What does eczema look like on a toddler?

Broadly speaking, eczema describes dry, rashy and itchy skin. It is a hereditary and chronic skin disorder most commonly seen in infants or very young children, often beginning in the first year of life and most commonly seen before age 5. Eczema is not contagious.

The best way to manage your child’s eczema is by getting to know their symptoms and triggers so that you can help keep it under control.

The signs of eczema in infants include itchy, dry and scaly skin, redness and swelling of the skin and small bumps that open and weep when scratched. In infants and young children, eczema is usually found on the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees.

Eczema in Babies and Toddlers

What does eczema look like on a toddler

Allergens. It’s not certain, but some experts believe that removing cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, or certain fruits from a child’s food may help control eczema symptoms. Remember that your baby can get exposed to these foods if their mother eats them before they breastfeed. Find out the connection between food and eczema flares.

Eczema usually appears on the face, cheeks, chin, forehead and scalp. It can also spread to other areas of the body, but not usually in the diaper area , where moisture protects the skin. The skin at this stage also tends to look more red and “weepy.”

Common eczema symptoms in children include itchiness , rashes and the breaking down of skin barriers that protect children from skin infections .

Causes, symptoms, treatment and more

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These patches are almost always dry, itchy, and rough.

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Children (5 years+)

Dry off. Pat skin dry. Don’t rub.

Clean carefully. Use soap only where your baby may be dirty, such as the genitals, hands, and feet. Simply rinse off the rest of your child’s body.

Eczema (eg-zuh-MUH) is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed.

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Eczema doesn’t look the same on every baby. In babies with light skin, it usually shows up as patches of red skin. In darker-skinned babies, the rash might look purplish, brownish, or grayish. Eczema can be harder to see on babies with dark skin.

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What triggers my child’s eczema or causes it to get worse?

Dress for comfy days. To avoid the irritation of clothing rubbing on the skin, your child should wear loose clothes made of cotton.

A lukewarm bath. This hydrates and cools the skin. It may also ease itching. Make sure the water isn’t too hot! Keep the bath short — no more than 10 minutes. To soothe itchiness even more, try adding oatmeal soaking products to your baby’s tub.

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We spoke with pediatric dermatologist Katherine Puttgen to learn more.

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What is eczema?

Some of the most common eczema triggers include:

Different “triggers” can make eczema worse. For infants, these can be irritants such as wool, certain detergents or extreme temperatures, or other immune triggers, such as food allergies and asthma, and even pet dander.

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