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Friday, October 22nd
Eczema is a non-contagious skin disorder that is charactized by dry, red, itchy patches. These patches can form anywhere on the body but are more prevalent on the face. Eczema patches can also develop on the scalp, forearm, and insides of elbow, back of knees, ankles and toes. Some eczema can become inflamed causing the area of dry, red itchy skin to fill with small fluid-filled bumps that ooze.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 10-20% of babies are diagnosed with varying degrees of eczema. It should be noted that most children outgrow eczema by the time they are 5 or 6. Studies also show eczema is an inherited disorder, much like asthma or allergies.
Eczema in babies should ALWAYS be diagnosed by a medical health professional. Young babies often fluctuate in hormone levels and a skin conditions are quite common. If your infant has eczema, a medical professional can prescribe the right options to ease the suffering of itching in eczema.
Because eczema is an inherited skin disorder, there is no way to prevent it. There are some triggers that will cause eczema to flare up or worsen. The most common triggers for babies include: dust, pollen, mold, detergents, skin care products (especially those with alcohol), excessive heat and sweating. Once a baby is diagnosed with eczema, the parents or caregiver should keep a diary to see what their specific eczema triggers may be.
Common tips to help reduce the itching and severity of eczema in infants include: avoid giving very warm bathes, pat skin with a towel (do not rub the skin), use 100% cotton clothing (especially undergarments), avoid wool blankets or bed sheets, keep rooms an even temperature, avoid talcum powder, wash all new clothing to remove dyes, avoid over-heating the infant, and keep pets out of the bedroom. For cases of severe itching, a medical health professional may recommend putting mittens on the hands, to help reduce the damage caused by excessive itching.
For severe cases of infant eczema your medical health professional may recommend a topical steroid cream to be used on a short-term basis. There are many products on the market that vary in degrees of strength. Any concerns should be addressed with your doctor. Eczema in infants is never fun, but with early diagnosis and proper attention this skin disorder can be managed.
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