How do I know if my baby has eczema? Skin Care

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baby with eczema
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Spotting the differences between eczema and other skin conditions is key in making sure your baby gets the correct treatment. Here's some expert advice, as well as the ways moms knew their babies had eczema.

Patches of Red, Crusty, Dry Skin

"Eczema manifests as patches of red, crusty, dry skin. It's itchy and rough and can show up in any parts of the body, but is most common in joint areas. Cradle caps or atopic dermatitis is less red and appears on [the] scalp and facial area (nose, eyelids, eyebrows, behind the ears). It generally clears up by 8 months whereas eczema persists longer." -- Dendy Engelman, MD, Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, New York, NY

Don't Self-Diagnose

"As with all skin conditions, self-diagnosing is not a replacement for medical advice and treatment from your physician. If you notice dry, flaking skin, this could be caused by a lack of moisture, or it could be early signs of eczema (or other skin conditions). Always bring any concerns to the attention of your pediatrician, who can provide you with a diagnosis and identify the best course of treatment. If your baby's skin concerns are persistent or severe, your pediatrician may refer you...

"As with all skin conditions, self-diagnosing is not a replacement for medical advice and treatment from your physician. If you notice dry, flaking skin, this could be caused by a lack of moisture, or it could be early signs of eczema (or other skin conditions). Always bring any concerns to the attention of your pediatrician, who can provide you with a diagnosis and identify the best course of treatment. If your baby's skin concerns are persistent or severe, your pediatrician may refer you to a dermatologist or you may choose to self-refer. " -- Joel Schlessinger, MD, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, New York, NY

Feels Like Scales

"A rash that is dry and scaly usually tips one off to it being eczema."

It Doesn't Spread

"If the rash is all over, it could be an allergy or sensitivity to something. Eczema rarely spreads much."

It's at the Joints

"My daughter has it where her arm bends, behind her knees, on her back, and on her chest."

Don't Mistake It for a Yeast Infection

"If it's in the folds of his neck skin, a yeast infection might be to blame. Make sure whenever he eats that you clean out his neck folds (with plain water) and dry them thoroughly. You can put some coconut oil on there too. If it's eczema, this can help, but it won't make it worse either way."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.