Your Baby and Eczema

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that is characterised by intense itchiness, redness, dryness, and sometimes blistering, weeping or crusting, arising from inflammation of the skin, on small patches or large swathes of the body.

Eczema and Babies

We’ve talked about eczema and how a good skincare regime can help manage the condition here, but what happens when your baby gets it?

How can you tell and what should you do about it? Here are some questions and answers to help prepare you on what to expect and do.

1) How common is eczema amongst babies?

It is quite common, with around 15% of children suffering from eczema.

2) What does baby eczema look like?

It looks like patches of red, scaly skin that itches and feels rough to the touch. In general, eczema can affect most of the body. However, bear in mind that the affected areas and appearance of eczema may change as your baby grows up:

    • Young babies

Looks red and weepy: appearing more often on the cheeks, forehead and scalp.

    • 6 to 12 months

Occurs more commonly on the crawling surfaces, elbows and knees. Still looks red and weepy.

    • Around two years and above

Appears mostly on the elbows, knees, wrists, ankles and hands. At this age, eczema makes the skin look wrinkled and dry. The affected area also feels rougher and thicker compared to the rest of your baby’s skin.

3) Is there a cure for eczema?

At the moment, there is no cure for eczema. However, most babies tend to outgrow eczema or the condition becomes less severe over time. There are also many treatments to keep eczema under control, so don’t worry!

4) Can I prevent my baby from getting eczema?

While there are no medically-proven ways to totally prevent eczema, knowing what triggers your baby’s eczema flare-ups can help make the condition less distressing.

A combination of a good skincare regime to strengthen your baby’s skin and identifying the triggers can prevent the condition from worsening and reduce the possibility of flare-ups.

5) What can trigger eczema flare-ups?

This varies from baby to baby. Some of the more common triggers include:

    • Irritants

Fabrics, dust mites, smoke, scented products, soaps and pets are some of the things that can irritate your baby’s skin and trigger eczema flare-ups.

    • Heat and sweat

Both heat and sweat can aggravate or trigger your baby’s eczema.

    • Low humidity

Environments with low humidity may cause your baby’s skin to become dry, making eczema-affected areas appear and itch more.

    • Saliva

Babies tend to drool a lot. This can cause extra irritation to eczema-afflicted areas like the cheeks, chin and neck.

Is there anything I can do to help my baby?

Milder cases of eczema can be controlled through a good daily bathing and moisturising regime:

    • Daily Baths

Give your baby short, warm baths every day. Avoid using hot water and try to keep baths under 10 minutes. Using a gentle baby wash and shampoo is also very important.Avoid using soap, scrubbers, loofahs or rough washcloths too much or too frequently on your baby’s skin. Use a soft towel to pat instead of wiping or scrubbing your baby’s skin dry.These simple bath practices can help prevent your baby’s skin from becoming dry or irritated.

    • Use a moisturiser

Immediately after a bath, moisturise your baby’s skin. Ideally, it is best to use a gentle moisturiser to prevent skin irritation. Good moisturisers may also have soothing ingredients that will help calm your baby’s inflamed and itchy skin.Try to moisturise your baby’s skin twice a day, but be careful not to over-moisturise as this may lead to other skin problems.

Consult a dermatologist

For moderate or severe eczema conditions, it is important to consult a dermatologist and follow their advice closely.

Some of the solutions they may prescribe to alleviate your baby’s eczema condition include:

    • Anti-inflammatories

Topical steroids may be prescribed by your dermatologist for use when itching is involved, to help reduce inflammation and itchiness.

    • Oral antihistamines

Antihistamines work from within the body to reduce overall itch generally.

    • Topical or oral antibiotics

If eczema becomes infected, your dermatologist may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.

    • Diluted bleach baths

Diluted bleach baths reduce bacteria on the skin, decreasing the chances of bacterial skin infections. The doctor will advise on the dilution method.

Comments 10

    1. Post
      Cetaphil Malaysia

      Hi Awin, thank you for your enquiry. We would suggest the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser to start, though we recommend you consult a dermatologist about your baby’s skin condition before trying any new products.

  1. Phoebe

    My daughter is 5 years old. She is allergy and her skin is very try and irritated. What product will you subject for her try skin.

    1. Post
      Cetaphil Malaysia

      Hi Phoebe, thank you for your enquiry. Our DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion is ideal for quick 24 hours hydration. It can be used for both the face and body, and it is quickly absorbed. We would still recommend you consult a dermatologist to better understand your daughter’s condition before proceeding to use any skin care products in general.

  2. Nisa

    I have a very dry skin and sometimes it would crack my hands. I’m thinking of getting between the Ultra Hydrating Lotion or Intensive Moisturizing Cream.. Which one would be the best for me as my skin is really really dry..

    1. Post
      Cetaphil Malaysia

      Hi Nisa, thank you for your enquiry. For really dry skin, our New Intensive Moisturising Cream is formulated with Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Vitamin B3 and Pro Vitamin B5, for optimum and lasting hydration. It is suitable to be used as a hand cream as well as applied to other areas of the body, like your feet, elbows and knees.

  3. Peggy

    My Baby is 5month old, he have eczema at his ear , neck and tummy. I used many product. Now I using Cetaphil Baby Trial Kit 50ml (Ultra Moist Wash 50ml + Baby Shampoo 50ml),but the skin still like that, my baby everyday Scratching his face and ear. Can i know what the best product for my baby.

    1. Post
      Cetaphil Malaysia

      Hi Peggy, thank you for your support and enquiry. Cetaphil Baby is suggested for babies with normal skin-type and since your child has very dry skin, we would recommend Cetaphil Restoraderm as an alternative. Cetaphil Restoraderm range is specially formulated with Filaggrin technology to relief itch and improves hydration for dry skin and is safe to be used on babies 3 months and above. You may learn more from

  4. rubelsmahomead

    Its a helpfull article and Thanks for sharing this kind of information.
    You can dress your baby in natural fabrics such as cotton as it allows the skin to breathe.
    Most of the baby eczema cream in the market are synthetic and made from harsh ingredients that may create damage to your baby’s skin.
    Read more:: baby eczema cream

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