Baby Eczema

January 28, 2008

More and more babies suffer from this condition which can be triggered by many different things, such as stress, certain foods and environmental factors.

Eczema may be hereditary and is found to be closely related with hay fever and asthma. A baby is more likely to suffer from this skin condition from around 3 months onwards. Some scientists believe that if eczema is found in babies before 3 months, she is more likely to develop asthma and hay fever in later life.

For many parents the visit to the doctor is the first step to treatment, and most often the last. Starting a course of steroids, antihistamines and even antibiotics triggers a vicious cycle because your baby’s immune system is suppressed with chemicals. In contrast, alternative medicine will boost her immune system to make it strong enough to help fight eczema.

Common symptoms

A red, scaly rash can start on the cheeks and spread elsewhere.

Common affected areas are: the face, behind the ears, armpits, hands, knees and elbows and neck.

You will find patches of dry skin.

The skin can be very itchy, accompanied with visible scratch marks.

Blisters, cracks and possibly weeping sores.

Eczema always needs treatment to avoid complications and infections.

Eczema irritants

Irritants can include:

Dust mites, animal hair and pollen

Synthetic fabrics and wool

Extreme temperatures, i.e. too hot or too cold and wet

Dry air (central heating)

Certain foods (please read

Household chemicals found in for example conventional cleaners and washing powders

Fragrances, i.e. room sprays, soap, baby lotions, oils, etc.

How you can help

Firstly, clip your baby’s nails. It is important to minimize the damage your baby can cause by scratching her skin. You may even consider covering her hands with mittens or socks when sleeping.

There are natural helpers available to replace conventional baby skin products (

You must avoid synthetic fabric and use only pure cotton clothing and bedding for your baby.

You should control your baby’s diet.

Complementary treatments

You can relieve itchy skin with a soothing bath and essential oils, such as jojoba or almond oil. You can add a few drops of lavender oil for a relaxing scent.

An oatmeal bath is very effective, too. Put a small amount of organic oats together with a little bit of either jojoba oil or vegetable oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil in a thin cotton bag (you can also use a muslin towel and tie it up). Hang it over the tap so the running water releases all the goodness into the bath.

Vitamin A, Zinc and Omega 3 oils are nutritional helpers who help boost the immune system and with the healing process. You can find Vitamin A in carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, kale, butter, spinach and pumpkin (among others). Zinc is high in beans, nuts, almond, whole grains, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and red meat and poultry. Omega 3 oils can be found in eggs, fish (salmon, cot, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies), nuts, linseeds, and kiwifruit.

You can soothe irritated skin by holding a piece of cotton wool soaked in ice-cold milk on to the area for a few minutes.

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