Determining if your baby has eczema may not be so straight forward. Being a first time mom, I remembered reading a checklist from the paediatrician on what is normal and not normal in a newborn. Rashes is one of the items listed as normal, no need to see a paediatrician.
My baby Marcie has eczema from 2 weeks old and I only realised that her rashes were not ‘normal’ on her 1st month checkup. The paediatrician diagnosed Marcie with eczema after looking at her rashes and linked it as an allergy to milk (which turned out to be not the cause).
If you are wondering if your baby has eczema, the signs and symptoms listed below can serve as a guideline:
1. Itch – Itch causes scratching (and keeping my baby from scratching really stresses me out!)
2. Inflammation – Damage to skin cells caused by scratching. The redness in skin is caused by increased blood flow and the skin feels warm to touch and swollen.
3. Scaly Skin – More than usual dead cells on skin; can come in various forms, including white/powdery, cracked, thin/transparent sheets that peel off or thick/yellow flakes/chips
4. Lichenification – Thicker, darker and rougher skin from scratching/rubbing
5. Brown skin color – Brown spot where eczema used to be, caused by cells in skin (‘melanocytes’) releasing extra pigments from scratching
6. Scratch marks
7. Crusts – Caused by leaking serum, the liquid part of blood that heals inflammation
9. Small blisters
10. Nails - Thick & rough nails, pitted/ ridged
11. Dry skin
There are more signs and symptoms listed in the book “Eczema Free for Life” by Adnan Nasir, but listing all that here will be information overkill.