Help! My baby has eczema – now what?
Many infants and small children develop skin irritations, including rashes and eczema. Here’s how to identify if it’s eczema and the best ways to treat it.
Is it definitely eczema?
Here’s a list of symptoms to look out for:
- Is your baby’s skin dry and itchy? Your baby may consistently scratch or rub the affected areas.
- Is your baby’s skin red and inflamed? The skin affected by eczema may appear red, inflamed or irritated.
- Is your baby developing rashes? Eczema can cause red or brownish-gray patches of skin, and these patches may develop small, raised bumps that may ooze or crust over.
- Are the skin irritations commonly appearing in these places: on the face, especially the cheeks and chin, as well as on the hands, wrists, elbows and behind the knees?
How do I treat this with home remedies?
If you suspect that your baby has eczema based on the above, here are some things that you can do immediately to alleviate the symptoms.
- Avoid using harsh soaps, detergents or creams that may exacerbate the condition. Choose hypoallergenic and fragrance-free skincare products specifically designed for babies with sensitive skin.
- Regularly apply a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturiser to keep your baby’s skin hydrated. Moisturizing is crucial in managing eczema and preventing flare-ups.
- Dress your baby in soft, breathable fabrics. Avoid wool or synthetic materials that may irritate sensitive skin.
- Keep your baby’s nails short to prevent scratching, as scratching can worsen eczema and lead to infections. Consider using mittens or clothing with fold-over cuffs to protect the skin.
- In dry climates, consider using a humidifier in your baby’s room to maintain appropriate moisture levels.
When do I need to go to a doctor?
If your baby’s symptoms persist, get worse and you start to notice swelling or oozing fluids, it’s advisable to seek expert medical attention. Take note of the following symptoms:
– If your baby is experiencing significant discomfort, sleep disturbances or distress due to eczema, consult with your GP for guidance and medication to assist with managing these issues.
– If you notice signs of infection, such as increased redness, warmth, swelling or the presence of pus, consult a doctor immediately.
– If you suspect that certain foods, environmental factors or substances may be triggering or worsening eczema, it may be time to consider allergy testing.