Baby Eczema Remedies
Baby eczema remedies include dressing the baby in 100% cotton clothing, bathing the child in lukewarm water, and applying a topical ointment or cream. Eczema seems to run in families and is often accompanied with asthma and hay fever. To identify any potential allergens that may cause a breakout a parent may want to consult with a physician and ask about tests that can be run to narrow down sensitivities. Allergens can be the result of both internal and external sources such as food or animal dander. A parent may be able to figure out what is causing a child's dermatitis by observing his or her behavior. A good treatment for baby eczema is eliminating the foods or other sources that trigger scratching and inflammation. When an infant is suffering it can be very troubling for a parent. Remember to pray and trust God for the answer. "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, can be a result of very dry skin. Using a lotion is not the best treatment for baby eczema but instead choose a cream or ointment that can be applied right after the infants bath while the skin is still damp. Stay away from wool and synthetic fabrics and don't overdress a child because excessive heat can lead to breakouts. The best fabrics are the ones that breathe and are made from natural fibers like cotton. When purchasing clothes, blankets, and other things made with fabrics choose soft cottons. Always wash new clothing in a mild detergent that doesn't include perfumes, dyes, and chlorine before putting them on the infant.
Allergens are often the cause of breakouts in children. To identify allergens a parent should observe the child's behavior. Children will often scratch more and act cranky after exposure to an allergen. Food allergies may be the problem especially in a young infant. Some of the common culprits include but are not limited to peanuts, dairy products, corn, wheat, and acidic foods. Other common allergens include pollen, mold, mildew, dust, animal dander, cigarette smoke, and harsh detergents. Baby eczema remedies will often include antihistamines to counter the effect of allergens. Antihistamines are sold over-the-counter or can be prescribed by a physician. The ones that are prescribed are often more effective than over-the-counter brands.
Allergy tests can reveal sensitivities to common culprits but many doctors prefer to wait until a child is at least 5 years old before prescribing a treatment for baby eczema that involves immunotherapy shots. Allergy shots will eventually decrease sensitivity to an allergen. The way it works is the patient is given small doses of the allergen to gradually get the body to start building up immunity. After this happens, the patient is given larger doses until the maximum amount is reached and then the dosage is reduced until the therapy is finished. Doctors recommend several years of therapy for optimal results.
Eczema is not a contagious skin disorder and children who suffer with it often experience remission by age 5, though they may still have mild outbreaks throughout a lifetime. To take care of those periodic outbreaks a topical steroid cream may be used as a treatment for baby eczema and for periodic outbreaks later in life; however, using excessive amounts of steroids can cause some serious side effects. Not only can steroids cause thinning of the skin and bruising, there is also a chance of growth suppression in children. Less potent steroid creams can be purchased over-the-counter at the drug store or supermarket. Cortisone creams over-the-counter will usually provide some relief from the itching but it is unlikely that they will actually work well enough to completely heal the rash. The stronger steroid creams will often clear up a rash within a few days but the dermatitis may come back when the patient is exposed to an allergen.
Some parents feel uncomfortable using steroid creams on their infant's skin. Natural baby eczema remedies can provide some relief from the itching and discomfort associated with dermatitis. Look for products that contain almond oil, calendula oil, evening primrose oil, vitamin E oil, aloe vera, cocoa butter, oatmeal, and other natural ingredients. Avoid products that contain artificial additives, mineral oil, perfume, alcohol, and lanolin. Alcohol will dry out the skin and actually cause irritation, making a rash worse.
Some doctors believe that starting an infant on solid foods too quickly can cause allergic reactions to foods and can result in eczema. The recommended age for introducing solid foods is 6 months and should begin with cereal. Introducing one new food at a time will give parents an opportunity to observe the child's reaction. When parents give an infant several new foods at one time they won't know which one is causing the allergy or rash.
Atopic dermatitis can become inflamed and infected when an infant continuously scratches. Signs of infection may include fussiness, fever, increased inflammation, redness, and blisters. When this happens the infant should be taken to the doctor for an evaluation and antibiotics may need to be prescribed. A preventive recommendation for baby eczema remedies includes keeping the child's fingernails cut short making it harder to scratch the affected area. Additional preventative treatments are non-steroid creams and ointments. These can be obtained with a prescription from a physician and can be used twofold, to prevent a breakout and to treat a breakout.
Baby PimplesBaby pimples generally appear within 3 or 4 weeks after a baby is born and is evidenced by small red bumps or whiteheads across the cheeks, forehead and chin. Milia, or hard white pimple like bumps are also typical appearances on about 40% of newborn's faces immediately after birth, but are not considered acne. Occurring in about 20% of all children, real acne on babies is a result of the mother's hormones coming in contact with the placenta just before birth. The sebaceous glands are activated in a newborn and an excessive amount of oil begins to be produced on the baby's skin. Until a natural oil balance is achieved, some infants may have recurring skin problems until around 6 months of age. This is consternation to many parents who want to have beautiful pictures of their little darlings. A word of advice...parents should take a lot of good pictures the first month!
While the appearance of acne on their sweet baby's face may be horrifying to proud parents, it really is generally of no serious health concern. "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." (Isaiah 54:13) As the oil glands become naturally balanced, most children are acne-free well before their first birthday. This type of baby pimples generally clears up on its own without the use of medications or special skin care products. Parents are recommended to gently wash their child's face with warm water and a very mild soap that is formulated for babies. Using lotions, creams and oil-based products do not help and may actually cause more bumps. If however, the problem persists after the six month mark, some pediatricians will prescribe a medication that can help clear the skin.
There are other kinds of acne that can develop on a newborn after a few months. One type is called infantile acne which develops after 3 or 4 months. These baby pimples are yellow and usually are found on the cheeks and nose. Some babies also have blackheads and whiteheads as well. This type of skin condition usually goes away when a child is a year old, but sometimes may last as long as up to 3 years. The cause is related to original traces of the mothers hormones still present. Most of these conditions clear up on their own without any special treatment protocols.
Of course, a pediatrician should be consulted if a condition seems to be severe and shows no signs of resolving. Milia are common on children and are sometimes mistaken for acne. Milia are in the form of bumps and each blemish is a hard white pimple that is generally found on the nose, cheeks and chin. Bumps that are very similar can be found on some infant's gums or in the roof of their mouths. These types of bumps are called Epstein's Pearls and are quite common. Babies can have varying amounts of Milia, but the bumps are not harmful and will generally resolve without any treatment. These types of skin eruptions are the result of dead skin cells that get trapped just below the surface of the skin. Pockets are formed and the cells harden, causing the bumps.
Generally, the eruptions disappear when the skin sheds away. Since the bumps are near the surface of the skin, it doesn't take long for the skin to rejuvenate itself with a new surface. Parents should only gently wash an infant's face with warm water and baby soap. The bumps should not be squeezed or scrubbed in an attempt to make them go away. This may only cause future scarring on the infants skin. While newborns are obviously the only age group that develops acne caused by maternal hormones, babies are not the only age group to have Milia. Hard white pimple like bumps are commonly found on adult facial skin and can be more difficult to deal with than for children.
Adults can develop the condition when oil and dead skin accumulates in pockets under the skin. A hard white pimple is filled with protein that has hardened into a granule. Unlike typical acne, the blemishes are not in the pores but in pockets under the skin. In order to get rid of these blemishes, a lengthy process of exfoliation and cleansing is needed to assist layers of the skin to slough off. Eventually, some of the bumps will disappear. Sometimes, they will need to be removed. It is generally best to see a dermatologist who can gently remove these cyst-like bumps with the appropriate tools. As in any type of skin condition, from baby pimples to adult Milia, seeking the advice of a health professional is always helpful in alleviating concerns as well as finding new treatment options.