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Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition affecting up to 25% of children, most of whom develop symptoms in their first 12 months of life. While there is no cure, it can be effectively managed with a plan. And though it’s neither contagious nor life-threatening, the accompanying dry skin, itchiness, and inflammation of eczema rash can certainly make life less enjoyable for both baby and parents. With a thoughtful, custom eczema rash treatment plan, both parents and baby can be left happier.
Eczema is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, atopic dermatitis is hereditary, meaning that if either or both parents suffer from eczema, asthma, or seasonal allergies, there is a greater chance that baby will also experience eczema. Specifically, the genetic cause is associated with differences in the skin’s protective proteins or an overactive immune system that responds too aggressively to environmental triggers.
Environmental triggers, or the molecules that baby’s skin comes into contact with throughout her day, may also cause or exacerbate eczema. Common product triggers include wool, synthetic fabrics, household goods with fragrances such as detergents or fabric softeners, baby powder, and certain metals like nickel. It’s important to be aware that even “natural” or “botanical” products may still prove irritating for eczema rash.
Seasonal environmental triggers such as pollen, heat, and especially the cold, dry air of winter are other common culprits, as well as interior air-borne triggers such as dust mites and pet dander.
In rare instances, certain foods may also contribute to eczema flare-ups. However, before cutting any foods from your or your baby’s diet, you’ll want to speak with a healthcare provider.
Finally, stress has also been linked to eczema rash flare-ups. This is one reason why diagnosing and treating infant eczema as early as possible is so important as it can help reduce the emotional distress baby may be experiencing from the physical discomfort of his dry, itchy skin.
Though many children “outgrow” eczema by the time they reach age four, and a large majority no longer suffer symptoms by the end of adolescence, reliable management tips are especially invaluable for maneuvering the early years when baby cannot fully verbalize their discomfort.
Once you’ve been able to calm your baby’s eczema rash, it’s essential to keep up the good work. Though it’s normal to feel elated when infant eczema starts to subside, letting your guard down and abandoning your routines can lead to unfortunate flare-ups or even worsening conditions. Below are a few tips for successfully continuing baby’s eczema rash treatment.
As a chronic condition, recurring eczema can be a challenge to treat, but with the right knowledge and products on your side, managing your baby’s rash will get easier. The most important tool? Being more persistent with your care plan than the eczema itself.
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