Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Eczema (Infants)

Call 911 if your baby:

  • Suddenly develops a rash along with symptoms such as difficulty breathing
Font Size
A
A
A

  • Suddenly develops a rash along with symptoms such as difficulty breathing

1 out of 10 infants and children have eczema, a dry itchy rash that comes and goes. It's not a dangerous condition, but it can be itchy and uncomfortable for baby and frustrating for parents.

Call Doctor If:

  • Your baby develops a new rash.
  • The rash looks infected, appears redder, or has a yellow crust or ooze.
  • Home eczema treatments aren't helping.
  • Your baby has a fever associated with the rash.

 

1. Bathe Your Child

  • Use lukewarm water. Hot water can make eczema worse.
  • Limit your use of soap and discuss with your doctor the type of soap you should use.
  • Rinse your child's skin twice to remove soap residue.
  • Keep baths short since prolonged contact with water can be irritating.

2. Moisturize

  • Put a gentle moisturizer on your baby's skin as soon as your child is out of the bath. Reapply it several times a day or with every diaper change.
  • Do not use any medications or medicated creams unless a doctor recommends it.

3. Dress Your Child in Comfortable Clothing

  • Light, cotton fabrics may be most comfortable. Wash clothes before wearing.
  • Avoid heavy, tight, or scratchy material such as wool, nylon, or synthetic fibers.

4. Prevent Irritation

  • Try to keep your child from scratching. Keep your child's  fingernails short and clean.
  • Avoid any substance you know will trigger an allergy.
  • Avoid irritants such as perfumed soaps and detergents.
  • Use cold compresses to relieve the itch.
  • Don't let your baby get too hot or sweaty. Either one can make eczema worse.
  • Never give a baby an antihistamine without talking to a pediatrician first.
  • Ask your pediatrician about medications to relieve itching and whether food or environmental allergens could be triggering the eczema.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on September 16, 2013

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Slideshow
Person taking food from oven
Q&A
 
sniffling child
Slideshow
wound care true or false
Slideshow
 
caring for wounds
Slideshow
Harvest mite
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More