The red rash of eczema, sometimes coupled with little oozing bumps, makes baby feel very itchy. Eczema can be caused by contact with anything irritating, from baby's own saliva when she drools to scratchy fabric (or a new detergent). It can also be triggered when baby ingests an allergen, such as cow's milk. Some babies are just prone to it, possibly due to genetics. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 10 to 20 percent of all babies have a bout with eczema before their first birthday.
It's typically on a baby's face but can appear just about anywhere. In young infants, it's often found in the crooks of the arms, on the backs of the legs and knees, or anywhere else baby has those adorable wrinkles. Visit your pediatrician if you suspect baby has eczema; topical steroid treatments are the usual prescription. If your baby seems prone to eczema, limit baths to a few times a week and use water only -- no soap -- to keep from drying her skin. After baths, apply a baby moisturizer.
Reviewed 11/00 by Jane Forester, MD
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.