Eczema in Infants
Eczema can be a difficult skin condition to recognize, especially in infants whose skin may be more reactive to stimuli. According to research, 10 to 20 percent of infants may develop this chronic dermatologic disease. If an infant frequently shows signs of redness and bumps on the arms and legs or in the creases of the elbows and knees, a visit with a dermatologist can provide insight into potential reasons. Because eczema is an incurable but very treatable condition, it is vital to obtain an accurate diagnosis for that persistent rash.
Here, we discuss a few strategies that may soothe eczema irritation on an infant’s skin.
Switch Laundry Detergent
Infants are more prone to skin sensitivities than adults as it is. If eczema is also suspected, one of the first strategies to try is changing laundry detergent. Often, dermatologic inflammation results from a reaction to the scent or dye in laundry products, including both soap and fabric softeners. Products labeled as “free and clear” are made without fragrance or dye and are thus better suited to people with sensitive skin or diseases like eczema.
This same strategy applies to soaps and lotions used on infant skin.
Apply Cool Compresses
A baby is not likely to handle the application of an ice pack on their skin. However, cool compresses can be used to soothe skin during times in which eczema flares up. For the best effect, the skin should be cooled for about five minutes and then left alone for 20 minutes. This cycle can be repeated as necessary.
Apply Emollient Cream
It is a misconception to believe that a rash needs to be dried out to go away. Particularly when we are dealing with eczema, moisture becomes a priority. Infants with eczema may find relief when their skin is kept moist with a thick emollient cream like Aquaphor or Eucerin. Creams should be fragrance-free. Ingredients like petroleum jelly and lichochalone are also appealing because these substances create a soothing moisture barrier.
The Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center has offices in Kennett Square, Coatesville, and Exton. To schedule a consultation, call 610-594-6660.