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Common Questions and Answers About Eczema in Babies and Children

We started Little Love Organics as new moms who just couldn’t find the right skin products for our boys. We were looking for an organic and allergy conscious (hence the nut-free products we produce) cream for eczema. Since starting Little Love Organics, we find that we receive a lot of the same questions from parents looking for the perfect products for their little ones. Here are the types of questions that we often receive, and coincidently, the same ones that we had when we were in your shoes!

1. What is eczema?

Eczema, typically referred to as atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that affects around 20% of children and causes dry, itchy, inflamed skin. It has a variety of triggers and can be affected by baths, laundry detergents, clothing and other environmental conditions. For a more comprehensive breakdown of eczema and its intricacies, check out our Guide to Eczema in Babies and Children.

2. When does eczema first show up in babies?

In general, eczema will present itself during infancy. Over 60% of children with eczema will present symptom before they turn six months old, most cases present around 2 months.

3. What does eczema look like?

Eczema typically presents itself as dry skin patches that is sometimes red and itchy. When you run your finger over the area you can feel it with your eyes closed. Most often it appears in the creases of legs and arms, thighs, torso and on baby’s cheeks.

4. Is all skin peeling in babies eczema?

No. Not all skin peeling in infants is necessarily caused attributed to eczema. Other causes of skin peeling may be just dry skin, excessive exposure to sun, allergic rash, or cradle cap.

5. Are eczema and cradle cap the same thing?

No. Cradle cap and eczema are both very common in babies, but they are not the same thing. Cradle cap presents itself as a group of crusty or oily patches on a baby’s scalp, whereas eczema (often called atopic dermatitis) often presents itself as dry, flaky patches of skin. Cradle cap is not uncomfortable for your baby, though you may still wish to get rid of it. It often goes away on its own, but to speed up the process, parents can use a plant-based oil (like jojoba oil) on the affected patches before bathing baby and using a specialized comb to loosen cradle cap patches. Our Sensitive Skin Soother balm works beautifully on cradle cap and includes jojoba oil. If you want more information on how to get rid of cradle cap naturally, check out our Cradle Cap Guide!

6. When should I take my baby to the doctor for eczema?

If you are ever concerned for any reason, call your baby’s doctor. If you’d like to try some natural at-home remedies for clearing up your baby’s eczema, review our Eczema Guide which has helped lots of parents identify ways to eliminate eczema triggers and clear up their baby’s skin. Most dermatologists have long waitlists and require a referral, so your pediatrician is the best first step. If your baby has persistent symptoms and has been in close contact with anyone who has pus filled blisters, cold sores or any other form of herpes call your pediatrician and let them know the situation – in that case, it may not be eczema.

7. Does eczema mean that my child has an allergy?

It might. Babies and children who have eczema are more likely to have allergies than those who do not have eczema (called the atopic triad), however, it is not a guarantee. About 30% of kids with eczema also have food allergies (cow’s milk and eggs are very common). Eczema can have many causes and triggers, allergies being just one of them. Other causes can include genetics or some environmental conditions (like humidity or excessive dryness, for example). Having an older sibling with eczema or a food allergy may put younger siblings at higher risk for having eczema. If you suspect that your baby might have an allergy, it may be worth talking to your pediatrician about an allergy test. If you’re worried about ingredients in skincare products posing risk to your little one with potential nut allergies, rest assured that all of our Little Love Organics products are made without tree nuts or peanuts. In our personal experience, after an allergic episode and a trip to pediatric urgent care, the doctor on call at urgent care was the one to write the referral to an allergist if needed. In most cases, whenever there is a potential allergic reaction in a child the general recommendation is for a skin or blood test to confirm the presence of allergies.

8. Can eczema be cured?

Often times, babies outgrow frequent eczema flare-ups before even becoming school-aged children. Though the symptoms can be treated with creams, ointments and steroids, it cannot be cured.

9. Is there a natural eczema treatment?

Yes! For milder cases of eczema, there are a lot of natural eczema remedies that can greatly improve flare-ups. As outlined in our Eczema guide, there are also several lifestyle changes that might alleviate your baby’s eczema. Natural remedies can be particularly important because the epidermal barrier in infants is less developed than that of adults, and babies tend to absorb large amounts of product used topically (Duan et. al.). Both of our boys had eczema as infants and we were wary of using what we saw on the shelf to help with their eczema because we didn’t recognize most of the ingredients. We developed our products exclusively with natural, organic ingredients for this very reason.

10. Are steroids safe for babies?

If you are concerned about using steroids on your baby’s eczema, ask your pediatrician about whether they’d recommend using a natural product as a first step. Many times steroids aren’t necessary, but there are cases that are severe enough to warrant them. Babies generally respond very well to natural skincare products according a study conducted by Coret et. al. Most often, if milder cases of baby eczema are caught early and maintained regularly (it usually requires more than just a single treatment), using natural treatments work great.

11. What is the atopic triad?

Parents who have little ones with allergies, eczema, or asthma may have come across the term atopic triad. It is used to describe a trio of conditions that are closely linked to one another. It is associated with a heightened immune response to common allergens (both food and environmental). Approximately 70% of those that have one of the conditions in the triad will also have a second one. Around 30% of children with moderate to severe eczema will also have a food allergy.

We hope that we could answer some of your questions about baby’s eczema (among other things)! If you have any questions about us, our products, or anything else, feel free to reach out to us through the page on our website or at support@littleloveorganics.com. Or, if you’re anything like us and you’re looking for a deep dive into understanding eczema and more, check out some of the studies below.

 

Sources & Peer Reviewed Further Readings

Banerjee, Sabyasachi, et al. “Seasonal Variation in Pediatric Dermatoses.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, vol. 55, no. 1, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd., Jan. 2010, pp. 44–46, doi:10.4103/0019-5154.60351.

Chia-Rong Hsieh Vivian, et al. “Risk of Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Conjunctivitis, and Eczema in Children Born to Mothers with Gum Inflammation During Pregnancy.” PloS One, vol. 11, no. 5, Public Library of Science (PLoS), Jan. 2016, p. e0156185, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156185.

Coret, Catherine, et al. “Tolerance of Natural Baby Skin-Care Products on Healthy, Full-Term Infants and Toddlers.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, vol. 7, Taylor & Francis Ltd., Jan. 2014, pp. 51–58, doi:10.2147/CCID.S56939.

“Cradle Cap” Mayo Clinic. 4 Dec. 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cradle-cap/symptoms-causes/syc-20350396.

Duan, Yuanyuan, et al. “A Randomized Pilot Clinical Assessment Of Three Skincare Regimens On Skin Conditions In Infants.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, vol. 12, Taylor & Francis Ltd., Jan. 2019, pp. 895–909, doi:10.2147/CCID.S204216.

“Eczema” Seattle Children’s Hospital. 9 Jul 2020. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/eczema/#:~:text=Cause%20of%20Eczema&text=Flare%2Dups%20are%20from%20skin,10%25%20of%20children%20have%20eczema.

Iarkowski, Laura, et al. “Tolerance of Skin Care Regimen in Healthy, Full-Term Neonates.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, vol. 6, Taylor & Francis Ltd., Jan. 2013, pp. 137–44, doi:10.2147/CCID.S42559.

Lawrence Chukwudi Nwabudike. “Atopic dermatitis and homeopathy.” Our Dermatology Online, vol. 3, no. 3, Our Dermatology Online, July 2012, pp. 217–20, doi:10.7241/ourd.20123.50.

Nedelcuţă, Ramona, et al. “NEW-BORN HYGIENE BETWEEN ‘TOO LITTLE’ AND ‘TOO MUCH.’” Research and Science Today, University Constantin Brancusi of Târgu-Jiu, Jan. 2019, pp. 138–44, http://search.proquest.com/docview/2275909864/.

Ozawa, Naoko, et al. “Maternal Intake of Natto, a Japan’s Traditional Fermented Soybean Food, During Pregnancy and the Risk of Eczema in Japanese Babies.” Allergology International, vol. 63, no. 2, Japanese Society of Allergology, 2014, pp. 261–66, doi:10.2332/allergolint.13-OA-0613.

Pols, D., et al. “Atopic Dermatitis, Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis in General Practice and the Open Population: a Systematic Review.” Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, vol. 34, no. 2, Taylor & Francis LLC, June 2016, pp. 143–50, doi:10.3109/02813432.2016.1160629.

Saunes, Marit et al. “Family eczema-history in 2-year-olds with eczema; a prospective, population-based study. The PACT-study, Norway.” BMC dermatology vol. 11 11. 20 May. 2011, doi:10.1186/1471-5945-11-11

Strachan, D P et al. “Siblings, asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema: a worldwide perspective from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.” Clinical and experimental allergy: journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology vol. 45,1 (2015): 126-36. doi:10.1111/cea.12349