Infant Eczema

Because reflux babies are under stress or frequently have food sensitivities they often have infant eczema as well.

Baby Eczema

What is infant eczema?

Infant eczema is a topical skin rash, most frequently showing up anytime after birth on the face, arms and legs but rarely in the diaper area. The rash can look like chapped, scaly skin or tiny red bumps that can blister or ooze, and are incredibly itchy. Eczema patches can be spread by scratching so it's important to keep scratching to a minimum.

Anyone with a family history of eczema or respiratory illnesses has an increased liklihood of also getting infant eczema.

What causes infant eczema?

Infant Eczema is a hypersensitivity of the skin to irritants in the body, whether they be diet-related, respiratory (as in the case of asthma, allergies or hay fever), or a reaction to topical irritants such as chemicals in lotions, synthetic fabrics, or perfumes in laundry detergents, soaps or lotions.

Food sensitivies such as common food triggers for reflux can certainly be responsible for infant eczema, although only about one third of all babies and children have diet-related infant eczema.

Other suspected causes are dust, dust mites, mold, pet dander or pollen. Once a baby develops infant eczema there are numerous triggers that cause recurrences such as sun exposure, heat, topical irritants and stress.

Treatments for infant eczema

Do:

  • Keep your house a cool temperature with average humidity by using a humidifier or dehumidifier if necessary.

  • Wash all bedding frequently and use a double rinse cycle on any of baby's clothing or bedding items.

  • Breastfeed your baby as much as possible to pass your anti-bodies onto your baby.

  • If breastfeeding consider an elimination diet to see if any items in your diet are contributing to your baby's eczema.

  • Increase essential fatty acids in baby's (if eating solids) or your diet. Fish oil, olive oil, avocado oil and flax seed oil are all good choices.

  • Only dress your baby in well-ventilated natural fiber clothing.
  • Consider seeing a naturopath if your baby is eating solids and seems to have no food sensitivities.
  • Avoid:

  • Harsh chemicals

  • Petroleum (can clog the pores)

  • Scents or perfumes added to personal products or laundry detergents for both you and your baby.

  • Synthetic fibers

  • Overdressing your baby
  • Over-stimulating situations and crying as much as possible.
  • Sun exposure

  • Care for infant eczema

  • Use only lukewarm water when bathing. You can add goat's milk directly to the bath.

  • Bathe daily to remove any irritants on skin like dirt, sweat or sunblock.

  • Use only a gentle, natural baby soap that doesn't remove necessary skin oils or contain unnecessary scents or ingredients.

  • Gently pat your baby's skin mostly dry and then begin your moisturizing routine quickly to trap moisture from the bath in the skin.

  • Immediately before moisturizing apply a soothing baby spritz to the skin. This should be applied several times throughout the day, not just at bathtime.

  • Massage a soothing rash cream into the eczema patches. This should also be applied several times throughout the day.

  • Use a gentle hydrating lotion without fragrance or chemicals on your baby's entire body.
  • Are medications for infant eczema safe?

    There is legitimate concern about medications marketed for eczema in babies. Dr. Greene's excellent website has information on infant eczema treatment warnings. We believe that only natural products should ever touch a baby. What is deemed safe today by the FDA may turn into tomorrow's recall once more testing is conducted.

    Looking for products to care for infant eczema?

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