These little patches of irritated skin could be baby eczema. No need to worry though, even though it can look bad, baby eczema is fairly common and there’s different ways to help it heal.
What is baby eczema?
Atopic dermatitis, more often called eczema, is a common skin condition in children and adults that appears as dry, red or brown itchy patches. Typically, eczema appears inside the bed of the elbows or knees, less frequently on the face, hands, feet, neck and chest. Newborn eczema can also appear on the scalp.
What causes this inflammation?
Dermatologists are still divided on the exact causes of eczema, but this condition seems to occur most frequently when the skin doesn’t produce enough of the enzymes called ceramides. This fatty protective enzyme acts as a barrier on the epidermis. Without it, the skin loses moisture and becomes dry.
The most common triggers thought to cause eczema are genetics and environmental factors. As explained by the National Association for Eczema: “When something outside the body “switches on” the immune system, skin cells don’t behave as they should causing flare ups.”
Some common triggers are:
- Dry air
- Skin irritants such as synthetic fragrances and chemicals
- Food allergies
How to tell if your baby has eczema?
To be certain if your child is suffering from baby eczema and not just dry skin or another condition, it is best to consult his pediatrician. However there’s a few indicators you can check for:
- Dry skin
- Itching, that typically gets worse at night
- Thick, cracked and scaly skin
- Red to brownish patches of skin on the inside the bed of elbows and knees, hands, feet, ankles, wrists, upper chest, eyelids
- Small raised bumps. These typically leak fluid and crust over after scratching
- Sensitive, raw or swollen skin due to scratching
How to treat baby eczema (without steroids)?
Sadly, there’s no cure for eczema but there’s a number of options to help heal and treat the skin from prescription medications to natural options like our Nourishing Balm. Since it’s a chronic condition, having a care routine with the right gentle products is important.
In most cases, managing eczema flares means:
- Understanding what triggers your baby’s eczema
- Protecting your child’s skin with a natural and gentle bathing and moisturizing routine
Avoiding skincare laced with chemicals and nasties is essential for avoiding a common baby eczema trigger. Typical industrial products, even those marketed for babies, tend to be too harsh and to strip the skin from moisture. Using plant based products with gentle yet effective ingredients can protect your baby’s skin. That’s why Petit Jovial was formulated with highly moisturizing oils like jojoba and safflower, and essential oils with healing properties like lavender and clary sage.
3 steps to healing baby eczema
- Identify and avoid eczema triggers
- Protective routine: hydrating natural baby skincare from washing to moisturizing
- Soothing: eczema being a chronic condition it can still flare up once in a while. When it does try to avoid harsh steroids if possible. The Petit Jovial Body & Scalp Massage Oil is wonderful for soothing, moisturizing and healing.
Want to know more about baby skin conditions? See my previous article for more ideas on natural baby rash remedies.
Until next time, Tania xx