What Every Parent Needs to Know About Eczema

Big Kid 51

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

kid health

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JS0512 JS0512

My daughter is 3 and has had it since she was born.  It's slowly getting better and I'm hoping it will go away completely.  We use Aveeno products on her sparingly and at the end of her bath so she's not sitting in the soapy water.  She takes quick lukewarm baths & I slather in a homemade lotion when she's out.  When she has a very bad flare up (breaking skin, bleeding) we give her a cool bath with a cap full of bleach mixed in.  I was very hesitant (and still hate doing it), but it clears it up so quick & she's much happier.  We often do baths with oatmeal & chamomile as well to relieve some of the itching.  We have all sorts of prescriptions for when she has bad flare ups (try telling a 3 year old not to scratch), but if we're diligent about baths & lotion at least twice a day, she stays mostly clear.

Em Chappell-Root

My husband was misdiagnosed with eczema as a baby, as were our two sons. Turs out they have Keratosis pilaris. Similar treatment, but still. Accurate diagnosis is key

nonmember avatar Rooni

My daughter was diagnosed when she was 4 weeks old. Hers is relatively mild, but we make sure we control it as much as possible. I rub aquaphor ointment on her whole body twice a day (once before she goes to bed). she only gets a bath every other day. we use scent free detergent for our clothes, and i use aveeno bath products. She does have prescription hydro cortisone cream as well as benadryl and zyrtec as needed. Another tip is that i keep her nails short. Her biggest problem was sleep. she would wake up scratching so badly that it would draw blood. She is now coming up on 20 months and it has gotten much better.

nonmember avatar B

I've had eczema since I was 6 months old. I'm 31 and I've never grown out of it and I have asthma & allergies. A lot of breakouts have to do with what you eat. Figure out what foods are triggering symptoms and it makes it a lot easier to handle.

aajm-... aajm-momma

My two youngest have it we use regular detergent and their creams from the doctor.II've never used bleach and my son has had it so bad he has a scared from a flat up on his arm. It doesn't manifest on the fact in 90% of cases its manifests in dry dark places Ie armpits....back of knees....rocks of arms etc. Lotions with alcohol are HORRIBLE for eczema kiddos so reading is key!!!!! Cortisone doesn't work for most kiddies either both of mine need steroid ointments and creams

youth... youthfulsoul

3 of my 4 kids have it. Apples are a big trigger for them and whenever they eat anything with apples (which is in a ton of things in one form or another) they still get rashes around their mouths. 2 of them are teens now, but when they were little they had the itchy inner elbow thing too. Thankfully they did out grow that. Although my 13 yr old just started having flare ups on her neck now everytime she bathes/showers. 


Such a pain all the way around.

Felip... FelipesMom

I bathed my son every other day, less often in the winter.


I never used soap on his skin unless he was actually dirty. I always made sure to rinse the soap with clear water before he got out of the bathtub. I only used homemade goat's milk soap.


The BEST idea came from a cafemom mom - I put oatmeal in the coffee grinder, ground it into oat flour, put some in the toe of a pantyhose sick, tied a knot in it, and threw that in the bath with him. It did wonders!


He is seven now and has not had any eczema for a few years.


My heart goes out to everyone still dealing with this (in their child or themselves)! It is no fun!

Fondue Fondue

"but effects people of all ages"


"Effects?"  Seriously?  Effect is a noun.  I believe the verb you're looking for is "affect."

nonmember avatar QAnne

17 years now & have had eczema since age 4 or 5 years. It is on my hands, and only shows when it is dry season. It gets really red and inflamed, blisters, forms clear pus-pockets, and bleeds. My hands don't even need to be scratched for the skin to open, it likes to tear itself on the bends and creases on my fingers and between them. I have to use prescription cream, bandages and gloves it gets terrible. I have been developing allergies and asthma since 13 years. I am prone to asthma attacks with nice conditions of moist weather and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and anything lower or dryer makes it oh so worse for both the eczema & asthma. Of course luckily my allergies are minimum and short.

lilpu... lilpunk77

B...you and I are so similar! I was also diagnosed at 6 months as well and I have always had allergies and asthma in addition to being allergic to nuts. I will be 37 tomorrow. Fun times lol

It's a pain. It started to clear up as a teen, but in recent years it seems to be worsening. I'm all out of options with my doctor so I'm going too stay looking for natural cures now. I hear pine oil id's good for it. I do love that Dr. Bronners (sp?) Peppermint hemp oil soap. When I'm itchy I use it and it really soothes.

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