Why does my child have eczema?

  • by Petra Jelinkova

Eczema is a common condition with one in five babies in Australia having eczema, but why do some babies get it and others don’t? It  is more likely to affect babies who are born into families with a history of eczema, asthma and hayfever. In our family my husband has eczema and hay fever, and I’m not completely blameless having had asthma as a child. Children with eczema are also more likely to also develop asthma and hayfever, but these are not caused by eczema. The bottom line is eczema is passed onto our babies in our genes.


what are the causes of eczema?

Eczema children’s skin is often called ‘leaky skin’, this is because the skin doesn’t make enough fatty cells. Fatty cells make a barrier to protect the skin and without this protection the skin loses water and becomes very dry and it also lets irritants in more easily.

what are the signs of eczema?

Signs your bub has eczema is that their skin can be:

  • dry
  • tender
  • red
  • scaley
  • itchy
  • cracked
  • rough

what are the symptoms of eczema?

We usually see eczema as patches on different parts of the body depending on how old your child is. Common places are the face, neck, hands and feet. It can get infected when bacteria enters through the broken skin barrier. Signs of infected eczema are inflamed, weeping and cracked skin.

It can come and go and be triggered by certain things, such as heat, stress and some foods. In between eczema flare-ups the skin can look thicker and be more dry than non-eczema skin. 

my child has eczema – what can I do to treat it?

Bathing your child at least once a day in lukewarm water for no longer than ten minutes will help to keep your bub’s skin clean and free of irritants and bacteria. Using itchy baby bath soak will also help to moisturise and hydrate the skin while your eczema child is in the bath. After the bath gently pat your eczema child dry and within two minutes of getting out of the bath apply a generous amount of moisturiser.

Moisturising is very important for managing your child’s skin. It helps to lock in the moisture from the bath as well as helping to create a protective barrier for eczema skin to keep irritants out. Moisturising several times a day will help manage your child’s eczema.

This blog post was brought to you and your bub with love by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

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