Eczema, usually genetic in origin, appears in the first three months of life. His skin becomes irritable, dry, permeable and more prone to infection. Although it is a benign disease, it does not have any particular consequences for the baby’s health. But it is of concern to many parents. Redness appears on the baby’s face, shoulders, back, thighs, etc., and he twists and turns in bed. He’s in pain… and so are you. But there are solutions to treat it.
The use of dermocorticoids, the first thing to do
There are two categories of eczema: contact eczema and atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis. For the latter, no definitive treatment is yet available. Nevertheless, doctors often prescribe dermocorticosteroids, depending on the flare-up of the disease. These are cortisone ointments or creams. Taking care of your baby quickly can make his or her daily life easier, and so can yours. It reduces skin inflammation, relieves itching and restores the protective barriers of your baby’s skin. Afterwards, a maintenance treatment will be performed to space out flare-ups and reduce the frequency of your baby’s eczema. In principle, dermocorticoids are applied once a day, often in the evening. But for sensitive skin, the rhythm may differ. That’s why it’s important to consult a doctor and follow the dosage he or she prescribes. Above all, do not adopt the treatment prescribed to another baby: a wrong dosage or product could create lesions. Furthermore, the duration of treatment is not fixed; it varies according to the area where the redness patches are located and the type of lesion. If for some skins it lasts about two weeks, for others the delay may increase. In any case, follow the baby’s eczema advice carefully. But sometimes the treatment can fail. The specialist will then advise another solution.
Local treatment with tacrolimus
If the dermocorticoids have no effect on the infant’s skin, a local treatment with tacrolimus cream or ointment will be used. The most commonly used method is a twice-weekly maintenance treatment. Its main advantage is the possibility of working on sensitive areas, such as the face and eyelids, where the skin is thin, without the risk of damaging the skin envelope. However, unlike dermocorticosteroids, tacrolimus treatment only applies to infants over two years of age, and only pediatricians and dermatologists are involved in the follow-up. On sensitive skin, itching can be severe. In this case, antihistamines will come into play. Their mission? To reduce irritation. The baby will be able to sleep peacefully at night without squirming. In turn, you too can enjoy a good night’s sleep. In addition to antihistamines, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. He will do this in the event of superinfection. However, it is not only infants who suffer from eczema, but also older children. From a certain age (eight years old), they can benefit from phototherapy treatment. Under this generic term is medical monitoring with the use of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Moisturising the baby’s body on a daily basis
Dry skin, which is almost permanent in infants, is a factor in the development of eczema. There are no 36,000 solutions to overcome this problem: moisturize and rehydrate the body. You can use fresh water compresses for this purpose. Apply them to the areas where the red patches appear on the baby. Give him a daily bath of at least 10 minutes in warm water. However, be careful not to exceed this time: a prolonged bath could further dehydrate the skin envelope. Rather than using a scented soap, use a mild cleanser or a product that will not irritate the skin. A superfatted soap, shower oil or a specific baby eczema product would be perfect. To dry your baby, avoid rubbing him vigorously. Cuddle him, pamper him, pamper him using a soft towel. This moment of parent-baby complicity, enhanced by the smile that appears on his lips, strengthens the emotional ties that bind you together. Immediately after the bath, apply a moisturizing and emollient cream adapted to his skin on his body. Ideally, repeat the operation at least twice a day to keep it moisturized and protect it from irritation. Don’t cover him too much at night, as this may aggravate his itching, and avoid the many fluffy toys on his bed. On the contrary, ventilate his room as much as possible.
How do I avoid the baby’s eczema?
Eczema is a hereditary disease, but it is preventable. Better yet, you can prevent it! All you have to do is wear clothes with a soft, silky fabric: fine cotton is ideal. At night, wear light cotton gloves to protect your baby from the cold. By the way, when the cold of winter comes, take out your haemostatic ointment and apply it to his face. To prevent baby from getting hurt while you’re covering him with his protective arsenal or when you’re washing him, cut and file your nails. When it comes to washing your baby’s clothes, use a soft, gentle soap. Despite all of these tips for baby’s eczema, it is possible that he or she will develop it. You should then consult a doctor. But when? When your baby develops oozing lesions with acute flare-ups, has trouble sleeping, has respiratory allergies, or the eczema areas get hot and feverish, don’t hesitate to consult a health care professional. The sooner you do, the better: the baby will be fine.