Common eczema triggers in babies

September 8, 2017

Confused about what might have sparked your baby's eczema? Here are some of the most common causes to help you pinpoint your little one's individual triggers:

  1. Dry skin: the drier the skin, the greater the itch and the bigger the risk for infection. Keeping your child's skin well moisturised is the first line of defence against eczema. Use a natural moisturiser that softens and protects the skin and use as often as required to stave off the itch. Be aware that as temperatures drop you might need to apply more moisturiser to help your child's skin cope with the dry and frosty air.
  2. Laundry detergent: washing powders, gels, liquids and fabric softeners that contain chemical ingredients, like optical brighteners, chlorine and parabens, can irritate dry skin and trigger a flare up. Switch to natural laundry detergents or use chemical-free washing balls in your machine to see if it makes a difference to your child's skin.
  3. Central heating: the colder weather is on its way, which means the heating dial at home will be turned up a notch. Be mindful of the temperature in your child's bedroom -- a cooler room at night time will reduce the telltale itch of eczema and encourage a restful sleep. Sweat irritates the skin if left to fester so keep your little one clean, especially around the folds of the neck, wrists and knees if your child is still a baby. The same goes for drool.
  4. Allergens: pet fur, pollen and dust are all allergens that can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema. Regularly vacuum your home to remove dust, change bed sheets often and select a pet that doesn't irritate your child's dry skin.
  5. Synthetic clothing: switch to cotton or linen clothing over fabrics that are made with man-made fibres like polyester.
  6. Foods: cow's milk, eggs, peanuts and soy are just a few foods that have been linked to skin allergies. Keep a close eye on your tot's diet and see if eczema symptoms become worse after eating a certain food. However, never eliminate food groups from your child's diet without advice from your doctor first.

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