Causes and treatment of eczema in babies and kids

If your baby has a rash on their face or body, do you know what to do? Lan Anh Van-Dinh, MD, Pediatrics at ARC Liberty Hill has lots of helpful information and tips about babies with an eczema rash, including "Not all that itches is eczema!"

In this ARC DocTalk video, Dr. Van-Dinh talks about how to recognize eczema on your baby, causes, treatment, and environmental factors that can trigger an eczema rash. She says, "There's a strong genetic component to eczema; we know it tends to run in families who have eczema as well as conditions such as asthma and allergies."

Watch this video or read the transcript to learn more detailed information about Dr. Van-Dinh's tips for eczema in babies and children.


Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by itching and dry skin. It looks very different in babies; often the rashes are more on their face or on their forehead, their cheeks, or their trunk. For children when they get older the rash and the itching tend to be more on the creases of their elbows, behind their knees, or it might be on their wrists or around their eyes.

What causes eczema?

The cause of eczema isn't very well understood but we do believe it may have to do with an overactive immune system. There's a strong genetic component to eczema; we know it tends to run in families who have eczema as well as conditions such as asthma and allergies.

What are some treatments for eczema?

Usually, treatments involve topical therapy such as ointments and creams that help to reduce the inflammation and the itching. So, things like topical steroids are usually a great option.

There can be many triggers for eczema. Something such as:

  • scented products or
  • harsh chemicals soaps or detergents are usually a trigger for rashes
  • other things such as itchy fabrics so things that aren't made from cotton can cause triggers
  • for some children just heat,
  • sweat, or
  • dry weather can also cause their skin to become drier and itchier.

You can find some topical steroids over the counter, however they're usually not as strong as a prescription-grade steroid ointment or cream. We usually recommend that you come in to see the doctor because not all that itches is eczema, and if you are concerned this rash is eczema then you can come into your pediatrician and get a prescription-strength steroid ointment.

See your pediatrician

While eczema isn't a curable condition, many children do outgrow it. However, there are others like me who do have eczema into adulthood, but it is a very manageable condition. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with your ARC Pediatrician if you're worried about any skin infections, any flares, or if your child is suffering any emotional stresses related to their eczema.

Make an appointment today

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Van-Dinh, call ARC Liberty Hill at 512-778-7003 or make an appointment online.

Tags: ARC DocTalk, Eczema