Is your little one suffering from a baby face rash? Face eczema in babies is actually more common than you think.
Normally this form of eczema appears in red patches and irritated skin that feels dry and itchy.
Eczema in babies develops because the body is not producing enough fatty cells, which stops the body from maintaining water and natural oils. This means that the skin dries out to an extreme point, which creates the itching sensation.
Typically, face eczema in babies occurs on the cheeks, forehead or around the mouth.
What is Causing My Child’s Eczema Flare-ups?
Eczema can be antagonized by anything from diet to sweating too much. Children’s skin is especially sensitive, which makes combating eczema difficult, especially when you cannot explain to them what is happening.
In pre-walking ages, eczema is often made worse by crawling or scooting motions most babies use to get around. As children grow older and develop better motor skills, they begin to scratch, getting tied into the famous “itch-scratch cycle”.
The most persistent form of child eczema is on their faces. It is most common on the cheeks, but can also occur on the scalp, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears.
How to Heal Face Eczema in Babies
Work to Eliminate Environmental Triggers
Facial eczema in babies or a baby face rash can simply be a result of environmental triggers combined with sensitive skin. Both synthetic materials and chemicals have been known to trigger eczema, so be sure to check:
- Linens: This includes pillowcases, sheets, towels, even tablecloths and placemats.
- Baby Clothing: Don’t forget to check all clothes, including hats, bibs, and even mittens.
- Bath Time Products: Shampoo, facewash, bodywash, bubble bath, bath bombs.
- Household cleaners: Laundry detergent, carpet cleaners, face wipes
- Miscellaneous: Makeup, pet dander, dust buildup
The best way to check if a specific substance is the cause is to isolate each item and remove it from the child’s daily routine before reincorporating it. If there is an eczema flare up after the specific component is reintroduced, that can most likely be the cause.
Adjust Diet as Needed
Eczema can be linked to food allergies or sensitivities, so if there are no environmental triggers, diet may be the factor. Although it is more likely for diet to play a role in adult eczema, several child eczema cases have been related to food allergens.
In fact, Jennifer’s (founder of It’s an Itchy Little World) son’s eczema was triggered by dairy and environmental allergies.
Remember that little ones have a tendency to get food on their face, so it is prudent to avoid any acidic foods that can irritate skin. This includes citrus fruits (like oranges and tangerines), tomatoes, and pineapples. Processed foods and sugars are also common irritants that can cause a baby face rash.
ILW Recommends: How a Diet for Eczema Changed This Toddler’s Eczema Rash
Some childhood eczema is genetic. With this type of eczema, environmental components and diet can antagonize the condition, but it will likely remain no matter what efforts are made. Oftentimes these children will have eczema that lasts well past the traditional childhood eczema cutoff age of around five or six.
We understand how difficult it can be watching your little one suffer through this unforgiving condition. If you need help, we always recommend reaching out to family, friends or a doctor who can help you through it.
We also suggest checking out our blog post: The Power of Trust and Acceptance: 6 Tips for Living with Eczema. In it, you’ll find an inspiring message of acceptance and trust.
What Can Help My Child with Flare-Ups?
Even when adjusting for environmental or diet-based irritants, it is important to help children manage their eczema flare-ups that are currently happening as well as prevent any future developments.
There are many natural and organic products that can replace items that contain ingredient triggers, as well as help soothe any itchiness or dryness.
Here are some of our top recommendations in treating a baby face rash:
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
The biggest, and likely easiest, way to combat eczema for children, is to moisturize where they often get eczema flare-ups. Remember that being in water for too long actually dries out the skin, so limit baths to about 15 minutes max.
Use soap that is unscented and made with natural ingredients, there are even some designed specifically for those who suffer from eczema. who suffer from eczema like this Emily Skin Soothers Soap that contains olive oil and Chinese herbs. Not only is it soothing, but its fatty base provides much needed moisture for skin in the bath or shower. Alternatively, you can check out this Emily Skin Soothers Liquid Soap that doubles up as a gentle shampoo (as well as bath/shower face wash).
After taking a bath, it’s important to continue moisturizing skin. As we previously mentioned, water can actually dry out the skin, so using a natural, nourishing emollient can really help heal and irritated baby cheek rash.
This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a popular choice for babies, infants and children due to its sweet smell and nourishing texture. This cream is also completely natural and contains only six ingredients: organic olive oil, beeswax, manuka oil, manuka honey, grapeseed oil and filtered water. The best part? It can be used on every sensitive area – including the face!
If your little one is suffering from an angry, red face rash, we suggest taking a look at this Organic Aloe Vera For Eczema Skin Soothing Spray. This spray provides a cooling and soothing effect on the face due to its aloe vera and calendula properties.
Stop the Scratching
The best way to keep kids from scratching is to cover up the areas that they tend to itch, as well as their hands. Clothing such as these ScratchSleeves are the perfect tool for reducing relentless scratching and protecting your little one’s skin.
These Remedywear™ Baby Mittens are also a great tool for reducing irritation and possible infection. Not only do they stay put with tie closures, but they are also made with TENCEL and anti-inflammatory zinc that work to nourish and soothe irritated skin. A great choice if your little one is also suffering from hand eczema! This Remedywear™ Balaclava for Kids is also a wonderful tool in preventing further irritation and can be used with dry wrap therapy.
If you have a little Houdini on your hands who can escape hand coverings, it is especially important to keep their fingernails clipped and filed. This will prevent them from scratching open skin.
Elimination diets can seem challenging or overwhelming at first, but with planning (and a physician’s help), it can help your little one’s skin properly heal.
This process helps sort out food allergies and sensitivities that allergy testing can either misidentify or miss entirely. When used hand in hand with awareness about environmental triggers and natural products that help manage symptoms, it can help build a holistic plan for treating a child’s eczema.
You can read more about how to work through an elimination diet with your child here.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.