For parents with a new baby, having to deal with eczema can be stressful. Beyond the most likely cause, that it’s hereditary (there is an 80% chance of parents with the condition passing it on to their children), no one really knows precisely what causes it. Never knowing when or why it will develop, and in some cases not being curable, it can be hard for a parent whose child is now affected. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with it and of course, the more knowledge you have on the subject, the easier it is to confront.
The good news is that many babies grow out of eczema all by themselves, without any medical intervention needed. This can often occur well before the age of 5. The condition still needs to be watched when it occurs, as sometimes this is NOT the case and medical attention is then recommended. A large number of cases have occurred where the baby recovered from the condition as the body continued its normal growth cycle. What you need to know is how to make the condition tolerable for the baby and if medical attention really is needed or not.
You want to be able to recognize the signs of eczema. Knowing the symptoms will let you know if it’s A) only a false alarm, or B) actual eczema requiring attention. Infant eczema can range from a slight redness on a part of the skin, all the way to severe and irritating itching. It can appear just about anywhere: on the face, neck, chest, belly or (most often) at the creases on the back of the elbows and knees. Eczema appearing on a baby’s scalp is called “cradle cap” and looks like greasy, patchy skin that comes off in scales.
The most important factors to consider for preventing infant eczema include moisturizing with a dry skin treatment, nutrition, hygiene, and allergy awareness and prevention. Most infant eczema cases are identified as atopic eczema, meaning it can develop an allergic reaction very shortly within contact of the allergic substance. If any sudden reaction comes on, take note of the changes right before that which could have triggered it. Infant eczema can even be triggered by food allergies, most notably dairy. If the baby is breastfeeding then what the mother is eating will be a factor, so you may want to keep a journal of changes in food and other things around the house. If eczema develops on the baby’s belly then you can suspect something in the baby’s clothes or with the laundry detergent, since this is the largest area of fabric contact. All of these can be signs of atopic eczema.
Same as with adults, the worst of the problem is not the eczema itself but the scratching. Scratching which brings about wet or oozing sores is likely to bring on infection. “Staph” infections are common when this happens. Any eczema lesions which look different or unusual should be treated right away by a competent medical professional.
The obvious thing to do is to prevent scratching. Eczema robs the skin of moisture, creating dry itchy skin and leading to scratching, which leads to worsening conditions of the skin. One solution is to add baby oil to the infant's bath water. As soon as the baby gets out of the bath, pat the skin dry, paying extra attention to drying the legs without rubbing. Then quickly apply a very mild unscented baby lotion to take advantage of the baby's open pores after the warm bath, which is the best time for moisture to be absorbed. When this is done before bedtime, the infant is more relaxed and can more easily sleep through the night.
Also, the infant's room should be kept humid. Keep the heat turned down and if the baby gets cold, add clothing rather than turn the heat back up. Pure cotton clothing is recommended for the infant with eczema.
A natural skin care moisturizer is very helpful. For a baby with eczema you want a skin balm that is completely natural and will not cause any kind of unforeseen adverse reactions. Stick with dry skin care creams that are unscented, and its best if they are lanolin-based, and contain Vitamin E & aloe. A good lotion for dry skin with natural ingredients can sometimes clear up the condition in a short time. A cream to stop the scratching can be the most effective treatment, as then the baby does not experience discomfort and isn’t ever laid open to infection. This gives an excellent chance at a completely healthy and normal life, which is what any parent wants for their child.
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Vicki Gailzaid is owner of Sales R Us Inc, developer of Ultra Balm (www.ultrabalm.com) a premium blend dry skin cream, one of the most effective on the market. Learn more at www.ultrabalm.com/Welcome/Testimonials/Testimonials & order at www.ultrabalm.com/Welcome/Order-Here
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