Why does my baby have eczema?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: Eczema is an extremely common condition. In fact, one in every five babies is born with eczema. While it’s not an issue that I had with my own child, as a dermatologist, it’s certainly something that I diagnose and treat frequently.

I think about eczema as a developmental issue. When babies are born, they are growing and developing at record speeds. It’s not only about height and weight, though, their skin is also developing. Some babies’ skin is not able to hold in moisture like other babies when they are born. In these babies, the skin dries out and gets dehydrated and easily irritated. This irritation usually shows up as red, scaly, and itchy patches on the skin, or eczema. Applying thick moisturizing creams and emollients to the baby’s skin is safe and a great way to soothe and re-hydrate the skin, while preventing eczema from occurring.

Adam Mamelak, MD, a dad of one 18-month-old child and a dermatologist in private practice with Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas.

Q&A by Wyatt Myers