Infants less than one year old often have widespread eczema. The skin may be dry and red with small scratch marks from baby's nails. An infant's face is often the first place to be affected by eczema.
The diaper area is frequently spared due to the moisture retention of diapers. Just like other babies, they can develop irritant diaper rash if wet or soiled diapers are left on too long.
Manufacturers tend to use fragrances or colors in products to appeal to mothers — infants really don't care about these unnecessary additives, they are best avoided. Check the labels of infant products for potential irritants, especially parabens, even if it's a well known brand.
As children begin to move around eczema may become more localized and thickened. Toddlers scratch vigorously and the skin can look very raw and uncomfortable. Eczema/dermatitis in this age group often affects the outside of joints, particularly the wrists, elbows, ankles and knees. It may also affect the genitals.
As the child becomes older the pattern frequently changes to involve the inside surfaces or creases of the same joints. The affected skin often becomes dry and thickened from scratching and rubbing.
Bubble bath and other bath additives are great fun, but what's in them? Check the label for irritants, even if it's a well known brand.
Older children tend to have eczema or dermatitis problems that most often affects the elbow and knee creases. Other susceptible areas include the eyelids, earlobes, neck and scalp. They can develop recurring itchy blisters on the palms, fingers and sometimes on the feet.
Many children develop small coin-sized areas of eczema scattered over the body. These round patches of eczema are dry, red and itchy and may sometimes be mistaken for ringworm. For most children eczema improves during school years and it may completely clear up by the time they hit their teens.