One of the commonest forms is Atopic eczema which is believed to be linked closely with hayfever and asthma. I think our daughter was inflicted with this variety as some of the symptoms mentioned look familiar, such as dryness and redness of the skin, inflammation and the skin cracking. The latter is due primarily with my daughters constant scratching, which is distressing for everyone involved.
Once her skin cracked from the constant scratching, the risk of infection increased and she would have no alternative but to be prescribed antibiotics. We really didn't have a choice here and any worries about becoming immune to antiobiotics from overuse, had to simply discarded. We had to look at the now and try to relieve the pain and risk of infection as quickly as possible.
To keep the dryness in check we had to try a whole host of emollients and use steroids to keep the eczema under some form of control. Some of the products we used were,
Avent baby body and hair wash
Balneum bath treatment
Diprobase cream or emollient
All of the above are available on prescription in the UK, although we found some of the above products helped initially and then didn't appear to be working. Some of the above just didn't seem to suit our daughter at all and again it's down to trial and error, as some products may suit some people, whilst others won't.
Again it's important to note, we discussed these products with our doctor before proceeding and whilst it may seem to be overly pushy, that is, seeing your doctor again and again, many doctors will realise the anguish experienced not only by the child but also the parents, so will be more willing to help.
This form of eczema is thought be hereditary and affects both adults and children. Both I and my spouse have mild forms of eczema, with my spouse having this atopic variety. He sometimes remarks,
"Maybe I'm the culprit whose passed this eczema on to our daughter!"
It's just one of those things in life which are totally out of your own control and we must focus on controlling eczema and not pointing fingers especially at our ownselves especially when it comes to atopic eczema.
The pH, that is the alkali and acid balance in some of the baby oils can stimulate irritation, as the oil whilst providing some initial hydration, can actually cause a drying effect.