Atopic dermatitis in babies


atopic eczema, endogenous eczema, atypical neurodermatitis


Neurodermatitis is a skin disease. The word derma means skin, the ending -itis is usually an inflammation.
Dermatitis is therefore an inflammation of the skin that can also affect children or babies. It is important to know that this disease is not contagious and that other babies are not at risk of developing neurodermatitis just because there is a baby in the crawling group with this disease.


Atopic dermatitis can be many causes have, but mostly they are not exactly clarified.
You know that neurodermatitis has you genetic influence gives. If the father or mother suffered from neurodermatitis in childhood, there is a probability of almost 50% that the baby will also develop neurodermatitis. If both parents had or still have atopic dermatitis, there is a nearly 70% chance. This genetic factor is believed to be one of the Main causesHowever, it can also be the case that a baby gets sick with neurodermatitis without the parents or other relatives ever getting sick with neurodermatitis.
In addition, it is therefore assumed that Environmental influences play an important role as a cause in the development of neurodermatitis in babies. There are certain factors that make eczema more likely to break out. Such factors that increase the likelihood of the disease breaking out include, for example too high mechanical stress the skin, for example through toys, Allergens how Food, House mites or Pollen, Infections or too strong physical but also mental (mental) charges.
Psychological stress is usually not the only cause that leads to the outbreak of neurodermatitis in babies, but it can be due to an event such as the Bite of a dogthat terrified the baby, a thrust is amplified.


A pediatrician can usually diagnose neurodermatitis based on the Symptoms and the Skin abnormalities be asked.
First, the doctor talks to the parents and takes an anamnesis. Here will be possible causes, such as hereditary factors or environmental influences such as allergens. The doctor can often already know from the anamnesis forecast submit whether the child permanent will suffer from atopic dermatitis or whether it is just one short thrust acts, which will probably disappear again.
Most important, however, is that Eye diagnosis. At Babies The eczema that causes atopic dermatitis occurs mainly at the cheek and at the Scalp on. On the scalp, this is known as Cradle cap in the baby. With this visual diagnosis, the pediatrician can usually very accurately infer the atopic dermatitis. Besides, the symptoms are like that intermittent occurrence of the disease is an important indicator for a reliable diagnosis.

What is the difference between atopic dermatitis and cradle cap?

Two different things are called a cradle cap. The word cradle cap actually refers to a scab of weeping eczema areas on the face and hairy scalp as occurs in the context of neurodermatitis. So there is no difference between cradle cap and eczema but the cradle cap is a manifestation of neurodermatitis. The name cradle cap comes from the fact that the eczematous area is similar in appearance to burned milk. However, laypeople often refer to something else as cradle cap, namely head gneiss. This occurs in seborrheic eczema, which also often manifests itself in infancy.

Frequency distribution

Neurodermatitis is one more frequently occurring disease. In the past only every 12th child was affected, now it is every 6th-9th infant affected by the skin disease. However, the symptoms persist in around a third of all children only from 0.-6. age persist, after that the children are often completely symptom-free, and the atopic dermatitis rarely turns into another chronic disease how hay fever or another one allergy.

Duration of atopic dermatitis in the baby

Neurodermatitis is a chronic disease. It cannot be cured. Their course is unpredictable and varies greatly from patient to patient. Atopic dermatitis that already appeared in early childhood often gets significantly better in the course of life. In a third of children it disappears by the age of six. A flare-up is always possible.

First signs of eczema in babies

In babies with neurodermatitis, the head area is usually affected, the diaper region is spared.

Neurodermatitis, also known as atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis, is the most common chronic skin disease in children. About 10-12% of children suffer from neurodermatitis, in about half of the cases the disease manifests itself in the first year of life. There are hardly any signs of neurodermatitis before the disease actually manifests itself. The babies show extensive reddening of the skin. On the face and on the hairy scalp there is often an encrustation of the weeping areas, one speaks of so-called cradle cap. As the rash progresses, it extends from the head / face area to the torso, arms and legs. The diaper region is mostly left out of this. In slightly older children, from around the age of 2, the bends of the large joints, i.e. the knee and elbow joints, are particularly affected by the rash. The neck is also often affected. The remaining skin of the affected children is usually significantly drier than that of those with healthy skin.


The symptoms of atopic dermatitis are generally very similar in children, adults and babies. First of all, the patients are noticeable for their very dry skin, which in some places also flakes off. The skin is so dry that even frequent smearing is only a slight remedy.

Read more on the topic: Dry skin in the baby

Since the skin is very rough and extremely itchy, the baby often tries to scratch the affected areas, which can be painful and therefore lead to screaming or crying. In addition, the skin on the affected areas is overly sensitive and reddened. It is also important that the symptoms are usually localized.
In babies, neurodermatitis usually appears first in the neck and head area, which is then referred to as cradle cap. If the symptoms are very pronounced, the upper body can also be affected, in some cases neurodermatitis also occurs in the elbows and squats. However, it is mainly the head that is affected in babies with eczema.

In addition to the reddened, dry and scaly patches, there are other striking symptoms that indicate neurodermatitis in babies. These include torn and very dry corners of the mouth, very dry lips, and also frequently torn and dry ear lobes.
These noticeable reddened areas may also contain white protrusions of the skin that are very itchy. This is called eczema, an inflammatory area of ​​the skin that is often associated with a small amount of water retained in the skin (edema) connected is. This water retention can also burst. Then it comes to weeping areas of the skin, which then crust over and over again. A common feature of atopic dermatitis is that it occurs in bursts. For example, your baby may be allergic to cat hair. Every time your baby comes into close contact with a cat, the allergen (in this case the cat hair) a thrust can be triggered. It is therefore important not only to pay attention to the symptoms themselves, but also to determine when the symptoms worsen (for example in contact with a cat) and when the symptoms improve.

For more information, see: You can recognize atopic dermatitis by these symptoms

Atopic dermatitis in the baby's face

Neurodermatitis often occurs on the face, especially in infancy. But even later, for example in adulthood, eczematous lesions can flare up on the face. The treatment is the same as for neurodermatitis in other parts of the body.

Atopic dermatitis in babies on the back

While in babies it is often the face and hairy scalp that are affected by neurodermatitis, the whole body can be affected in the course of the first few months to years of life. Eczema spots can develop on the stomach, back, but also on the arms and legs. Often, however, the bends of the joints in particular are affected, i.e. the knee joint, elbow joint and neck. The localization of the herd can change again and again in the further course.

Atopic dermatitis in babies on the scalp

Especially in infancy, the first symptoms of neurodermatitis often appear in the hairy scalp area. This is where the rash popularly known as cradle cap often appears. The oozing eczema foci show a brownish color and therefore resemble burnt milk in a pot. If babies suffer from cradle cap, you can try to clean and treat it carefully with a cloth soaked in oil. So the encrusted parts slowly peel off. A special shampoo should also be used.


In most cases, atopic dermatitis is accompanied by severe itching. It is very tormenting for the children and often sleep-depriving because it is particularly strong at night. Therefore, parents of affected children should make sure to keep the fingernails of the little ones as short as possible. At night, consider putting thin cotton gloves on the affected children in order to avoid scratching the affected areas. Regular application of gentle creams that moisturize and grease is extremely important to relieve itching.


The neurodermatitis is still today not curableHowever, there are several options that Alleviate symptoms.
In addition, the symptoms disappear in a third of all babies after the age of 6 and the baby can then live as a child without the skin disease.
Although there is no therapy for the babies, some measures can still largely reduce the symptoms. First of all, one should be aware that the baby is given the necessary There is no protective film over the skin because the Sebum production greatly reduced is. Therefore, all stimuli that remove moisture from the skin should be avoided. These include clothing that is too tight, chlorinated water, bath additives or shower gels with additives and Sweat. Instead, the baby should Washed daily with an oil bath and with a moisturizing cream be smeared because a good one Skin care with the baby help relieve symptoms.
Clothing should be made of cotton or linen, as these do not dry out the skin unnecessarily. Since the baby is constantly itchy, he will try to scratch himself too. That's why they should Fingernails always like that short be as possible. In addition, it should be avoided that the baby sweats too much, as the skin or skin becomes dehydrated. dry skin can come.

Cream for atopic dermatitis in babies

Creams are an important part of the therapy for atopic dermatitis, especially creams containing cortisone help acutely.

Cream is an essential component of the treatment for neurodermatitis. The skin of the affected children is very dry and therefore needs careful care. A good lotion or ointment is therefore essential as a basic therapy. Creams with a high moisture content and rather low fat content or ointments with a high fat content but rather low moisture content are possible. Depending on the skin condition, one or the other variant makes more sense. For the treatment of acute attacks of neurodermatitis, ointments containing cortisone are mainly used. Cortisone has an anti-inflammatory effect. The treating pediatrician will choose the most suitable preparation for the child. Cortisone ointments do not have any effects on the inside of the body, but with permanent use they cause a significant thinning of the skin with the development of parchment skin. Stretch marks can also develop. Nevertheless, the ointment containing cortisone is an indispensable drug for children with neurodermatitis.

Read more about the topic here: Baby skin care and Skin care for atopic dermatitis

Home remedies for atopic dermatitis

Keeping very dry skin moist is very important for atopic dermatitis. Applying lotions with moisturizing and fatty lotions several times a day is a good home remedy. You can also use lipid-replenishing products for soap. When bathing, a bath oil can be used that leaves a greasy film on the skin. Afterwards, the child should of course also be creamed. Certain bandages can also help with an acute excruciating rash. After applying a greasy care cream, a damp bandage can be applied. For example, a bandage with oak bark can be made. 1-2 teaspoons of oak bark should be poured over with a cup of cold water and boiled for about 5 minutes. Let it cool for about 15 minutes, dip a towel, wring it out gently and wrap it over the affected area.

Homeopathy for atopic dermatitis

There are numerous homeopathics that are said to have a soothing effect on neurodermatitis. Which includes: Zinkum metallicum (Zinc), Silicea (Silica / silica), Thuja (Tree of life), graphites (graphite), Dolichos pruriens (White bean), taraxacum (dandelion), mezereum (daphne), Natrum muriaticum (Table salt), Arsenicum album (white arsenic), Psorinum (Krätzensode), Sarsaparilla (Smurfberries) and Sulfur (sulfur). Most of these homeopathic remedies, however, have no benefits over placebos. Parents of children with neurodermatitis can consult a homeopath to use homeopathic remedies as a supplement. However, they are not a substitute for medical therapy.

Diet for atopic dermatitis in babies

Many children who suffer from neurodermatitis are hypersensitive to certain foods. Ingesting these can lead to a flare-up of the skin symptoms. However, which foods can trigger such hypersensitivity reactions varies from child to child. In order to be able to discover a connection between the food and the skin findings, it is advisable, for example, to keep a kind of diary in which is listed what the child ate and when and when the neurodermatitis became worse. Ready-made products should be avoided as far as possible in sensitive children, as they contain preservatives and additives to which the children may be overly sensitive. If observation and the diary show that a certain food is intolerable, it should first be removed from the child's menu.

Breastfeeding is particularly important for newborns with regard to nutrition in atopic dermatitis. In children who are at risk of developing neurodermatitis, for example because the mother has neurodermatitis herself, breastfeeding plays an even more important role than it does in healthy children. The child should be fully breastfed for at least 5-6 months. There is no special diet that should be followed in the presence of neurodermatitis. Possible foods to which atopic dermatitis are hypersensitive are dairy products, eggs, wheat products, nuts and some types of fruit (apples, peaches, bananas) and vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, celery, carrots). Only careful observation can provide reliable information as to which foods the child cannot tolerate.

Find out all about the topic here: The diet for neurodermatitis.


Consistent breastfeeding should reduce the risk.

In atopic dermatitis there is a very simple one prophylaxis: the Breast milk. If a mother consistently breastfeeds her baby until the age of 6 months, the likelihood of a baby developing eczema decreases significantly. In addition, a low-allergen food be switched so as not to put additional strain on the baby. Also should be a Allergy test be made. If the baby has an allergy, the allergen (e.g. pollen) should be avoided as much as possible to prevent an outbreak of neurodermatitis. It is also important that the parents in the Don't smoke around your baby and that stress is avoided as much as possible, including the acoustic stress a busy street.
That is also crucial proper personal hygiene. The baby should not too hot and bathed too long as this dries out the skin and additives in baby care products should be avoided.


At a third of all children disappears the disease completely up to the age of 6, some studies even speak of 50%. In general it can be said that when following some guidelines such as the use of moisturizing creams, neurodermatitis is a disease that is easy to live with. Often only occur in adulthood in bursts under stress the symptoms on.
While atopic dermatitis is a disease for it no therapy there, nevertheless it is forecast in infants Well as long as symptoms are treated and the baby is no longer exposed to allergens.