Frequently Asked Questions
Will a baby with eczema develop asthma?
More than two thirds of children with atopic dermatitis have respiratory symptoms and asthma is all the more frequent when eczema occurs at an early stage. Maternal smoking is a risk factor. It is estimated that at least 20% of children with atopic dermatitis develop asthma.
How long can the disease last?
Depending on the child, the disease can last between a few months and several years. Few cases persist into adulthood: half the children suffering from atopic eczema before the age of one are cured by the age of five, although the skin remains dry in the following years.
What triggers the breakouts?
Several factors could be involved: allergens and dust in the environment, food, and sometimes even emotions. For infants, teething and some ENT diseases could also cause a flare-up of eczema.
Repeated crises: will eczema have a permanent effect on the skin?
In general, even severe eczema will leave no sequelae. However, repeated scratching may alter the affected areas and cause scarring. Stains may also occur if the eczema patches are exposed to the sun. As such, it is advisable to use a high-tolerance sunscreen.
Can children with eczema still go to the nursery?
Atopic dermatitis is not contagious, so there is no contraindication for community life.
Is atopic dermatitis hereditary?
Yes, eczema is a genetic disease in most cases. The family's predisposition to allergic conditions can cause atopic dermatitis in children, whether respiratory or food-related.
Is food responsible for eczema?
Food allergies may be responsible for eczema, especially in infants. But said allergies can also occur with other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or a rash.
What are the treatments?
Dermatological treatments are performed in two phases: the application of emollient creams for very dry skin and cortisone creams to treat inflammatory lesions. The doctor may include an antihistamine treatment. The environment should also be changed to reduce its daily aggravating factors.
Can a relapse be avoided?
Yes, by minimizing aggravating factors and hydrating the skin throughout the year with a special relipidant cream but especially by following the treatment prescribed by a dermatologist until the disease disappears.
Should patients be tested for allergies?
Physicians may be reluctant to screen infants due to the instability of their immune system. However, the trend is changing, partly because of the increased frequency of allergies. In cases where breakouts are intense (eczema all over the body) and/or accompanied by other symptoms (diarrhea, urticaria, swelling, breathing problems, etc.), screening can be a good alternative, especially to avoid the worsening of breakouts.
Is dermatitis triggered by a disturbed mother-baby relationship?
Under no circumstances should a mother feel guilty about her baby's eczema. Always remember that atopic dermatitis is responsible for disturbing the parent-child relationship.
What clothes and laundry products are best suited to atopic skin?
Wear clothing made of cotton rather than synthetic materials and wool in order to reduce irritation and sweating. Avoid the use of softeners and ensure your washing machine is properly rinsed after washing. Opt for a hypoallergenic laundry detergent if necessary.
Are natural creams more appropriate?
Beware of essential oils, they can cause allergies! Cortisone creams and dermo-cosmetic emollients prescribed by dermatologists are the best solution for treating atopic dermatitis.
Bath/shower, hot/cold: how should I wash my baby and with what products?
The bath should not take too long (5-10 minutes) and the water should not be too hot (35°C maximum). Give preference to showers as soon as possible. Use gentle or extra-moisturizing products which are soap- and fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. When drying your baby off, do not rub, but dab him/her with a cotton towel.
How can scratching be prevented?
Only treatment can effectively prevent scratching. However, in order to reduce scratching, particularly with infants, make sure they never undress. Cold is also a good solution to soothe itching, and even pain. Keep the cream in the fridge, so it is very fresh when applied, and use a fan or cold pebbles the rest of the time.