Eczema can sometimes appear in infancy. Eczema can sometimes look different in babies than it does in older children. Usually, infantile eczema will appear on the face, including the cheeks, chin, around the ears, forehead, and sometimes the scalp. It may appear bumpy, red, irritated, and weepy. Many times, we do not know the specific trigger for your baby’s eczema. It can be triggered by dry skin, heat, irritants in different products (lotions, soaps, detergents, perfumes), or allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust, or even the formula or mother’s diet if she is breastfeeding. Saliva from your baby’s drooling can also exacerbate eczema on the chin, neck, and chest.
Unfortunately there is no way to prevent your child from developing eczema. Many times it a combination of their genes, immune system, and environmental triggers that can cause the onset of eczema. However we can try our best to prevent flare-ups. The best way to prevent eczema flare ups is to implement a daily moisturizing routine. It is best not to bathe your baby every day as to try not to dry out their skin. Applying a good, thick moisturizer or ointment (such as Baby Aveeno, Baby Cetaphil, or Baby Aquaphor) can help to trap skin’s moisture which will help prevent dryness, a common trigger of eczema. Also, if you notice a specific trigger or your child’s eczema, try your best to avoid exposure.
If your child does experience flare ups, you can try over the counter 1% hydrocortisone, a mild topical steroid twice a day for a few days to see if this helps to calm the inflammation and irritation. This topical ointment is usually sufficient to help treat mild eczema. However, if this is not sufficient in helping control your baby’s eczema, please contact your physician. We may be able to suggest a stronger prescription ointment.