Baby Eczema Treatments and advice logo

back to our home page
facts and fiction!
tips to calm eczema!
creams for eczema!
treatments for eczema!
Are they better?
baby eczema skin care
add site to your favorites

What Causes Babies to Have Eczema?

baby eczema picture

It seems so unfair for little babies to be troubled with eczema. And yet as many as one in five babies develop some eczema during the first year of their life. It is often located on the cheeks and forehead, but can show up anywhere on the body. Eczema is itchy and uncomfortable, creating a vicious cycle as the baby tries to scratch, making the irritation worse. Why do babies get eczema in the first place?

No one knows the answer to that question, except to say that there seem to be a number of reasons. Allergies are a likely cause, because eczema tends to show up in people that are also afflicted with hay fever or other allergies. The allergen may be in the form of the baby's food, which is either breast milk or formula for most little babies. When solid foods are introduced, they are often suspect. Other possible allergens are dust, dog or cat dander, chemicals in soaps and cleaners, and cigarette smoke.

First, a note about baby's diet. Breast milk is the best choice of diet for any newborn. Most pediatricians recommend waiting until at least six months to begin adding solid foods. At that time foods should be added one at a time so that the parents can see if any allergies seem to develop.

If a breastfed baby develops eczema, it could be caused by something in the mother's diet. Some possible allergy producing foods are cow's milk, soy, corn, wheat, nuts, egg white, and tomatoes. It is worth a try to eliminate these foods one at a time from the mother's diet to see if the baby's eczema gets better, but usually, being breastfed protects a baby from having eczema in the first place. Most babies who struggle with eczema are being fed formula. It can be exasperating to try to find a formula that is perfect for a baby, as there are many options on the market, and none of them are completely hypoallergenic, despite what they may say in the advertising.

Still, the trigger that sets off the eczema is likely to be something unrelated to food. For instance, does the baby's clothing rub the area that is breaking out? Could it be that the use of harsh laundry detergents is leaving residue in the clothing that causes the eczema to get worse? Many parents have found help by switching to gentler laundry products for the baby and for the whole family.

Sponsored links