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Facts about Baby Eczema

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Having a baby with eczema is heartbreaking. You want to do something to help stop the itch and speed heeling. It is so hard to watch a little one suffer. Here are a few facts about baby eczema. Read on to learn how prevalent it is, what causes it, and some things you can try to help your child.

First, baby eczema is extremely common, with an estimated twenty percent of all babies having it. More than half of the children who will have eczema in their life develop it before their first birthday. It often disappears by the baby's second birthday, but it is not uncommon for the problem to persist even into adulthood. It tends to run in families, so if you or someone in your immediate family suffers with it, or did as a baby, your baby will be more likely to have eczema.

So what is eczema, anyway? It is a usually itchy rash caused by dryness of the skin. It is most common on a baby's cheeks and forehead. It is also sometimes found on other body parts, such as the creases behind the knee or inside the elbow. On the scalp it is often called cradle cap, a condition that affects many babies and older children, too. Sometimes eczema looks like oozing red bumps, and other times it appears as scaly, crusty, thickened patches.

It is uncertain what causes baby eczema, but there is a link between it and allergies or asthma. It seems to be more prevalent in formula-fed infants than breast-fed, but this is not always the case. Sometimes a breastfed baby develops eczema because of something the mother eats, and when the mother eliminates the allergen from her diet, the baby's skin improves. Common allergens include peanuts and other nuts, dairy products, citrus fruits, and chocolate.

Eczema can be considered as very dry, extra sensitive skin, and should be treated accordingly. It can be made worse by things like temperature changes and long baths. It can be improved by the use of very gentle lotions and creams that are emollient in action. It is important to soothe the itch so the baby does not scratch and make the condition worse.

It is truly a shame when eczema on the face spoils a sweet little baby's looks, but always remember that true value and beauty are not just skin deep. Chances are the rash will only be temporary anyway.

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