AD in babies
The sensitive baby skin is exposed to a number of factors that can cause irritation. One of the most common conditions in babies is atopic dermatitis (AD) which affects nearly 20% of children in Poland. The cause of the disease is as yet unknown, but the symptoms are characteristic enough to identify AD and start acting to bring your baby relief.
Causes of atopic dermatitis in babies
Atopic dermatitis is often found in infants of 3 to 6 months. In the vast majority of cases AD is an allergic reaction provoked by high levels of IgE antibodies which are sent as a response to an allergen. It results from disordered function of the immune system, which is genetic. If there are any allergic diseases running in the family, it is very probable that the baby will develop atopic dermatitis.
AD in babies is also caused by other factors, among which the most common are:
- Food allergies
- Air pollution
- Bad choice of laundry detergents
- Presence of powerful allergens (animal hair, tobacco smoke, high temperatures)
AD in babies – symptoms
Atopic dermatitis in babies presents with a series of characteristic symptoms which make it easy to identify the disease and properly care for your baby’s sensitive skin. How do you know if your baby has AD?
- A characteristic rash with bumps and blisters, mostly on the cheeks and head (also on the neck, trunk and limbs)
- Erythema on cheeks
- Severe itching
- Thin and dull hair
Remember that atopic dermatitis is a chronic and recurrent condition – adequate skincare is critical, especially in infants whose epidermis isn’t fully matured. Moreover, severe itching can make babies scratch lesions resulting in aggravation of AD symptoms.
Skincare routine for babies with AD
Atopic dermatitis in babies can recur even several times during one year. Aside from a rash and itching atopic dermatitis in babies can result in sleeping problems, crying and irritability. As parents, you will need to be patient and provide your little one with extra care.
In atopic dermatitis the critical thing is to properly care for the dry and irritated skin. In doing so you should use special emollients, i.e. substances that strengthen the lipid layer and prevent excessive water loss. The substance should be applied every few hours to effectively reduce the itching. In addition, you can wipe your baby’s skin with wet wipes that will reduce skin irritation and redness.
Specialists also recommend oatmeal and starch baths that can soothe irritated skin. Don’t forget that your baby’s clothes need special treatment too – washing and ironing have a large impact on the quality of fabrics that come into direct contact with your baby’s skin. Make sure that the fabrics don’t aggravate the symptoms – you should use delicate laundry detergents designed for washing baby clothes.
Create an allergen-free environment for your baby and use clothing made of breathable natural fabrics. If the symptoms are still there, your baby might need a phototherapy and probiotics. The latter ones combined with an elimination diet reduce AD symptoms in nearly 90% of cases.