Eczema in Babies: Causes and Remedies

eczema in babies

What Is Eczema?

  • Red, rough, dry, itchy, and sometimes flaky skin. It is also called atopic dermatitis
  • Eczema will often appear in infancy & early childhood followed by allergies and/or asthma later in life 
  • Oftentimes, it will not persist into teenage years or adulthood

When Does Eczema Flare?

  • Eczema in kids will flare in the cold of the winter when the air is dry (Especially with the heater blowing)
  • It will also flare in the heat of the summer when our skin gets hot & sweaty

Where Does Eczema in babies commonly Appear?

  • It will often appear in creases of the elbows & knees in kids 
  • Infants might get eczema on their cheeks, forehead, and face because of exposure to saliva, dribbles of milk & constant wiping

What causes Eczema Flares?

  • Exposure to certain foods (Especially peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish)
  • Seasonal allergies (Pearl of Knowledge: Allergies, Asthma & Eczema can all be triggered by exposure to allergens)   
  • Bubble baths/bath bombs can cause the skin to react to chemicals in dyes & fragrances
  • Chlorine in pools or hot water in hot tubs might affect sensitive skin
  • Synthetic or harsh fabrics like polyester, nylon, or wool directly against the skin can cause irritation of the skin. It’s best to have soothing soft cotton directly next to the skin if children have eczema
  • It may result from how one’s immune system reacts to triggers like allergens
  • Stress can cause it to flare for some people

Home remedies for Eczema in babies?

  • Bathe your child in lukewarm water every day for no more than 10 min to help the skin absorb the moisture it needs. Do not use hot water
  • Use a hypoallergenic, fragrance/dye-free moisturizing soap like Dove to bathe to help Eczema in babies.
  • Pat dry after bath & trap moisture in place with hypoallergenic, fragrance/dye-free lotion from face to toes within 2-3 minutes of getting out of the bath (Good lotions to try are Eucerin, Aveeno, Aquaphor or Cetaphil)
  • Moisturize skin with the same lotion again at the opposite end of the day 
  • Use OTC 1% Hydrocortisone to areas of flare twice a day for 7-10 days underneath the lotion to reduce itching & redness
  • Your child’s doctor may recommend an oral antihistamine to reduce itching & flares or moist wraps to help hydrate the skin
  • If directed by a physician, you may use diluted bleach baths 1-2 x a week to reduce bacteria on the skin that cause infection in areas of dry & irritated skin

Is Eczema Contagious?

  • No. Eczema in babies is not contagious and it cannot be transmitted to others.

Is Eczema Hereditary?

  • Yes. Often times, Eczema, like allergies & asthma, tends to run in families.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

  • If your child develops fever > 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If the rash on the skin starts looking puffy, red, warm, or painful to touch
  • If the rash starts spreading in streaks 
  • If you notice pus draining from bumps around areas of Eczema in babies, it is a good idea to send a text to your BabiesMD Pediatrician for a check.


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