Causes of Eczema in Babies

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. It is this response that causes the symptoms of eczema


What are some of the causes of eczema in babies and young children?

There is no single cause of eczema flair ups, there are many factors that can have a part to play in triggering one.


Environmental Causes of Eczema

- Source - The NHS & Ehow & webmd

The Climate – Whether the temperature is too hot or cold, it can have a part to play on irritating your child’s eczema. If it is too hot, it can cause the skin to dry.

Living in a climate that is dry all year around or an area with low humidity in the winter can be risk factors in causing symptoms.

Pollen – This goes hand in hand with allergies. Your baby may be susceptible to an allergic reaction. You can prevent their exposure to pollen by not placing ‘pollen- producing’ plants in your garden and keeping windows shut in the summer months.

Atmosphere – Taking your child to a smoky or damp atmosphere can have an effect.

Seasons – Allergies like hay fever can play a part in trigger eczema.



- Source  - The NHS & eczemainbabies & webmd

Allergies are defined as substances that the body reacts to abnormally. For people with eczema, some common factors include the following:

Pets– Pets are known to be a cause for causing flair ups in people with Eczema. One reason is because people can be allergic to fur. Animals shed hair when they sit on pillows or lie on the bed and it is possible for an individual to have a reaction when they come in contact with any.


Dust mites – These are tiny insects that are too small for the human eye to see without the aid of a microscope. They can reside in carpets, beds  and mats.  Many people / children with eczema can be allergic to them triggering an eczema attack.

Foods – Children that are allergic to certain foods might experience a  flair up. It is important to keep a lookout on any foods that your child may react to. Some of the more common foods to watch out for are:

  • Milk and Dairy Products –  Some milk products contain “Casein” and “Whey” which some children could potentially be allergic to. These also include chocolate, yogurt and cheese.
  • Seafood – These can be considered dangerous for people with eczema, with the likely culprits being lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, salmon and prawns. It is highly advised that you eliminate these foods from your child’s diet.
  • Wheat – Watch your child carefully when they consume certain breads, pretzels and crackers as they contain a substance known as gluten which could trigger a reaction in certain individuals.
  • Eggs and Soy Products – People with allergies to eggs happen mainly because the immune system of the child does not recognise the proteins found in the eggs as safe and so it attacks them. Soy products are similar in that the proteins found on soy can have an adverse effect on a child.
  • Nuts – Peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and almonds can all cause an allergic reaction and should be avoided.
  • Food Additives – These may contain certain chemicals such as Tratrazine , Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Glutamate ( a type of salt ), MSG ( Monosodium Glutamate ) which can all trigger eczema in people .



- Source -
– Flair ups can be triggered by certain substances such as:

  • Antisepctics
  • Sand
  • Pollen, animal fur or dust
  • Certain Soaps
  • Detergents
  • Alcohol In Toiletries
  • Perfumes
  • Washing Powder


- Source – The NHS

Research has shown that eczema is commonly known to run in families. In more accurate terms it isn’t really eczema that is being passed down through generations, but rather any allergies and a genetic tendency to eczema.

If a child’s parents both have had eczema, then there is an 80% chance of the child having the condition according to the NHS website.

It is not yet exactly known which genes are responsible for eczema, as the immune system is a complicated collection of them.



Other Factors

-source – webmd

 Stress – According to webmd children with baby eczema may react to stress by flushing which can trigger itchiness and overall symptoms in the condition.


- For more information on causes please view this video by Doctor Jeffrey Benabio