skin rashes in babies concept

Why does eczema put your baby at greater risk for developing food allergies?

While we don’t know for sure why babies with eczema are at greater risk for food allergies, we do know a few factors that could be at play, thanks to recent research. Today, we’ll cover what parents need to know about these factors.

 

Eczema is the most significant risk factor for developing food allergies. Up to 67% of infants with severe eczema, and 25% of infants with mild eczema, will develop a food allergy.

But why does eczema increase baby’s food allergy risk by so much? We don’t know for sure, but two possible causes could be babies’ broken skin barrier and the growth of the bacteria that causes staph infections.  We also know that a progression called the “atopic march” is involved, because eczema and food allergies are closely related conditions. Today, we’ll cover what parents need to know about these factors that may put eczema babies at greater risk for food allergies. We’ll also cover what parents can do to help prevent food allergies in eczema babies.

The Atopic March

The atopic march (or allergic march) describes how children with one allergic condition are at increased risk for others, and how allergic conditions tend to appear in a certain order (one condition usually “marches” after the other).

Eczema and food allergies are both considered allergic conditions. Both eczema and food allergies are part of the atopic march.

In the atopic march, eczema comes before food allergies in the “marching order”— eczema is a precursor to food allergies.

This means that babies usually develop eczema before food allergies, and developing eczema means a baby is at increased risk for a food allergy. If babies develop eczema symptoms, they’re more likely to develop food allergy symptoms later on.

Learn more about the Atopic March from MD Magazine and Chief of Allergy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Dr. Jonathan Spergel:

 

Staph Bacteria and Baby Eczema

The exact reasons why eczema increases food allergy risk still remain unknown, but one study suggests that Staphylococcus aureus (the skin bacteria that causes staph infections) may play a role. Staph infections are most common in people who have eczema.

In an analysis based on results of the LEAP study, researchers found that babies with severe eczema were more likely to have S. aureus, and babies with severe eczema were at higher risk for a food allergy if they had S. aureus colonization.

Researchers also found that children with severe eczema and staph bacteria produce high levels of IgE antibodies to peanut, egg and milk. When someone has a food allergy, they produce specific IgE antibodies that cause the immune system to fight off these food proteins, and that trigger a food allergic reaction. High levels of peanut-specific, egg-specific or milk-specific IgE antibodies in someone’s body are a sign that someone has allergies to that food.

So, staph bacteria appears to be related to food allergy development in children with eczema, although we don’t know for sure.

For more on the findings from the LEAP study that show a relationship between eczema, S. aureus bacteria and food allergies, read our article here.

The Broken Skin Barrier

Eczema babies’ skin barrier may be another reason why they’re at greater risk for food allergies.

Usually, someone’s skin barrier is like a strong protective wall. The barrier helps keep moisture in the skin, and keep irritants and allergens out.

But babies with eczema have a compromised skin barrier—one that easily lets irritants and allergens pass through, like a wall with cracks.

Why might this compromised skin barrier put eczema babies at greater risk for food allergies?

According to what scientists call the dual allergen exposure hypothesis, exposure to allergy-causing foods via the skin may increase babies’ food allergy risk. If allergens like peanut, egg and milk proteins pass through your baby’s skin barrier often enough, they may lead your baby to develop an allergy.

Normally, a baby’s skin barrier helps prevent these food proteins from passing through the skin.

But since eczema babies have a compromised skin barrier, it’s a lot easier for common food allergens to pass through their skin barrier.

When eczema babies’ skin touches the proteins from allergy-causing foods, like peanut residue on a table, milk in a skin cream, or egg proteins on a high chair,  their weakened skin barrier easily lets the proteins pass through. So, they end up with more exposure to these allergens through the skin than babies without eczema. This increased exposure through the skin may make eczema babies more likely to develop a food allergy.

Food Allergies in Eczema Babies

Fortunately, there’s an important step parents can take to help prevent eczema babies (and all babies) from developing a food allergy. Feeding your baby common allergy-causing foods, like peanut, early and often is recommended by new USDA guidelines.

As the dual allergen exposure hypothesis explains this, exposure to allergens on the skin is “negative” exposure that may increase food allergy risk. But exposure to allergens by eating them is “positive” exposure that helps prevent food allergies.

If your baby eats allergy-causing foods early and often enough, this enables your baby’s immune system to build up tolerance to the food proteins. This protects your baby from developing a food allergy. But if your baby doesn’t eat allergy-causing foods regularly enough, your baby will be more likely to develop a food allergy.

This is why it’s especially crucial for babies with eczema to eat peanut, egg and milk early and often. Eating these foods early and consistently enough helps balance out all the “negative” peanut exposure eczema babies will likely receive through the skin, and works to help prevent food allergies.

The results of several landmark clinical studies (LEAP, EAT, PETIT) show that early and consistent allergen introduction helps prevent food allergies. To help your baby build up a tolerance, you’ll need to start feeding baby common allergy-causing foods as early as 4-11 months of age (the earlier after 4 months, the better). You’ll also need to sustain exposure, by feeding your baby these foods multiple times per week for at least 3-6 months.

Since eczema babies are at the greatest risk for food allergies, early and consistent introduction is especially important if your baby has eczema. We might not know why eczema babies are at increased risk for food allergies, but we do know early and consistent introduction is recommended.

The USDA’s new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are based on landmark clinical food allergy prevention studies. These guidelines recommend feeding allergenic foods such as peanut and egg starting at 4 months of age for every baby, including those with eczema, without any prior screening required. Learn more about the USDA guidelines here.

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Baby with atopic dermatitis getting cream put. Care and Prevention Of Eczema.

Are Steroids Safe for Babies with Eczema?

Eczema is a very common and treatable condition that develops in around 10 percent of all children. To treat more severe cases of eczema, your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid to help soothe and manage your baby’s eczema flare ups.

 

Eczema is an umbrella term that is used to describe a skin condition that causes the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. According to a 2014 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), eczema affects at least 10 percent of children in the United States. 85 percent of these cases will develop before the age of 5 and children typically will develop atopic dermatitis.

Eczema with babies is not only very common, but very treatable. It is likely that your baby will also eventually grow out of it. There are two types of eczema: atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is an inherited form of eczema, so babies with a family history of allergies, eczema, or asthma are likely to develop this type of eczema. Contact dermatitis is a rash that develops only when the skin comes into direct contact with an irritating substance (such as pollen or pet dandruff) and will clear up once the element is removed.

Your baby’s eczema can appear anywhere on the body. These are the most commonly reported spots for eczema to show up on a baby.

  • Birth to 6 months: flaky skin patches may appear on cheeks, behind ears, and scalp
  • 6 to 12 months: common to appear on elbows and knees, might flare up as the children begins to crawl around
  • Around 2-years-old: shows up on creases of elbows and knees, wrists, hands, and ankles

Learn more about eczema in children from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI):

 

 

Causes

Eczema is caused by an overreaction of the immune system. While there is not one known, exact cause for eczema, doctors believe that there are multiple factors that can lead to the overreaction. Eczema is likely caused by a combination of both family genetics and environmental factors such as pollen or pet allergens. 

If you have a family history of eczema or allergies, it is more likely that your baby will develop eczema. Around 20 to 30 percent of people with eczema have a genetic variation that makes it more difficult for their skin to retain moisture from a lack of fatty cells, also known as, “ceramides.” The skin can lose water more easily, become very dry, and have a difficult time keeping out foriegn substances.

 

Symptoms

Eczema is a very common and very treatable condition. If your baby does have eczema, symptoms will likely show up during the first few months. Fortunately, many children also come to outgrow their eczema.

Eczema will show up as patches of red skin or dry skin with an itchy, rough texture. It can show up anywhere on the body but will most likely be found on their cheeks, arms, legs, or scalp. 

Eczema can be easily confused with cradle cap because the two have such similar symptoms. Cradle cap will appear less red and scaly and will only show up on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelines, eyebrows, or behind the ears. Cradle cap will typically clear up by 8 months; if you are not sure what your baby is experiencing, talk to your doctor about their symptoms to determine whether or not it is cradle cap or eczema.

 

Triggers for Eczema

To help manage your baby’s eczema, there are a few things you should avoid that can cause eczema flare ups. 

  • Soap: avoid soaps that have added fragrance or perfumes. Use a gentle, fragrance-free soap when bathing your baby. Do not give your baby a bubble bath as this can cause major flare ups. 
  • Pollen: environmental factors, such as pollen, can cause a flare up. When outside, lay your baby down on a blanket or towel to avoid direct contact with the grass and outside allergens, as best possible. 
  • Animals: non-hypoallergenic animals may cause an eczema flare up. Try your best to avoid coming into contact with these animals. 
  • Food: avoid any food that you have noticed causes an eczema flare up. If your baby grows out of their eczema, you can reintroduce these foods. 
  • Wool: wool fiber or other scratchy, rough materials can irritate the skin. Avoid these rough materials. 
  • Dry Air: to help get more moisture into the air, try using a humidifier to help alleviate any eczema flare ups.

 

Treatment

The main symptom of eczema is dry, itchy skin so using a thick, moisturizing lotion will be the best treatment for your baby’s eczema. To help soothe and manage your baby’s eczema also try the following tips.

  • Short Nails: to prevent scratching and itching, keep your baby’s nails trimmed short. Sometimes, babies can itch the eczema patches at night so much that they begin to bleed. If you find that your baby is doing this, try putting mittens on your baby’s hands at night to prevent scratching throughout the night.
  • Daily Baths: a short, daily bath can be helpful in soothing your baby’s eczema. Be sure to use lukewarm water and a gentle, fragrance-free soap. The bath should only be about 10 minutes long and do not run a bubble bath as this can cause a flare up. 
  • Moisturizer: give the lotion a few minutes to sit before dressing your baby. The best time to apply lotion is right after a bath while the skin is still damp. You should continue applying every few hours after. 
  • Topical Steroid Cream: if your baby’s eczema is severe, you may consider looking into a topical steroid cream to help manage and treat the discomfort. Consult with your doctor on if this would be an option you could look into. 

 

Are Steroids Safe for Babies with Eczema?

Yes, a topical steroid cream is safe for your baby to use. You should consider a topical steroid cream if your baby’s flare up is lasting longer than 1-2 weeks. Work with your pediatrician to find the right steroid cream to use with your baby. 

With the right prescription and proper use, steroids are safe for babies with eczema. 

 

When Should Steroids Be Used for my Baby’s Eczema?

The topical steroids can be used to help make the eczema symptoms less painful for your baby. You will use the steroid cream to treat your baby’s eczema flare up and once the flare up clears up, you can stop using the steroid cream. In-between flare ups, continue to use lotion daily to help manage and soothe your baby’s eczema. 

Doctors will typically recommend using the topical steroid daily, for at least a week. If your baby experiences frequent flare ups, you may want to consider using the cream 2-3 times per week on usual flare up spots, just as a preventative measure.

 

Types of Steroids for Babies

  • Mild – hydrocortisone cream 1% This is often used to treat children. If this does not work after 3-7 days, patients may be prescribed a stronger steroid.
  • Moderate – strength prescription topical steroid, (such as triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% cream) Use this as soon as your child has a flare, with red, rough, itchy skin.
  • High – strength prescription topical steroid such as desonide 0.05% Ointment to be used as directed by your healthcare provider.

Note: Babies can also be prescribed two or more different steroids to be used at the same time. This is dependent on the different needs of the body. In addition to topical steroids, oils or other medicated shampoos, such as T/Sal, can be used to help treat scalp needs (for example, 0.1% Elocon solution or DesOwens lotion after each shampoo).

 

How Long Should I Use the Steroids?

The topical steroid should be used until the flare up goes away. This should take around a week of daily steroid cream application. If you find that the flare up is not going away after a week, consult with your doctor to look into other methods of treatment. 

 

What Are The Potential Side Effects?

After the flare up clears up, you should stop using the topical steroid daily. There are potential side effects to topical steroids that will occur with frequent, daily use of the cream. 

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Skin color can change
  • Stinging sensation when applying

With long-term and frequent use of steroids, the steroid may get through the skin barrier and into the bloodstream. This can potentially affect your baby’s growth. If you are having to heavily use a topical steroid, work with your pediatrician to closely monitor their growth and development.

 

How To Use the Steroids?

Applying the topical steroid is easy with these following steps:

  1. Wash yours hands before putting it on
  2. Apply steroid creams after a bath, apply a very thin layer with FTU method (see below for more information)
  3. Wash hands after applying to your baby’s skin
  4. Coat steroid with an emollient (lotion)
  5. Apply the steroid only 1-2 times per day

 

How Much Should I Be Applying?

The amount you will be applying to your baby’s eczema flare up depends on the amount prescribed by your doctor. Never use more than what your doctor recommends and only apply the topical steroid to the eczema-affected areas. You should never be applying the steroid cream to your baby’s eyelids or genitals. 

Once the flare up is under control, reduce the use of the topical steroid. Following the application, it is best to apply a lotion or moisturizer on top to coat the steroid cream and help it absorb into the skin. 

Use the Fingertip Unit (FTU) method to determine how much of the steroid you should be using. FTU measured is the amount of topical steroid that is squeezed out from the standard tube along an adult’s index ginger to the first crease/line in the finger.

 

 

Image Source: National Eczema Association (NEA)

 

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  

 

Our Guide to Bathing for Eczema Babies

Imagine being able to give your baby a bath that doesn’t cause discomfort or struggle.

As the parent of a baby with Eczema, you know that bath time can be quite challenging. It can be scary to bathe your baby when it makes them cry or causes further flare-ups. You want to clean them, but you are hesitant because there are so many unanswered questions.

These concerns are valid, luckily this guide offers a solution to your problem.

Our guide will help clarify all your questions. We’ve reviewed some of the most frequently asked questions parents with Eczema babies asked and give you practical steps to put them into action. Before giving your baby another bath, see how these suggestions can help your baby manage their Eczema.

How Often Should You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?

To many parents, bath frequency is a major concern. On one hand, bathing is necessary to clean your baby. On the other, how can you be sure you are bathing your baby the right amount?

It’s all about finding a happy medium.

You need to balance between too much and not enough. Too many baths will actually dry out your baby’s skin even further. Without enough baths, you will have a similar problem plus a smelly baby. For these reasons, the National Eczema Association recommends bathing your baby once per day

Daily bathing has many benefits for babies with Eczema. One reason is because it rinses off and washes away allergens that find their way onto your baby’s skin. It does the same for other irritants as well. In doing so, you can remove possible triggers or at least limit Eczema flare-ups. Triggers for Eczema include:

  • Fragrance: Found in personal hygiene or household products like soap, lotions, shampoo, detergent soap, perfume
  • Environmental: Dry air, hot or cold weather, change in season, low or high humidity, pets, dust
  • Allergies: food allergies, airborne allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Insect bites
  • Existing skin infection
  • Chemicals: found in glue, paint, carpet, plastic chairs

In addition to washing away allergens and irritants, bathing has another key role in combating Eczema: it helps retain moisture. As you know, Eczema babies have naturally dry skin which means that adding moisture is critical. To maximize moisture retention you should schedule bath time around your baby’s bedtime. This, plus adding moisturizer (more on this later) will help your baby avoid dry skin.

How Do You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?

 

The act of bathing a baby with Eczema can be intimidating. It’s pretty clear that it can cause discomfort to the baby and stress to parents if not properly done. Rest assured, there are ways to give your baby an improved experience.

1. Try Swaddle Bathing

To make sure your baby feels comfortable, try Swaddle Bathing. This is a technique that involves immersing your baby in a tub of water while loosely wrapped in a blanket. UC Health reports that 93 percent of babies show signs of stress and cry during a sponge bath. In contrast, swaddle bathing brought that number down significantly to 38 percent. Having a relaxed baby will limit one factor (stress) that is linked to Eczema flare-ups. 

You might be wondering how this works. Here are a few tips for parents trying this method:

  • Give them proper support. Holding your baby in the loose swaddle that opens in the front, support the head and underarm with one hand and use your other hand to support the baby’s bottom. 
  • Slow dip them into water. Gently dip your swaddled baby in the water feet first, using your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.

Swaddle Bathing and proper bathing techniques will help your baby stay comfortable and limit dry skin opportunities while in the tub. An added benefit is that over time, it will also help you build a bond with your baby and gain trust. Give it a try to see if this technique is right for you and your baby.

2. Limit Bath Times

In addition to using Swaddle Bathing, there are many other ways to limit Eczema flare-ups and discomfort while bathing. The length of a bath is one thing that parents can control that will have a major impact. Dermatologists recommend a 5-10 minute bath, not much longer. 

This seems rather short, but be sure to trust the experts. Although a long bath may sound refreshing and rejuvenating, it is harmful to babies with Eczema. Long soak times can harm the natural oils on your baby’s skin that protect against harsh chemicals and other allergens.

3. Be Aware of the Bath Water’s Temperature

Another way to ensure that your baby avoids increased dry skin while bathing is to use lukewarm water. If the water is too hot, it can actually dry the skin further and last longer. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the water temperature at or slightly below body temperature. This will keep your baby comfortable while also maintaining the moisture necessary to combat Eczema.

With these three pieces of advice, your baby’s bathing experience will improve greatly. Along with the added comfort, these methods are proven to provide help against dry skin. 

What Baby Wash is Best for Eczema?

We discussed how to give your baby with Eczema a bath in the previous section, but there was something missing. You are probably wondering what products to use when giving your baby with Eczema a bath. With so many options to choose from, this requires its own section.

Certain brand names may be better than others, but you need to know what to look for in your baby’s bathing supplies. Before making a purchase, you should be aware of each product’s description. As you are shopping, here are a few things to give special attention to.

Using naturally occurring ingredients can decrease the likelihood of a flare-up. With already sensitive skin, you want to avoid things that your baby might have a reaction to. Instead, look for natural ingredients with healing elements or that help retain moisture. Some examples include:

  • Shea Butter. This is an anti-inflammatory that also softens skin with its high vitamin concentration.
  • Glycerin. This is great for sensitive skin and retaining moisture.
  • Lanolin. Using lanolin allows the skin to hold moisture. With dry skin, this is effective.
  • Hyaluronic Acid. This is naturally produced in the body and has been used to treat various wounds and sores.
  • Oatmeal. In addition to having healing benefits, oatmeal also helps to ease itching. When bathing a baby with Eczema, this can create a great sense of comfort.

A final note on this point is that soaps and shampoos without scent are less likely to have harmful irritants or non-natural ingredients. Be sure to keep your baby’s skin safe by choosing natural products.

You should also look for recommendations from the National Eczema Association (NEA) to help guide your search. When you see that a given product is recognized by the NEA, it means that it has been widely tested and used by people with Eczema. On this organization’s website, you can search by product to make sure that it is safe for your baby. 

Along with choosing the right bathing products, it is also important to moisturize your baby. After bathing, pat your baby dry then add lotion. This will reinforce any efforts you made in the tub to help your baby’s skin. The NEA has recommendations for this and you can also check out some ideas we came up with.

Be sure to dedicate some time to researching your baby’s Eczema safe bathing products.

Key Takeaways for Parents

Managing your baby’s Eczema while bathing will help them live a better life. By following our guide to bathing babies with Eczema, your baby will be more comfortable and have less dryness. 

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Treat Baby Eczema: Recommended Products

Does your baby have Eczema?

Eczema is a dry skin condition that causes red, irritating rashes that can be very itchy. Rest assured, you are not alone. This is extremely common, in fact about 10 to 20 percent of all infants have Eczema. Although there is no known cure for Eczema, it can be managed effectively.

 

Watching your baby cry, itch, and scratch relentlessly can be unbearable. At times like this you might feel helpless. Luckily, you are far from helpless–there are things within your control you can do to help ease the discomfort. 

As a parent, you are in control of the products your baby uses. Ranging from bathing products to sleeping material, there are many different ways to treat baby Eczema. These can help your baby sleep through the night more often and reduce irritation.

With such a wide range of products on the market, it can be hard to decide which ones are best. 

Instead of spending hours scouring the internet for information, just keep reading. This article highlights some of the best moisturizers, bathing products, and other ideas that you can use to treat your baby’s Eczema.

Moisturizers

As mentioned earlier, Eczema can cause dry skin. Using moisturizers is a great way to combat this problem. By choosing the appropriate moisturizers for your baby, you can limit skin irritation and discomfort. 

There are dozens of moisturizers on the market. When deciding what to use, you need to consider which ones are specifically for babies with Eczema. The brands mentioned below are highly recommended.

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno is one of the most trusted brands on the market. Here are some of the main selling points:

  • Pediatrician-recommended baby moisturizing cream is clinically proven to reduce itching and irritation caused by eczema.
  • Developed with leading dermatologists.
  • Soothing natural Colloidal Oatmeal cream.

In general, parents feel safer knowing that this is recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. Knowing that medical professionals back this brand makes it easy to see why it continues to garner more reviews.

In addition to its proven track record, Aveeno has another great selling point. The key ingredient in this formula is oatmeal. Oatmeal works to keep the skin in balance and also provides moisture. When dealing with Eczema, these are crucial.

Triple Cream Severe Dry Skin/Eczema Care

As the name of the product suggests, this is geared specifically for babies with Eczema. Triple Cream emphasizes the following in its description:

  • Soothes the worst cases of dry skin associated with eczema.
  • Chosen specifically to deliver fast, lasting relief.
  • Provides a superior blend of healing, soothing ingredients.

There are a few reasons that this cream stands out. It not only moisturizes the skin, this cream also soothes the body. When dealing with itching and pain, the ability to deliver fast relief can help greatly.

Another reason to consider this product is that it works well after bathing. Any dryness that occurs during a bath can be offset and improved by applying cream.

Mustela Stelatopia Dermo Pediatrics Moisturizing Cream

This is another excellent option for parents to use to treat baby Eczema. When looking at this brand, here are things to consider:

  • Replenishes, soothes and restores your baby’s eczema-prone skin.
  • Made with Sunflower Oil Distillate and Avocado Perseose. 
  • Safe for daily use from birth on.

Unlike some brands that are safe for older children, this can be used immediately from birth. For parents with infants, this could be a great option from the very beginning. It is also ideal for a baby’s face, whereas other lotions and creams may only be for other parents of the body. 

Another selling point is the use of natural ingredients such as Sunflower Oil and Avocado. Natural products have a lesser likelihood of triggering outbreaks than something synthetic. Overall, a very solid option for parents.

For Bathing

Frequent bathing by itself can cause dry skin and irritation. When caring for babies with Eczema, you should pay special attention to the bathing products you use. 

When examining a variety of baby shampoos, there were 3 brands that stood out. Each has special features that help your baby maintain moisturized skin even after bathing. 

Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo

This is a great 2 in 1 product. Cetaphil serves as both a baby wash and shampoo that fights dry skin. Some of the main features of Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo include:

  • This tear free formula blends into a rich, lathering wash and shampoo that gently cleans your baby’s delicate skin and hair without drying.
  • Formulated with organic calendula: Our gentle wash & shampoo rinses clean, leaving a soft, fresh scent
  • Dermatologist Recommended Brand.

This product has unique traits that make it stand out from other brands. When bathing a restless baby, soap and water in the eyes is always a possibility. Having a tear free product ensures that your baby will be safe from eye irritation. 

It also uses organic ingredients that lower the risk of further outbreaks. Lastly, dermatologists who specialize in skin care recommend this product. Parents looking for an all in one product should consider Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo.

CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo

CeraVe is a highly sought after brand in this space. The best part is that it is an all in one solution. Here are some other features:

  • Tear-free.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Non-irritating, even for sensitive skin.

This brand pays special attention to the needs of babies. It offers a tear free solution that does not irritate the skin. When dealing with Eczema, you want a product that pays special attention to sensitive users. 

Finally, this product is fragrance free. Oftentimes, the fragrances come with artificial scents that tend to irritate the skin (which is why CeraVe left it out). This is another awesome solution for babies with Eczema.

Ever Eden Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

The Ever Eden brand has a 2 in 1 shampoo and body wash that is great for dry skin. As you evaluate potential bathing options, these are some features to consider:

  • Very gentle and non irritating for babies with extremely dry and eczema-prone skin.
  • Avoids the use of ingredients that increase allergy exposure.
  • Recommended by the National Eczema Association. 

Like other washes and shampoos reviewed, this is specifically geared towards babies with dry skin and Eczema. Having a gentle, not irritating solution makes bath time more enjoyable and helps maintain moisture after bathing.

Another exciting feature is that it avoids using ingredients that increase allergy exposure. Using natural, plant based ingredients is the safest bet with irritable skin. The final selling point is that the National Eczema Association recognizes this brand with their Seal of Approval. This is a strong endorsement that parents should pay attention to.

Other Products 

When most people think of dry skin, they tend to think of products that you directly apply to the body. Knowing which body washes and moisturizers to use is a great start. On top of this, there are a variety of elements that contribute to dry skin prevention.

To take this a step further, you need to think outside the box. Treat baby Eczema using these great products.

Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can actually have an impact on a baby’s skin. Be sure to consider these exciting features:

  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Amazing Tide clean from America’s #1 detergent based on sales.
  • Deeper clean that is gentle on skin* (*vs. leading national competitor Free detergent).

The biggest takeaway from Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent is that it is gentle on skin. For babies with Eczema, this can have a huge difference.

Mustela Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas 

This is the second time that Mustela is mentioned in this article for Eczema related products. Here are some reasons this is worth considering:

  • Deliver replenishing moisture to the skin.
  • Reduce the desire to scratch.
  • Contribute to better sleep for the baby and you!

When a baby has Eczema, maintaining skin moisture can be difficult. Clothes that reduce itching and maintain moisture serve babies with Eczema better than other options. Also includes natural ingredients.

Burt’s Bees Baby Fitted Crib Sheet

Another overlooked item that can help reduce Eczema outbreaks is Burt’s Bees Baby Fitted Crib Sheet. Since baby’s spend most of their time in bed, it makes sense to consider the following:

  • It’s best for a baby’s delicate skin.
  • It lasts wash after wash.
  • 100% organic, GOTS certified, breathable cotton.

There are many great qualities found within this crib sheet. Having a texture that does not irritate the skin is essential. With organic, breathable cotton, your baby will have less issues with irritation.

Key Takeaways for Parents

Dealing with baby Eczema can be challenging. Take advantage of exciting products that help combat dry skin and limit Eczema flare-ups.

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The Difference Between an Allergic Reaction and Eczema Flare-up: What Parents Need to Know

  • Eczema may flare up when your child’s skin is exposed to any number of triggers, such as food.
  • Food allergic reactions should be reliable and reproducible. If your child has a food allergy, they’ll reliably develop an allergic reaction shortly after eating that food.
  • The red itchy rash associated with eczema is different from the hives that food allergies can cause
  • Food allergic reactions should only appear when your child is exposed to an allergen. Eczema is most often chronic or lifelong, with symptoms persisting regardless of your child’s exposure to allergenic foods
  • Eczema and food allergies belong to the atopic march. In other words, eczema is a precursor to food allergies, and eczema symptoms usually appear before food allergies. 

Food allergies and eczema are closely related, as both conditions involve the immune system. Babies with eczema are at the greatest risk of developing food allergies. Foods can not only case allergic reactions, but also eczema flare-ups.

But how can you tell the difference between an allergic reaction such as hives and an eczema flare-up to determine the best treatment? We break down what parents need to know.

What Triggers Food Allergic Reactions?

Our immune systems protect our bodies from foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria. But when someone eats a food they are allergic to, their immune system mistakes the proteins of that food for a foreign invader. The immune system signals their body to over-defend itself against those food proteins, and this triggers an allergic reaction. 

Food Allergic Reactions: What do they usually look like?

In babies and young children, the most common signs of an allergic reaction are hives and vomiting.

Mild or moderate allergic reactions can also cause swelling of the face, lips, and eyes.

Usually, these symptoms appear seconds to minutes after someone eats a food that they are allergic to. They’ll almost always occur within 2 hours of eating the food. 

People with food allergies don’t always develop the same symptoms every time they have an allergic reaction. So, you can’t predict what an allergic reaction will look like in your child. 

Most importantly, remember that mild to moderate reactions can potentially, and quickly,  turn severe. This can happen even if your child has never had an allergic reaction before. 

Severe Food Allergic Reactions: What do they look like?

Symptoms of a severe food allergic reaction can include:

  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling or tightness of the throat 
  • Struggling to swallow
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Noisy breathing
  • Persistent coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Struggling to vocalize
  • Change in voice or cry
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Collapsing or fainting 
  • Pale appearance 
  • Feeling floppy (only in infants and young children)

When a food allergic reaction causes severe symptoms in more than one organ system, it is classified as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

Eczema Flare-Ups: What triggers them?

Your child’s eczema may flare up when their skin is exposed to any number of triggers. If your child has food or environmental allergies, their allergens could trigger a flare-up. In addition to allergens, dry skin, dry air, heat, existing skin infections, and irritants may also trigger eczema flare-ups.

Some irritants that may trigger flare-ups include fabrics (like polyester, nylon, or wool), fragrances (found in soaps, laundry detergents, lotions, and shampoo) chemicals and metals.

Eczema Flare-Ups: What do they look like?

Eczema makes the skin dry, red, and itchy. It can cause patches of red or dry skin, rough and itchy skin, or crusty scales and bumps that may leak fluid. These flare-ups often appear on the forehead, cheeks, scalp, knees, elbows, arm joints or leg joints. 

Eczema flare-ups v. Allergic reactions

Foods can trigger both eczema flare-ups and allergic reactions. So, how can you tell the difference?

If someone has food allergies and eczema, a food allergic reaction may make their eczema worse.

But, the red itchy rash associated with eczema is different from the hives that food allergies can cause. And as seen above, there are many other symptoms of an allergic reaction that aren’t associated with eczema (like swelling and vomiting).  

Hives caused by a food allergy. Source: https://foodallergyeducation.org.au/basics

In addition, as the National Eczema Association explains, food allergic reactions are “reliable, reproducible, consistent and timely.”

If your child is allergic to a food, they’ll certainly develop an allergic reaction shortly after eating that food, every time they eat it (even though the symptoms could differ each time). Once you remove the allergens from their diet, they will no longer show symptoms of a reaction. 

But what if someone with eczema sometimes gets flare-ups when they eat a certain food, and sometimes eats that food with no issues? If they don’t show other symptoms of an allergic reaction, and don’t consistently flare up when they eat a certain food, they probably don’t have an allergy to that food.

Whenever your child appears to have a flare-up, keep track of all their surroundings, including what they ate within the past 2 hours. For example, note what fabric their clothing is made of, the soap you might have used on them, and whether their lotion or shampoo was fragranced. This can be difficult, but finding and removing other consistent eczema triggers can help you figure out whether food is an eczema trigger—or an allergen. 

Still, allergy testing is the most reliable way to determine whether your child has a food allergy. And food challenges are the only form of testing that can definitively diagnose a food allergy.

The Atopic March and Chronic Eczema

The atopic march describes how children with one allergic condition are at increased risk for others, and how allergic conditions tend to appear in a certain order (one usually “marches” after the other).

Eczema and food allergies are both considered allergic conditions, and both are part of the atopic march.  Babies usually develop eczema before food allergies, and infants with eczema are at increased risk for developing a food allergy. 

This means that the order your baby’s symptoms appear can indicate whether your baby has eczema or food allergies. Eczema is usually the first to appear. 

Most food allergic reactions like hives should go away within a few days or weeks and by avoiding the allergenic or “problem” food, should go away altogether. On the other hand, eczema can often be a chronic condition and usually starts in infancy. Chronic eczema is the most common type of eczema and can be lifelong. 

Reducing Eczema Babies’ Food Allergy Risk

If your baby is less than a year old, and does not show signs of peanut, egg, or milk allergies, ask your doctor about introducing them to peanut, egg, and milk early and often. After all, the AAP, NIH, and FDA all recommend this approach to food allergy prevention.

Feeding your baby these foods consistently, starting between 4-11 months of age, can help reduce your baby’s food allergy risk by up to 80%. This introduction is especially important for babies with eczema, because of their increased food allergy risk.

Your doctor may recommend allergy testing before you start, though, only if your baby’s eczema is severe.

 

Our Guide to Wet Wrap Therapy

 

If your baby’s eczema flares become severe, your doctor may recommend wet wrap therapy. Learn how to do wet wrap therapy to help your child’s skin heal. 

What Is Wet Wrap Therapy?

Eczema flares range from mild to severe. If you child’s eczema flares are severe, your doctor may recommend wet wrap therapy.  Wet wrap therapy requires multiple steps to help make your child feel more comfortable and improve their skin barrier.  This treatment helps heal the skin so that your child does not develop an infection (as infections can be more common in children with eczema). Through wet wrap therapy, so you can hopefully avoid the use of additional medications. It has been shown that there is a dramatic improvement in eczema flares when wet wrap therapy is conducted for three or four days in a row.  

Wet Wrap Therapy: What You’ll Need

To start wet wrap therapy, you should have the following materials ready for when your child finishes bath time: 

  • Large bucket filled with warm water or access to a sink with warm water 
  • Topical steroid as needed (prescribed by your doctor)
  • Moisturizer 
  • Cotton clothing that can be soaked in water: preferably pajamas, multiple sets of socks (for feet and hands), underwear or a dressing (if smaller areas of eczema need to be treated).  
  • Dry pajamas (it may be helpful to have pajamas a size larger than what your child typically wears, to make them easier to put on)
  • Cotton tube socks (to be cut by scissors)
  • Cotton gloves for the hands
  • Plastic wrap (used to cover food) or vinyl gloves

7 Steps For Wet Wrap Therapy

Here are our step by step instructions for wet wrap therapy (in addition to this helpful video from the National Eczema Association):

  1. Soak your child in the bathtub with warm water.  
  2. Take your child out of the bath and immediately apply a topical steroid to the most severe areas of eczema on the child’s skin.  (It is important to do this step when the skin is still damp.)  For the other areas of the skin, apply a moisturizer to the rest of the skin.
  3. Use the bucket of warm water to get the clothing slightly damp.  
  4. Cover your child in this wet layer of cotton clothing or a wet dressing to keep the moisture in the child’s skin.  You can use the two sets of socks to cover the hands and feet if those areas have severe eczema too.  
  5. Add another layer of dry, cotton pajamas to your child.  If you are using wet socks for the feet, cover these areas with dry socks as well.  You can use wet cotton gloves for the hands and put plastic wrap or vinyl gloves over the hands. (Tip: if you are only treating arms, then you can cut out holes in the ends of tube socks where the toes are so a child can use the sock as a make-shift sleeve to cover and treat the arms).
  6. Keep your child in these dressings for at least 2 hours or for the entire night if possible.  
  7. Repeat this process every day for a few nights until the eczema improves.

Once the skin heals, it’s possible that you may have to do this treatment again.  Note: you should not apply this treatment for healing the skin on the face, as face treatment should be performed by a medical professional skilled in this area.