Eczema can show up as red, crusty patches on your baby's skin, often during their first few months.
It’s common and very treatable. Many infants outgrow it. Not sure if your baby's itchy, irritated rash is eczema? Your doctor can tell you for sure. These questions and answers can help you understand what to look for.
What Does Baby Eczema Look Like?
It shows up as patches of red or dry skin. The skin is almost always itchy and rough, too.
Babies can get the condition just about anywhere on their body. Most often, it affects their cheeks and the joints of their arms and legs.
It’s easy to confuse baby eczema (also called infant eczema or atopic dermatitis) with cradle cap. But there are some key differences.
Cradle cap is much less red and scaly. It generally clears up by 8 months, and usually appears on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelids and eyebrows, and behind the ears.
It can run in families. If Mom or Dad has eczema, a baby is a lot more likely to get it, too.
Problems in the skin barrier, allowing moisture out and germs in, could also be a cause.
Eczema happens when the body makes too few fatty cells called ceramides. If you don’t have enough of them, your skin will lose water and become very dry.
Does Baby Eczema Go Away by Itself?
It often does. Most children outgrow it before they start school.
It’s not common, but some kids will have eczema into adulthood. They may have times -- even years -- without the symptoms. But they may still tend to have dry skin.