What is Baby eczema/infant eczema?

Baby eczema/infant eczema

Baby eczema, or infant eczema, is a widespread and treatable skin condition that typically
first occurs in children before five. Also known as atopic eczema, infantile atopic dermatitis, or just atopic
dermatitis, the condition results in red, dry, itchy, and cracked skin that may sometimes
crack and bleed.[1] Eczema can affect the whole body, though the hands, face, and neck are
the most commonly affected areas in babies.

Baby eczema will generally disappear before the child reaches their teens, but in some cases,
it can continue into teenage and adulthood. The condition can be treated with various creams,
ointments, and minor environmental changes.

Symptoms of baby eczema

Eczema in babies appears as dry, red, scaly, itchy, and flaky skin. The scalp,
face, ears, and neck in young babies are the most commonly affected areas. In older babies, the arms and legs
may be more commonly affected, especially around the elbows and knees and the diaper
area. [2] In severe cases, baby eczema can cause painful skin cracking, oozing, and bleeding. As children get older, the skin affected by the condition usually
becomes less red but scalier, leatherier, and thicker – this is known as lichenification and
may also occur due to persistent scratching.[3]

If your baby is experiencing possible symptoms of baby eczema,

Causes and triggers of baby eczema

The causes of baby eczema are unclear, though it is generally agreed that the condition
stems from a mixture of genetic and environmental factors.[4] Knowing what triggers baby
eczema can help keep the condition under control. Common triggers include:

  • Dry skin: When the skin becomes too dry it becomes susceptible to rashes and flare-ups of eczema.
  • Moisture on the skin: From sweat, milk, saliva or wet diapers.
  • Chemical irritants: Natural or artificial chemicals found in everyday products can
    make an outbreak of eczema more likely. These chemicals can be found in products such as
    shampoo, soap, laundry detergent and disinfectants or surface cleaners.
  • Dust mites: Some research shows that prolonged exposure to dust mites increases the
    likelihood of an infant developing eczema. Further research in the area suggests that
    reducing the number of dust mites in the home makes little difference to the frequency
    and severity of eczema flares after the first diagnosis.[5]
  • Stress: Babies can become extremely irritated by eczema which can in turn exacerbate
    the condition further.

Diagnosing baby eczema

Diagnosing eczema in babies is relatively easy due to the visibility and characteristic
appearance of the condition. A doctor will examine the baby and judge whether the symptoms
result from eczema (atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis, which results from exposure
to allergens or irritants and can usually be treated quickly.

Baby eczema treatment

As soon as baby eczema becomes apparent, treatment options should be explored
quickly to avoid the condition spreading or becoming more severe. Understanding and avoiding
the potential causes and triggers of baby eczema are key to managing the condition, but various further options are also available.[6] In particularly severe cases, a consultation
with a specialist dermatologist may be necessary.

Moisturizing ointments and creams

Using a moisturizing ointment or cream to keep the skin soft and moist is key to tackling
baby eczema.[7] Moisturizers are classified according to their oil and water content, with
the most effective moisturizers containing a higher amount of oil.

Ointments and barrier creams should be applied to the skin in a thick layer at least twice
per day and immediately after bathing. They can be bought over the counter at the pharmacy
or be prescribed by a doctor.

Topical Steroids

Mild topical steroids (steroids applied to the skin) can reduce the redness and
soreness of baby eczema flare-ups.[8] These steroids are perfectly safe when applied correctly
and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They are, however, generally intended
for short-term use unless otherwise advised by a doctor.


Unscented, additive-free, and dye-free cleansers only should be used on babies experiencing
eczema. A range of such products are available and should be used in conjunction with
moisturizing ointments or topical steroids. It is generally advised that a doctor’s opinion
should be sought before using these products.


An appropriate bathing routine is critical to treating baby eczema. Baths are recommended
over showers and should be warm rather than hot and last no longer than 10 minutes. They
should also be followed by applying prescribed topical lotions and ointments.

Baby eczema FAQs

u003cstrongu003eWill,u003c/strongu003e my child, grow out of eczema?

In most cases, yes. Eczema generally develops in children from twou003cbru003emonths and peters out by around three years old. However, some children can experienceu003cbru003eeczema into the teenage years and even into adulthood.u003csupu003eu003ca href=u0022https://adoctor.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4737u0026amp;action=edit#fn9u0022u003e[9]u003c/au003eu003c/supu003e

u003cstrongu003eAre there any home remedies that can be used to treat baby eczema?u003c/strongu003e

There are a number of home remedies that can be used to treat some of the symptomsu003cbru003eof baby eczema. However, it is generally good to seek a doctor’s opinion and followu003cbru003ethe outlined treatment path. Bathing in water mixed with oatmeal, using a humidifier, andu003cbru003eapplying coconut oil are common home remedies.u003csupu003eu003ca href=u0022https://adoctor.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4737u0026amp;action=edit#fn10u0022u003e[10]u003c/au003eu003c/supu003e

u003cstrongu003eWhat does the term “atopic” mean?u003c/strongu003e

Atopic (as in atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis) is a predisposition toward developing specific allergic hypersensitivity reactions such as eczema, asthma, or hay fever.u003csupu003eu003ca href=u0022https://adoctor.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4737u0026amp;action=edit#fn1u0022u003e[1]u003c/au003eu003c/supu003e Atopic eczema in babies and atopic dermatitis in babies are simply synonyms of baby eczema.

u003cstrongu003eWhat is dermatitis?u003c/strongu003e

Dermatitis is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause skin inflammation. Although the different types of dermatitis have differing causes, most involve the onset of red, itchy, and dry skin or a rash. Baby eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is one form of dermatitis. Others include contact dermatitis (caused by the skin coming into contact with irritants) and seborrheic dermatitis (which can cause a flare-up of red skin, scaly patches, and dandruff).u003csupu003eu003ca href=u0022https://adoctor.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4737u0026amp;action=edit#fn11u0022u003e[11]u003c/au003eu003c/supu003e

u003cstrongu003eWhat is the relationship between food allergies and baby eczema?u003c/strongu003e

Food allergies are common in infants with eczema. However, they are different conditions, and it is not accurate to say that food allergies cause eczema. Instead, it appears that having eczema may increase the chances of an infant developing allergies to certain foods. A flare-up of both conditions may cause a rash or red, itchy skin. However, eczema is typically focused on specific parts of the body (hands, face, neck), while an allergic reaction is more unpredictable.u003csupu003eu003ca href=u0022https://adoctor.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4737u0026amp;action=edit#fn12u0022u003e[12]u003c/au003eu003c/supu003e

  1. Baby Centre. “Baby eczema: causes, symptoms, treatments and creams.” October, 2013. Accessed July 4, 2017.

  2. National Eczema Association. “Understanding Your Infant or Toddler’s Eczema.” Accessed July 4, 2017.

  3. Medline Plus. “Lichenified.” October 31, 2016. Accessed July 4, 2017.

  4. Everyday Health. “What is baby eczema?” May 23, 2016. Accessed July 4, 2017.

  5. House Dust Mite. “Eczema and the house dust mite.” Accessed July 4, 2017.

  6. WebMD. “Does my baby have eczema?” Accessed July 4, 2017.

  7. NHS Choices. “Eczema in children: 7 tips to stop the itch.” February 2, 2016. Accessed July 4, 2017.

  8. National Eczema Society. “Topical Steroids.” Accessed July 4, 2017.

  9. University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “Common questions about eczema”. Accessed 09 January 2019.

  10. Cafemom. “6 Natural Ways to Treat Baby Eczema.” Accessed July 4, 2017.

  11. Mayo Clinic. “Dermatitis.” June 17, 2016. Accessed April 26, 2018.

  12. HealthLinkBC. “Eczema and Food Allergy in Babies and Young Children.” July, 2011. Accessed April 26, 2018.

**What is Baby Eczema ​(Infant⁢ Eczema)?**


Baby eczema, also known as infant eczema or ⁣atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that commonly affects infants and young children. It causes dry, ⁢itchy, and irritated skin, often resulting in visible rashes that can be uncomfortable and disruptive.


The exact cause of baby eczema‍ is not fully ​understood, but it is‌ believed to involve‌ a combination of⁤ genetic and environmental factors. The condition is linked to a genetic predisposition that affects the skin’s ability to‍ protect ⁤itself ⁤from external irritants and allergens. Environmental triggers, such as​ certain fabrics, detergents,‍ and food allergies,⁢ can also trigger flare-ups.


Common symptoms of ‍baby eczema include:

* Dry, red,⁢ and irritated skin

* Intense itching and scratching

* ⁤Small, raised ⁢bumps or blisters

* Scaling and crusting

* Weeping or‍ oozing

* In ‍severe cases, thickened and leathery skin


Baby eczema is typically diagnosed based on ⁤a ⁤physical‍ examination and the presence of characteristic symptoms. A healthcare professional may consider the child’s age, family history, and response to previous treatments. Allergy‌ testing may be​ recommended to identify any underlying allergies that may be contributing to the condition.


Treatment for baby eczema focuses on reducing inflammation, relieving itching, and maintaining skin hydration. Common⁣ treatment options include:

* **Topical medications:** Steroid creams or ointments, calamine‌ lotions, and emollients

*‍ **Moisturizers:** Regular use of fragrance-free and non-irritating⁢ moisturizers

* **Avoiding triggers:** Identifying and avoiding environmental irritants or allergens that worsen the condition

* **Baths:** Taking lukewarm baths with ‌colloidal oatmeal or other oatmeal products

* **Other therapies:** In severe​ cases, oral medications may be prescribed


While it is‍ not always possible to⁢ prevent baby eczema, ⁤there are some measures that can help reduce the risk or severity of flare-ups:

* **Moisturizing:** Regularly moisturizing⁢ the baby’s skin, especially after bathing

* **Avoiding harsh‌ products:** Using ⁤mild detergents, soaps, and ​skin care products

* ​**Covering the ‍skin:** Covering the baby’s skin with soft, breathable ⁤fabrics

* **Managing allergies:** Avoiding foods or other allergens that are known to trigger the condition

* **Reducing stress:** Stress ⁢can worsen eczema, so it is important for parents to manage their own stress levels and create a calm ‍environment for the baby


Baby eczema is not curable, but ​it can⁤ be managed effectively with proper‍ care. Most children gradually outgrow eczema as they get older. In some⁣ cases, the condition ⁣may persist into adolescence or adulthood.


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