It's quite common for parents to blame teething for eczema, as often the two coincide and as eczema parents we often hear ourselves exclaiming 'but my child's skin was fine until teething started!'.
It's deceiving but after doing some research we've determined that while eczema prone children can be prone to flare-ups while teething, it isn't actually the cause of the eczema itself!
How Teething Flares Up Eczema
There are many ways in which teething flares up eczema. The common ways include:
Low immune system: when your child is teething the immune system tends to weaken thus making eczema to flare up.
Drool: as you know, a teething child tends to droll a lot. Saliva from the constant drooling builds up around the mouth thus causing eczema to flare up.
Fever: it’s common for your child to have cold-like symptoms, runny noses and an over-heating of the body. When these effects come together they trigger eczema thus making it worse that it already was.
Stress: During teething, your child is bound to experience pain that stresses him/her. Research studies have shown that stress plays a major role in aggravating the condition.
Signs of Eczema Flare Up
There are many signs of eczema flare-ups. The flare-ups can look like raised and slightly oozing skin particles, but can also look like reddened, inflamed dry patches too.
In a lot of cases of a teething related eczema flare-up, it appears around the mouth, chin and cheeks. Other common locations where you will find the flare-ups are within skin creases such as behind the knees and inside the elbows.
How to Prevent the Flare-Ups
There are many ways in which you can prevent the condition from flaring-up. The most effective ways include:
Keeping the skin clean and moisturized: you should regularly clean the face, neck and cheeks of your child with lukewarm water (no soaps) and then pat it dry with a clean towel.
After cleaning your baby you should apply a thick moisturizing cream around all the areas affected by teething. The aim of the cream is to form a protective barrier that protects the skin from wetness and irritation.
Reduce fevers: as mentioned above, fevers are one of the main factors that bring about eczema flare-ups. To prevent the flare-ups you should reduce the fevers by placing cool, moist towels on your baby. You can also wet a face washer and place it in the freezer. This makes a great, cooling option for babies to play with and chomp on to also help relieve the pain on their gums. Giving your baby a nice cooler bath is also a great way to help bring down teething related fevers.
Teething necklaces: like amber necklaces are reputed to soothe pain that comes with teething and many parents do swear by their effectiveness. When the pain is soothed, your child is not under stress meaning flare-ups are often lessened. If the pain doesn’t go away when the child wears the necklace, you should try reducing the pain with topical numbing agents like teething gels you can purchase from pharmacies or natural ones like our Roseneath Organics Teething Gel.
No touching: Prevent you child from unnecessarily touching or scratching his/her skin. This is hard but is why our Bamboo Bubby Bag or ScratchMeNot products are great during teething times. Wearing either of these options, places a barrier between their hands and their skin, so will reduce any abrasion which can be particularly damaging when there is moisture involved like teething drool too.
Enough rest: resting aids in reducing stress; therefore, you should encourage your child to sleep as much as he/she can. This is not an easy feat when a baby is teething however, so use whatever sleep aid you can that will work for you baby. Whether this is one of our Bamboo Bubby Bag sleeping bags or a comforter blanket to help them feel comfortable, having some soothing music playing or sleeping out of their usual routine, just go with it and let them rest however they're able to - everything else can wait and teething does eventually pass!