Is Laundry Detergent Causing Your Child’s Skin Rash?
Find out the signs that your child’s rash could be caused by laundry detergent or eczema. And if so, how to soothe their discomfort fast.
Patches of red, scaly skin on your baby may be as unwelcome as a 3 a.m. diaper change, but they’re about as typical. Up to 30% of children under age 2 have atopic dermatitis (eczema), says pediatric dermatologist Joan Tamburro, DO.
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Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that tends to run in families. It’s most common in those with a personal or family history of asthma, hay fever or other allergies.
Most children outgrow the condition, although flare-ups (flares) can recur throughout life. And dry, sensitive skin may always be a concern.
“Eczema can start as dry skin, but it’s more than dryness,” says Dr. Tamburro. “It’s red, scaly, extremely itchy skin lesions that can ooze at its most severe presentation. Sometimes scratching can cause the skin lesions to bleed and crust.”
Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, but location often changes with age. It can turn up on:
While dry skin can trigger flares, so can environmental factors, including:
But how can you stop eczema itching in your baby? In addition to avoiding triggers, good skin care is the best way to prevent the dry, itchy skin that can provoke eczema flares. Dr. Tamburro recommends parents help eczema in kids and toddlers by:
While it’s not curable, eczema can be controlled. Those who have had flares, even as infants, need to protect their skin for the rest of their lives.
“Some parents are aggressive at treating other health problems but disregard their child’s eczema, thinking skin problems are no big deal,” says Dr. Tamburro. “When children are itchy every day of their life, it is a big deal. Kids suffer with it. Eczema needs to be treated.”