Common Allergic Reactions in Infants
Allergic reactions are more common in infants than many people realize. In fact, they are often more likely than adults to develop a rash or other kind of reaction due to their more sensitive skin. As a new parent, you should be able to recognize some of the more common allergic reactions so you can prevent them from occurring in the future.
Eczema is very common in babies, particularly atopic eczema. This form of eczema typically presents itself as tiny red bumps or dry, scaly skin. You’ll most likely see it on the scalp, face, or forehead if your baby is less than six months old, but older children may develop rashes on their knees and elbows.
Doctors aren’t sure why certain people develop eczema while others do not, but the problem can be made worse by exposure to foods such as nuts or dairy or by environmental factors such as pollen, smoke, soap, certain fabrics, and even excessive heat.
Eczema isn’t a life-threatening condition, and many children grow out of it when they get older. Still, it’s incredibly uncomfortable, so pay attention to what could be causing an eczema flare-up in your baby when it does occur.
Hives are itchy raised patches of skin that can appear anywhere on the body as an allergic reaction. They themselves aren’t very harmful, but they are a clear sign that a reaction is happening and that you should keep whatever is triggering it away from your baby.
By far the most common causes of allergic reactions in infants are food allergies. A food allergy can cause a number of symptoms such as hives, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody stool. An infant can develop allergies to foods such as peanuts, shellfish, or dairy even if the mother has consumed the food while breastfeeding.
Preventing Allergic Reactions
The best way to avoid allergic reactions is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This might include bathing your infant with gentle fragrance-free soap, washing clothing and bedding with hypoallergenic detergent, and vacuuming your home frequently. Allergic reactions may still occur simply because it is impossible to know what could cause a reaction in an infant. If a reaction does occur, document what may have caused it and avoid the trigger in the future.
For more information on common allergic reactions in infants and to learn how you can best protect your own child, contact us today. We offer telemedicine appointments to help protect you and your family during this time of social distancing.
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.