What Causes Baby Eczema? All The Answers You Need

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What Causes Baby Eczema? All The Answers You Need

What is Baby Eczema?

Eczema aka atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes dry, red (or brownish) itchy patches especially in the inside bend of the elbows and knees. But, you’ll also see it appear on the face or on the hands, feet, neck and upper chest. Infants can get it on the scalp as well. 

A lot of parents have told us that they feel self-conscious about their baby’s eczema, but it’s one of the most common skin conditions out there. So, if your family is dealing with it, know that you’re not alone and it is certainly not caused by anything a parent has done “wrong” (we hate that word btw). 

So, What Actually Causes Eczema?

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes eczema, but the condition seems to occur when the skin doesn’t produce enough of the fatty protective enzymes called ceramides, its barrier can become compromised which causes it to lose moisture and become dry. 

Genetics and environmental triggers (or a combo of the two) are believed to be the most common causes of eczema. The National Association for Eczema, explained it best by saying, “When something outside the body “switches on” the immune system, skin cells don’t behave as they should causing flare ups.” Some common triggers for these flare ups are:

  • Food allergies 

  • Dry air

  • Heat or sweating

  • Skin irritants like synthetic fragrance 

How Do I Know if My Baby Has Eczema? 

Only a doctor will be able to tell you for sure if your baby has eczema. But, there are a few signs that you can look out for:

  • Dry skin

  • Itching, which may be severe, especially at night

  • Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp

  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched

  • Thickened, cracked, scaly skin

  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching

Source: Mayo Clinic

If you see one or more of these symptoms, it’s always a good idea to talk to your pediatrician to confirm that it’s actually chronic eczema and not just a bout of dry skin, so that you can be sure you’re turning to the best remedies. 

Does Baby Eczema Go Away?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for eczema but there are some amazing options out there ranging from prescription medications to natural options and products like our new Soothing Therapy Eczema Balm.

How to Help Your Baby’s Eczema (Without Steroids!)

According to the National Eczema Association

For most types of eczema, managing flares comes down to these basics:

  • Know your child’s particular triggers to avoid exposure

  • Implement a daily bathing and moisturizing routine to protect skin and lock in moisture

Regular care with plant-based topicals that contain super-moisturizing, natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and coconut oils works great for keeping those itchy spots under control. 

Our Three-Step Flare Care™ System

  1. Try to Determine the Trigger

    Some food allergies can present themselves as skin conditions like eczema. Many parents have had success in figuring out if their child has an eczema related food allergy by trying an elimination diet.  

  2. Regular Flare Care™

    Since eczema is a chronic condition you should take special care of the skin even when flare ups are hiding away.

    During bathtime, use an eczema body wash that’s designed especially for eczema-prone skin with those key natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and coconut oil can help keep itchy skin under control over time. 

  3.  Soothe Flare Ups

    Flare ups happen and when they do have special care on hand. OTC eczema creams and balms like those from our Soothing Therapy Collection are a great way to soothe the skin without harsh steroids. 

What are the Best Eczema Skincare Products?

Before you buy anything look out for the NEA Seal of Acceptance™ on your products. This seal is awarded to products that avoid ingredients that are known to irritate eczema or sensitive skin.


Shop our all new Soothing Therapy Eczema Routine


We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.

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