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How to tell if itís baby eczema?

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Babies are prone to rashes and skin irritations. Eczema is a common condition for babies that differs from some of the other common skin problems in duration and best treatment methods. Here are the symptoms of some of the more common baby skin problems and how you can tell if your baby has eczema or something else.

First of all, eczema is a condition of very dry, super sensitive skin that tends to break out into an itchy rash. The rash can either appear rough and dry or scaly and crusty. Sometimes it weeps or even breaks open. When the skin is broken there is a danger of infection, especially if the baby scratches the rash. The best treatment is to use a lot of moisturizer and hopefully avoid the bad outbreaks.

Brand new babies often have what looks like pimples on their faces. This condition is a response to the mother's hormones that are still in the baby's system. It clears up in the first few weeks of life, and differs from eczema in that it is not itchy or uncomfortable for the baby. The best treatment for these "baby zits" is just to let time pass. Be aware though that overheating can cause these bumps to flare up, just like it can cause eczema to flare up. Be cautious about bundling babies up too warmly.

Cradle cap is crusty patches of skin that appear at about the age of three months, on the scalp and sometimes the face. It differs from eczema in that it does not itch. It appears unsightly, however, and most parents want to try to get rid of it. The recommended method of removing it is to rub baby oil into the patches and then comb the crusty skin patches out of the baby's hair. Instead of baby oil, some parents have used coconut oil, olive oil, or some other natural oil. A drop or two of an essential oil like lavender or tea tree can be added to the oil. Sometimes baby shampoo is all that is needed. Some parents have tried mixing baby shampoo half and half with dandruff shampoo and using that. Be sure not to let any get into the baby's eyes.

Another common rash babies get is heat rash or prickly heat. This happens in areas that get too hot and sweaty, and can happen in the winter when a baby is over dressed. It is more common in the summer however. One possible home treatment for prickly heat is to combine a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of cool water and use the liquid to bathe the area gently with a washcloth. Prickly heat can look like eczema, but differs in that it usually doesn't itch as bad and it doesn't come back as easily.

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