Baby Eczema: What To Do

Posted on: 17 September 2015


For parents of infants, finding the red, crusty patches of eczema on their babies' skin can be horribly distressing. You do not want your child to suffer, and eczema can be quite uncomfortable as well as unsightly. If your baby has this problem, you can help by understanding the condition and taking steps to treat it by controlling your child's environment and by administering medication. 

Baby Eczema

Baby eczema, or atopic dermatitis, presents in approximately ten to fifteen percent of children. The skin develops dry patches that are often red, itchy, and rough. Babies develop this condition when their skin does not produce enough ceramides, the fatty cells that create a protective barrier for the skin. Having too few ceramides makes your baby's skin lose too much water, making it extremely dry. 

In babies, eczema shows up on the scalp, cheeks, and forehead. Between the ages of six to twelve months, it often gets especially bad on the knees and elbows. In the youngest children, the patches can look moist instead of dry. 


Treating and controlling eczema involves both medication and environment. Winter can exacerbate your baby's condition and cause a "flare," or outbreak. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications including topical calcineurin inhibitors and topical steroids. Identifying environmental "triggers" and eliminating them can be quite helpful in controlling your child's condition. Dust mites, certain fabrics, pets, and cigarette smoke can irritate the skin. Eliminating and reducing theses factors can greatly benefit your child.

Certain household products can also exacerbate the condition. Scented items such as perfume and laundry detergent can adversely affect your child's skin. Investing in chemical free laundry detergent for babies will get rid of the irritating dyes and perfumes that attach themselves to clothes and make your child's skin worse. You will also eliminate phosphates and chlorine found in other detergents that have been shown to be health risks. Avoid using air fresheners and put your perfume away. Give your baby the best environment possible to lower the chances of eczema flares. 

Most children outgrow their eczema before they reach school age, so try not to overreact to the condition. You can help your child by maintaining an environment that is as free of triggers as you can. Consult your pediatrician about helpful medications and make your child as comfortable as possible. The condition is unsightly and irritating, but it is a common problem. Be patient and enjoy your child's infancy. Eczema can be controlled.