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How Long Will My Baby's Eczema Last?

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Baby eczema is a common condition affecting 10-20 percent of all babies. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, it can either be just an inconvenience or it can make life difficult for the whole family. The skin is very itchy when a baby has eczema and it can be very difficult for the little one to sleep. That in turn makes for sleepless nights for the whole family. Most parents eventually wonder, how long is this agony going to last? Will my little one eventually outgrow baby eczema?

The answer to that question is maybe. Adults who suffer from eczema often had it while they were babies and have never gotten over it, although they may have had periods of remission. The better news is that most babies do outgrow it, and often within the first year or two of life.

Statistically, more than half of the babies that have eczema will have outgrown it by the time they are teenagers. Eczema usually first appears between the ages of three to six months. Almost all cases are evident before the child's fifth birthday. There is no foolproof cure on the market, but there are treatments, both medically and through lifestyle changes, that bring relief. The hope is that parents can at least control the symptoms so that everyone will be more comfortable.

Eczema tends to go through periods of remission followed by flare-ups. Many children have mostly remission with an occasional flare-up after they are five or so. Sometimes it goes into remission during the early school years, and then appears again during adolescence. Eczema is not contagious, but it does tend to run in families.

For adults, children, and probably even babies, flare-ups are common during times of emotional stress. Of course, the symptoms themselves cause a great deal of stress, which compounds the problem. There are other triggers that can cause flare-ups, including allergenic foods, changes in temperature, overheating, rough clothing, pets, and much more. If you can identify the triggers, by all means work to avoid them.

In the meantime, give that little one lots of love and care, using medications and moisturizers as recommended by your doctor. Try baby creams until you find one that controls the itching and helps heal the scaly or oozing patches of skin. For many people, diaper rash remedies work well. Cortisone creams are available over the counter and can be used periodically during flare-ups. Be patient, because there is a good chance your baby will eventually outgrow eczema.

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