema, this is seen by itching, red, and scaly skin. This can appear pretty much anywhere on the body, most commonly on the scalp, face, arms or legs.
Eczema on the scalp in babies is very common and it is commonly referred to as cradle cap, however this almost always resolves itself without any interference.
Atopic eczema commonly runs in families, an episode can be triggered by several things, things like lack of moisture in the skin, or exposure to certain allergens. Allergens include things like clothing, or certain foods, mainly dairy produce. Chemicals and exposure to extreme temperatures can also trigger eczema to flare up. Some studies have shown that there is a link between weaning the baby off breastfeeding too early, and eczema.
Around 30% of childhood eczema symptoms are thought to be due to food allergies. If you suspect a particular food for causing the babyís eczema then you should try eliminating this food from the diet. You should be able to work out what exactly is triggering your babyís eczema with a little detective work. This is normally a process of trial and error, normally foods that people are allergic to are things like milk, eggs, wheat, fish and of course the favorite, peanut! Some babies find that they are allergic to certain detergents and fabric softeners, making it necessary to carefully select fabric softeners and detergents.
Eczema treatment in infants is quite easy, you should bathe the baby in warm water and make sure you apply moisturizing lotion after bathing. Also dress the baby in natural fabrics as opposed to man made materials, and steer clear of products that contain alcohol and fragrances.
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