As the air becomes dry in autumn and winter, babies (and sometimes, adults) are likely to develop skin problems like eczema or atoptic dermatitis. So, what should we incorporate into our babies’ skin care routine in order to protect them from skin diseases like eczema? Eczema is the most common chronic inflammatory skin condition in babies. It has the characteristics of varying degrees of itching, dry and rough skin. In severe cases, it may lead to oozing at affected areas. Because of the dry climate in autumn and winter, the problem is likely to recur and can be very troublesome to parents and babies.
There are three types of eczema commonly found in babies
Dry type: Eczema is manifested as red papules, with redness and swelling of the skin. The papules have chaff-like desquamation and dry scabs, which are very itchy.
Seborrheic type (oil-secreting): Eczema is manifested by skin reddening and small macula papules secreting light yellow fatty liquid covering the rash. The affected regions later would form a thick yellow crust, which is difficult to get rid of. This type is usually found on the scalp and between the eyebrows, areas around the nose, and behind the ears. Despite these symptoms, the itchiness is more bearable than the dry type.
Exudative type: This type is more common in larger babies. Blisters and erythema develop between the red skin rashes, and there may be swelling of the skin tissues. Because this type of eczema is very itchy, oozing or bleeding could occur after scratching, the rash can spread to the trunk, limbs and whole body, making your baby prone to secondary skin infections.
Possible causes of eczema
There are multiple possible factors such as genetics, environment, immune dysfunction, and localised skin barrier abnormalities. The primary reason is that the baby's skin barrier function is defective and the skin is unable to retain moisture, which leads to the onset of baby eczema. Of course, if eczema recurs, it is suggested that you get an allergy blood test.
How to treat and prevent eczema
To treat dry skin caused by baby's eczema, moisturisation is key. There are many types of such products on the market but when selecting the best one for your baby, make sure it does not contain harmful chemicals in its ingredients as the epidermis of babies are very sensitive and thin. Apply the product twice a day and continue for a week. It is recommended to apply it while the baby is sleeping, so it does not get rubbed off or consumed. If improvement is evident, reduce the application to once a day. It is important to stick with the regimen because the condition could come back if treatment is stopped too early. For it to be effective, a generous layer needs to be applied on the baby’s skin. If the erythema is peeling off and the skin lesions are exuding liquid and crusted, you can consider moisturising alone, and apply it to a large area to prevent the onset of eczema. If it is not improving, it is recommended to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Of course, in order to make the baby feel comfortable, in addition to moisturising, we must also avoid wearing rough or irritating clothes (wool or coarsely knitted clothes). Synthetic materials in fabric and chemical dyes are also known to cause skin problems. Try to choose cotton and especially organic cotton and breathable clothes for your baby. Blara Organic House is the only GOTS certified fashion house which produces purely organic cotton clothes using plant-based natural dyes. Prevention is better than cure. Wearing clothes made from breathable, and non-irritable fabrics made from natural materials may also prevent your child from developing skin diseases. Check out our commitment to sustainability and eco-fashion approach at https://blaraorganichouse.ca/pages/sustainability.