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The “Did You Knows” of Eczema: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Baby This Winter

Baby with atopic dermatitis, known as eczema

With approximately 20% of babies and children affected by eczema, a skin condition also known as AD or atopic dermatitis, it’s no wonder there’s an overabundance of information out there. But even with the research studies, the data, treatment and diet recommendations, it’s hard for a mom – especially a new mom – to know what to do. Devoted to skincare, babies, and of course, moms, we’re here to give you information, debunk a few myths and enable you to make the best decisions for your baby. Whether you’re already dealing with eczema or just want to be aware of the signs, knowledge is key. So, let’s talk eczema. Did you know that?

  • Eczema usually shows up in the first 1-5 years of a child’s life. You’ll rarely see it at birth, but a baby can show signs as early as six weeks old.
  • The face and outer parts of the arms and legs, like elbows and knees, are common places for rashes to appear. Scalp, feet, and hands are other areas sometimes affected.
  • The eczema rash itself can vary from child to child, but it usually is an uncomfortable-looking patch of dry, rough, sometimes scaly or red, irritated skin.  The biggest tell-tale sign for you as a parent? Other rashes will eventually go away, but eczema is stubborn and will keep coming back.
  • Eczema is hereditary, usually connecting back to a parent or family member who has eczema or even hay fever or asthma. Before you beat yourself up, however, know that the line is dotted — a child can have eczema and be the only one in the family.
  • There’s a strong connection between food allergies and eczema. If your child has moderate to severe eczema, allergy testing is recommended.

The biggest “Did you know” about eczema is that while not curable, it is controllable. The right skin regimen, especially during summer and winter months that are hard on the skin, can make all the difference. So, how do you protect your baby this winter?

  1. Bathe your baby – a common myth is that you shouldn’t bathe children with eczema. However, clean skin is less prone to infections and other germs. Keep baths short (less than five minutes) using lukewarm water and a gentle, ph-balanced soap like Pibu’s™ Bathtime Wash.
  2. Moisturize your baby – eczema is all about dry skin, so moisture is critical to protecting the skin barrier. After bath time, pat your baby dry to reserve some of the water and then moisturize head to toe. Pibu’s™ Hydrating Ointment, a fragrance-free, intensive moisturizer is perfect for locking in moisture after a bath. Repeat in the morning as well, using a lubricant like the Hydrating Ointment.
  3. Treat your baby – if you see signs of eczema, increase the regimen, using an allover moisturizer at least twice a day. Soothe the affected areas with an added treatment such as with the Hydrating Ointment.
  4. Ask for help – As parents, we want to think that we can fix everything for our baby, but even parents need help. If the symptoms don’t subside, contact your doctor. Sometimes, a corticosteroid – a good steroid that the body produces naturally – can ease the inflammation and irritation.

Many children outgrow their eczema issues; some need to manage it as adults.  But the right skin regimen now can give your baby a foundation of protection for years to come.  As a parent, isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

Sources referenced:

“Atopic Dermatitis in Children.” National Eczema Association. (2012). http://www.nationaleczema.org/living-with-eczema/atopic-dermatitis-children

Denby, Kristopher.  “Food Allergy and Children with Eczema.” National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-matters/food-allergies-and-children-with-eczema/

Gillette, Bob. “Eczema, long term allergies linked.”  Dermatology Times.  March 23, 2011.  http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-news/eczema-long-term-allergies-linked

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