Causes of Eczema in Babies
Eczema in babies and toddlers seems often to be triggered by something on the skin, like care products or clothing. Or something from inside the body such as food or medicine allergens. This is especially true before the age of one.
Atopic eczema, the kind diagnosed in infants simply means that our little ones have an inherited trait to be susceptible to allergic disease. This can be expressed by the body as eczema, hay fever, asthma or food allergies. To best help our itchy babies we have to find and eliminate the things our little ones are sensitive to. Even if there is a good chance they will out grow their problems we want to keep them as comfortable and symptom free as we can in the meantime.
Follow your doctor’s and health provider’s advice and talk with them, but also trust your instincts and do as much as you can at home.
Keeping a note book or a diary can be helpful when trying to work out what the issue might be for your eczema baby. Write everything down, food, temperatures and any ideas you might have. No matter how crazy or unlikely your ideas might seem, you know your baby better than anyone in the world and you are naturally going to be in-tune with what might be wrong.
I took the drastic approach of eliminating as many things as I could in one go, a desperate attempt to just ‘make it stop’. I read as much as I could about possible triggers then went about trying to get rid of them (see Our Story).
Common Eczema Triggers
|Pets (cats more than dogs)||Fungi|
|House Dust (mites & poop)||Some Bacteria|
|Disinfectants||Heat or Cold (winter extreams)|
|Clothing||Humidity or Dryness|
|Chemicals||Bathing (hot or hard water)|
|Contact on the skin from foods||Stress|
|Metals (nickel poppers)||Teething|
|Food (most commonly)|
|Traces of Non-food|
|Dust or Sand|
|Lack of essential fats|
Spend time looking for clues to your baby’s triggers. Is the eczema full body? Mainly on your baby’s face? Is the nappy area free from eczema?
Try thinking about anything new your baby was exposed to in the days, weeks and months before the first break out and anything you can tie in with eczema flare ups. Consider things that you or other close family members have problems with.
Over the years what I've heard and read from many other parents are that triggers for full body eczema in infants are most likely to be food or clothing/laundry related.
Next: Laundry & Clothing Related Eczema