mom and childDo you have a baby or child who suffers from eczema? Approximately one in three infants are affected by eczema. It appears as patches of dry skin that become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding. It can results from a reaction to an irritant but usually there is no clear cause.

Eczema usually begins before a baby is 12 months old, but effects people of all ages. Fortunately, it is not contagious. If it pops up in a baby, the child usually grows out of it by the time he reaches his sixth birthday. But a small percentage may experience eczema into adulthood.

Here are a few things every parent needs to know about eczema.

1. It often appears on the face, limbs and trunk.

2. Eczema can be very uncomfortable, but it can be well controlled with proper skin care and cortisone treatment.

3. Children with eczema are more prone to developing food allergies, asthma and hay fever later in childhood.

4. A baby/child with eczema can be extremely cranky and irritable because of the discomfort and itchiness caused by eczema. Please be patient with these little ones.

5. Your child might have problems sleeping through the night due to itchy skin. It’s torturous trying to get comfortable enough to sleep.

6. Resist the urge to scratch. Scratching an itch is an instinct that is hard to resist, so make it easy and keep your child’s nails trimmed short and put mittens on little hands to help prevent scratching.

7. Dress your child in cotton clothing that breaths that helps reduce itching. No synthetic fabrics.

8. Use cleansing products i.e. soap, shampoo, lotions and detergents for sensitive skin to assure your baby will not get further inflammation on the skin. Be sure to moisturize your child at least twice a day; after a shower and again the next morning. If you make it a fun routine by singing a song while it’s done or telling a story, it will help distract your little one from fixating on their “treatments”.

9. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed by your child's situation. I know it’s hard to see your baby covered in red blotches and in pain and to feel so helpless. Just be patient, try to keep a hopeful attitude especially in front of your child.

10. It gets better.

Does your child suffer from eczema? What's your best tip for making your child comfortable when he/she has a flare up?


Image via Susanne Kronholm/Etsa/Corbis