Emollients can help prevent eczema in babies. Between 15-20% of children worldwide suffer from eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. There is currently no cure for eczema. Researchers say applying emollients to high-risk infants can help prevent the onset of eczema.

Between 15 and 20% of children worldwide suffer from eczema, a chronic inflammatory skin disease clinically known as atopic dermatitis. There is currently no cure for eczema. Doctors treat the symptoms of the condition to heal the skin and prevent future flare-ups with medication and suggest people follow certain guidelines for bathing and moisturizing the skin. But researchers in China say early application of emollients can help prevent eczema in infants at high risk of developing the disease. The study was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology.

eczema in infants

Symptoms of eczema can appear in a baby as young as 6 months old. They usually show up as red, scaly, dry patches on the baby’s cheeks, chin, forehead, and/or scalp. These plaques can also be itchy or ooze. Researchers don’t know why atopic dermatitis appears in some infants and not in others. Some triggers for infant eczema include:

clothing materials
irritants like laundry detergents and soaps
warm temperatures
food allergies

Treatments for baby’s eczema include:

daily bathing and hydration
elimination of fragrances and other irritants
medicated creams or ointments, such as topical corticosteroids.

What are emollients?

Emollients are moisturizers or other preparations used to soften the skin. By moisturizing the skin, emollients can protect damaged skin by improving skin hydration and skin barrier function, which ultimately benefits people with atopic dermatitis. Emollients can also prevent water from evaporating from the surface of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is caused by many factors, but one of the main ones is the deficiency of the skin in a fundamental protein that keeps water inside.

Different types of emollients include:

the creams
the sprays
They are applied directly to the skin by gently smoothing the product onto the skin.

Help prevent baby eczema

In this study, researchers analyzed 11 clinical trials involving nearly 3,500 infants who were given stool softeners to treat atopic dermatitis. After analyzing all the data, the scientists reported that three specific types of emollients, creams, emulsions, and combination types all helped prevent eczema in infants. However, after further analysis, the researchers said they found the emollient emulsion to be the best option to help prevent eczema in high-risk infants.

Emulsions push together two fluid states that would not otherwise mix, so they can hold a very high water content in a way that perhaps a cream cannot. Water is the key to repairing and protecting the skin barrier. Emollient emulsions provide a reliable occlusiveSource barrier, providing the opportunity for the best barrier protection and the best chance of retaining moisture and hydration.

Retaining moisture is key

Moisture retention is a key part of treating atopic dermatitis. The skin barrier needs to be protected and treated when you have atopic dermatitis. Too often, patients focus on one treatment/medication and not enough on the basics to take care of their skin.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.