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Baby skin Q&A with dermatologist Dr. Seemal Desai

What are some quick tips for managing baby eczema? One of the most important things is to be consistent. Moisturize with the same products consistently, bathe with the same temperature water consistently, and use the same skin care practices consistently. It is easier said than done but I think it's so important! How often should you moisturize babies with eczema? Babies with eczema should be moisturized twice a day. Make sure that one of the times is after bathing. I also advise parents that if skin looks dry in the interim, then it is dry. If it looks dry, then you should go ahead and moisturize! How much of an impact do genetics play on the development of eczema? Genetics do play an important role. Parents often say that they had eczema as kids and I see siblings that have similar skin findings. If your baby is at risk for developing eczema due to genetics, at what age should you start moisturizing? I think moisturizing is important from early on in life. That does not mean you have to use layers and layers. But once the initial infantile vernix has shed (once the infant is past the first few weeks of life), moisturizing should begin. I think that baseline moisturizing, especially post bathing is important to help protect the skin. I do recommend consulting with a board certified dermatologist and a pediatrician to discuss an infant and child's skin care. Is there a correlation between food allergies and eczema? I have seen a correlation between children with food allergies and their eczema. In particular, if the child is genetically predisposed to developing an atopic condition such as atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and asthma. In fact, I had a child with a wheat allergy whose skin findings and lung issues seem to be highly correlated to wheat exposure.   Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD Dr. Seemal Desai is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a Board Certified Dermatologist. He has been active on a local, state, and national level with numerous medical organizations. His major accomplishments have been with the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Medical Association where he has held more than 6 elected positions. He is also actively involved in teaching and mentoring medical students and residents. He serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.   Dr. Desai is the author of numerous publications and has been invited to present at numerous international Dermatology events. These include the World Congress of Dermatology, the French Society of Dermatology, and most recently the International Congress of Dermatology. His clinical interests include the treatment of vitiligo and other disorders of pigmentation, psoriasis, acne, skin cancers, inflammatory skin rashes, and phototherapy. Dr. Desai is the current president of the Skin of Color Society and President-elect of the Texas Dermatological Society. In addition, he is a Past President of the Dallas/Fort Worth Dermatological Society. He also serves on the Board of Directors of SkinPAC, the Congressional Policy Committee, and as Chair of the AAD Leadership Development Steering Committee. Most recently, Dr. Desai was elected to the American Academy of Dermatology Board of Directors and will represent the interests of over 18,000 dermatologists worldwide. He also serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology and Pigment International.

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