Can I Prevent my Child from getting Eczema?

New York City and Manhattan, NY

Eczema seems to be common among children these days and can show up as early as infancy. Classified as dry, scaly, itchy skin, eczema is a common skin conditioned referred to as atopic dermatitis (AD). Many studies have been conducted looking for ways to prevent eczema, but nothing can guarantee that your child won’t develop this undesirable skin condition. However, board-certified dermatologists in the Upper East Side of Manhattan at NY Skin RX have some helpful recommendations that can reduce your child’s risk.

Breastfeed your baby

If you have a baby or are planning to at some point in the future, consider breastfeeding for at least 4-6 months. If you, your spouse, or any of your other children have allergies, asthma, or eczema, then your baby has a higher risk of developing atopic dermatitis. One study reports that by breastfeeding your baby, you lower his or her risk of developing eczema by 33%. And, that even if your child does develop eczema, breastfeeding could lessen the severity of the condition. Furthermore, the study concluded that solid foods should not be introduced before a baby is four months. Introducing solid foods before this point could increase a baby’s risk of developing AD.

Eat a healthy diet

If you are a mother-to-be, consider eating a healthy diet for more than one reason. What a mother eats during pregnancy significantly impacts her baby’s health. There have been 42 studies conducted that state children have a much lower risk of developing AD if their mother ate a healthy diet rich in fruits, veggies, fish, and vitamin D. Also, taking a probiotic during pregnancy could slightly lower your child’s risk of developing AD as well, although only take supplements as recommended by your obstetrician.

An elimination diet isn’t always necessary

Unless you have a food allergy, it may be best not to eliminate common foods known to cause allergies during your pregnancy up until you quit breastfeeding. In fact, new studies now show that eliminating foods such as peanuts, milk, gluten, soy, and eggs during this crucial stage of development may actually not do any good at all. Instead, you could end up jeopardizing your child’s health as a result of eliminating certain foods that otherwise could provide necessary nutrients for you and your baby.

Moisturize your baby’s skin

Keeping your baby’s skin moisturized from birth might reduce your child’s risk of developing eczema or other irritating skin conditions. In certain studies, baby’s who were moisturized from birth up to age six months were 50% less likely to develop eczema than babies that were not moisturized. Just be sure to use a fragrance-free lotion to prevent further irritating your child’s skin.

Get a family dog

Introducing a dog into your home before your child’s first birthday can dramatically reduce their risk of developing AD by age 4. More of a feline fan? Think again. Research indicated that homes with cats actually increased a child’s risk of developing AD.

Eczema treatment for kids in Manhattan

At NY Skin RX, we take an individualized approach to treating patients, even babies, with eczema. We realize that each patients’ needs are unique, which is why we offer a variety of treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations best suited for each case. To learn more about eczema during infancy, or to schedule a consultation, please contact NY Skin RX by calling (212) 288-3200.

NY Skin RX serves the New York City areas of Manhattan and the Upper East Side.

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