Treating Infant Eczema
Eczema is an irritating and often painful skin disease, but what can be even more awful is watching your infant or child suffer through it. Although eczema is just as common in adults as it is in young people, the symptoms are seen much more often in children because they haven't learned, or aren't quite capable yet of taking care of this skin condition on their own yet. One of the most important parts of dealing with and treating infant eczema is having parents who are educated and aware, and are able to care for and treat their child's eczema.
What is Eczema?
In general, Eczema, is an umbrella term to cover several different kinds of skin ailments that all take on the same appearance.
The most common type of eczema to affect infants is known as atopic eczema and is identified by red, itching, scaly skin rashes. These rashes can be localized and quite easy to deal with, or they can spread and can cover many parts of the child's body. The most common places for these rashes to develop are on the child's scalp, face, arms, or legs; eczema on the scalp is often referred to as "cradle cap" but usually goes away on its own without any additional treatment.
How did my Child Get Eczema?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive cause for eczema, no matter what stage of life you get it in. And because of this, Eczema is not a curable disease, but it is definitely treatable. Eczema is often times the result of an environmental allergen, examples of these include: pet dander, dust mites, pesticides, different foods (nuts, dairy, soy etc.), smoke, soaps, laundry detergents, etc.
Infants that develop eczema usually have cracked or dry skin and so it doesn't act as an effective barrier when it comes to being water resistant or protecting your child from bacteria or allergens. Because the child is more susceptible to these skin irritant triggers, they are more likely to develop rashes in response to foreign bodies penetrating their skin.
Eczema can also be hereditary and commonly runs in families. If you had excema as a child, there is an 80% chance your children will develop it also. This skin condition has also been linked to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, and if you as the parent suffer from this, your child is more likely to express allergic reactions to the same environmental factors that are causing your allergies as well.
Often times, allergy tests can be conducted, by doctors or at home, that involve temporarily removing a possible allergen (like nuts, or the pet, or a laundry detergent) from the home to see if the eczema improves. Targeting a specific allergen is often times the first step in treating a child's eczema.
Treating Infant Eczema with Exzaderm
You as the parent of an infant with eczema have a large responsibility when it comes to treating your child's skin and making sure they're safe from infection and comfortable enough to sleep and to play as other children do. The main steps in treating infant eczema include:
- 1. As mentioned before, it is important to remove any possible allergens from the infant's environment. Keep your home dust free, don't let them come into contact with pet hair, and trade chemically derived soaps and detergents for non-allergenic alternatives.
- 2. Keep the skin clean -You don't want to bathe the child too often because the bathwater can dry their skin (limit baths to 2 or 3 times per week). Oatmeal baths are great for infants with eczema, and make sure to use a mild hypo-allergenic soap. Keeping the skin clean will prevent infection if the skin does happen to crack due to dryness.
- 3. Moisturize-This is the most important part in treating an infant's eczema. Because eczema dries out the skin, it is incredibly important to have an eczema cream on hand at all times. The creams shouldn't be water based, but shouldn't be too thick and greasy or they'll keep the skin from healing properly. Exzaderm is a product we've developed to be the perfect balance between light-weight, and deep moisturizing. Exzaderm will keep your child's skin protected so that it is less likely to crack, become infected, and lead to later scarring.
- 4. It is important to continually treat eczema with a moisturizing cream so that the skin will be able to heal itself. If the skin is taken care of properly and has had enough time to heal properly, then eczema will be far less likely to return in the future.
The Good News
Often times, infants and children who develop eczema as babies will grow out of the skin disease by the time they are 5 years old. In the mean time however, it is vital to treat your infant's eczema until it disappears so that the likelihood of it returning will be greatly lessened. Keeping the child's skin clean and moisturized with a balanced product like Exzaderm, is vital to eczema treatment and are the steps that should be taken to keep your child happy and comfortable as they learn to handle and overcome this common skin condition.