4 things you need to know about baby eczema

June 04, 2018
  • Is it eczema?
    1 / 4 Is it eczema?

    In babies, this rash typically affects the face and scalp. Toddlers get it in their skin folds along their elbows, knees, wrists and ankles, says dermatologist Dr Lynn Chiam of Children and Adult Skin, Hair and Laser Clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Medical Centre.

    If your little one has eczema, her skin may look dry and scaly. There may also be thickened skin with prominent lines.

    Related: Baby eczema: Doctor’s advice on diet, treatment

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  • Don’t overwash her
    2 / 4 Don’t overwash her

    In Singapore, childhood eczema is on the rise. About one in five kids suffer from it.

    Dr Chiam says the “hygiene hypothesis” – the lack of exposure to germs suppresses a child’s immune system, thus increasing her risk of developing allergic diseases – may be the reason why it’s so common.

    So, yes, overwashing your baby’s skin may lead it to become dry, which triggers eczema.

    Other causes include harsh soaps, your baby’s saliva from drooling, heat and house dust mites.

    Related: 8 steps to managing childhood eczema better

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  • Keep those nails short
    3 / 4 Keep those nails short

    Instead of soothing that itch, scratching only worsens it. Skin becomes more damaged and even drier.

    Scratching also creates breaks in the skin, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter, warns Dr Chiam.

    Use the distraction tactic – using toys and games – when you notice Baby scratching. Applying cold packs on itchy areas can also relieve the condition.

    Keep her fingernails short, and dress her in long-sleeved tops and pants at night to protect her skin.

    Related: Does salt therapy help kids with eczema?

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  • Cream the itch away
    4 / 4 Cream the itch away

    Well-moisturised skin tends to itch less, says Dr Chiam. You should apply a moisturiser on your baby’s body at least two to three times daily.

    Apply the cream immediately after bathing her, as skin absorbs best when it’s slightly wet.

    According to Dr Chiam, moisturising the skin regularly also helps it to better absorb topical steroids – which are typically used to treat inflamed skin.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: Baby eczema: finding the best skin moisturiser

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