Eczema is a chronic skin disease affecting all ages, from infants to adults. This chronic itchy skin condition in babies begins usually in first year of life and prolongs till five years and in some cases till adolescence or even continues in adulthood. In between there is a period of remission where the skin appears normal.
Eczematous skin lesions are red, rough, itchy and dry. Sometimes there is oozing white discharge. While the lesion may develop anywhere on the body, the common sites are on face, elbow and on leg. Though the exact cause of eczema is not known, it is more common in babies whose family members may have history of eczema, asthma and hay fever.
Infants and toddlers suffering from eczema are more likely to develop asthma and skin allergies. Though eczema in babies is not life -threatening condition, it is quiet disturbing due to itching and inflammatory changes. Fortunately there are several herbal cures known to alleviate the symptoms.
What Does Baby Eczema Look Like?
In infants and babies, eczema commonly first appears on the cheek as red, rough, dry rash.
Due to excoriation produced by scratching, the lesions often weep and develop a layer of crust. The area involved than becomes fiery red and raw with oozing of white discharge and sometimes pus and blood. The baby gets extremely irritated and fretful. It may disturb his normal sleep.
The symptoms may become intensified when the baby has respiratory infection or gastrointestinal infection. The eczematous skin may get infected with bacteria especially in babies who have just begun to crawl. This may lead to suppuration and oozing of pus from the lesion.
Natural Remedies To Cure Baby Eczema
The baby skin is soft and supple; there are many creams and lotions available to alleviate itching and other inflammatory symptoms of eczema. However most of them contain chemicals and steroids which when used for a long time may be harmful for the baby. Botanical extracts from herbs are equally beneficial for eczema in babies. The advantage is they can be used for a long time and do not have any side effects.
- Aloe Vera: This herb is used since olden days for treating eczema. The gel of aloe vera contains natural properties to soothe and calm itching and inflammation present in eczema. It also has qualities in controlling germs that may cause secondary infection. Apply aloe gel on face and other areas of eczematous lesions.
- Oats: Oatmeal is used as an herb since centuries for reducing itching and inflammatory irritation. Oats contain a substance called avenanthramides, which is potent natural anti inflammatory agent. Various trials with oats on eczema have found significant reduction of skin irritation, redness, dryness, and itching. Oats can be used in children as well as adults.
- Calendula: Calendula ointment is available in drug stores. Calendula has properties which can provide relief in itching and redness present in eczema. You can apply calendula ointment safely anywhere on the baby’s skin.
- Witch Hazel: The herb is well known for healing itchy and weeping eczema. Apply salve of witch hazel on the affected area for reducing redness, itching and scaling of eczematous lesion.
- Coconut oil: It is a natural emollient. Apply coconut oil on dry and rough eczematous patch. It provides moisture to the dry area. Also coconut oil is soothing and alleviates intense itching.