These Are The Best Ways To Care For Your Baby’s Eczema-Prone Skin.
When you read about baby eczema in pregnancy blogs and magazines, you never think your baby can have it, do you?
That’s what I thought as well.
So when it does happen, it can be heartbreaking to watch your little one’s skin develop red, flaky and dry patches.
Baby eczema is a common condition that shows up as red, dry and itchy patches in your baby’s skin.
These patches often develop on baby skin a few months after birth.
Although sometimes it develops into adulthood, it’s treatable.
So will your baby have eczema forever?
Most probably not.
The amount of time it takes to treat eczema differs from baby to baby, but most babies outgrow it.
So don’t despair mommy, your little one’s eczema can also be treated.
My daughter’s eczema showed up when she was around 2 months old and by the time she turned 6 months old it was gone.
I’m going to show you the exact steps I took to care for her skin until eczema disappeared for good!
How to Treat Baby Eczema Naturally
Eczema is treatable, and if skin is taken care of, the condition can get better, and a lot quicker.
The following are the steps I took to care for my daughter’s skin. By the time she turned 6 month, her eczema had completely disappeared.
1. Understand Eczema Triggers and Symptoms
Eczema is often triggered by anything that irritates the skin, like harsh soaps, woolen materials, fragrances, detergents, and saliva. Excessive sweating can also cause itching in eczema.
Other allergens like pollens, dust mites, and food allergies can also worsen eczema. If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk, this may trigger a reaction. From my personal experience, choosing the right formula for your baby can make a huge difference.
In some cases, if either mom or dad has eczema, chances are high that baby will have it as well.
You’ve already discovered that baby eczema is recognized by red flaky patches on your little one’s skin. They are dry and itchy.
These patches can develop either on baby’s cheeks, legs, and arms, behind the knees, stomach or back.
It’s advisable to talk to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis, as well as advice and guidance on managing the condition.
2. No Frequent Bathing and Limited Bath Duration
Your baby doesn’t need to bath every day. Especially when they are still small. Once or twice is enough.
This is mostly true when they has eczema.
Bathing does help with hydrating the skin, however, frequent bathing strips delicate skin of the little moisture it has.
Still on bathing, limit bath time to 15 minutes or less.
Make the water temperature warm instead of hot. Heat causes skin to lose moisture at a faster rate.
Related article: Safety Tips For Your Baby’s First Bath At Home
3. Avoid Soap, Products with Perfume, and Harsh Chemicals
When you do bath your little one, avoid using harsh soaps or anything that contains perfume.
These are irritants that are most likely to worsen the eczema.
Sometimes you can get advice to use aqueous cream instead of using soap. In most cases, these creams contain ingredients that can irritate eczema skin.
You’ll find that baby brand aqueous creams are also unsuitable. I’ve used them and my baby’s skin still got dry and itchy.
Use a suitable emollient cream for bathing to protect your baby’s skin from getting dry.
I have had real success with this Childs Farm Baby Wash.
Unlike most baby products, this baby wash has no fragrance, it is gentle on the skin and does not dry it up.
Buy It Here: Childs Farm Baby Wash, Unfragranced
Apply the emollient of your choice in a thick layer all over your baby’s skin, then put them inside water to bath.
When your baby is still small, use your hands instead of a washcloth. Even soft washcloths can scratch that delicate skin.
Most people will tell you that using your hands doesn’t remove all the dirt. Believe me, it does. Besides, a small baby doesn’t get that dirty anyway.
4. Moisturize Skin Immediately After Bathing
When taking your baby out of the bath, pat dry the skin with a soft towel and immediately apply an emollient cream before the skin gets dry.
This will lock in moisture and reduce the dryness on your baby’s skin.
Remember to pat dry, and not to rub baby’s skin when drying.
Keep in mind, the longer you take to moisturize your baby’s skin, the quicker all the moisture from bathing will get lost.
5. Moisturize Baby’s Skin Frequently
Eczema skin is more prone to irritation from the triggers we mentioned above. Moisturizing puts a protective barrier to reduce that irritation.
Moisturize your little one’s skin frequently. This is to also help replenish moisture lost throughout the day due to dry air, contact with clothes and other allergens and irritants.
Be mindful of the type of moisturizer you choose for your baby.
Moisturizers differ in terms of oil content. You want to go for ones that have the highest amount of oil to get the most benefit out of it.
Here are the three types of moisturizers available:
Ointments have the highest amount of oil. A good example is petroleum jelly.
Creams have a lower amount of oil compared to ointments, but they still provide adequate moisture if applied frequently.
Lotions contain the lowest amount of oil and have a lower moisturizing effect for eczema skin.
Another tip, keep baby hydrated by giving him lots of fluids (milk or water if over 6 months) throughout the day. This will provide extra moisture for his skin.
6. Be Mindful of Food Allergies and Other Triggers for Baby Eczema
An allergic reaction is more likely to cause eczema to worsen. Keep your baby away from allergens like dust mites, pet hair, pollen, and perfumes.
Keep in mind that if you are using perfumed products, having your skin or clothes in contact with your baby’s skin will also trigger his eczema.
When giving your baby new foods, be extra cautious with foods that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction.
If you are breastfeeding, you baby might get these food allergens from your breastmilk and have a reaction.
If you are bottle-feeding, your baby’s eczema can be made worse by a cow’s milk allergy.
If there are chances that your baby might have allergies, you have to choose the right formula milk for them. Choosing the right baby formula might just be the solution to preventing your baby from developing eczema.
Keep in mind, you do not have to avoid these foods altogether, however, you should know how and when to introduce them to your baby, as well as knowing how to tell if your little one is allergic.
If you have a pet like a cat or a dog, or any kind with fur, do your best to keep your two babies away from each other. Animal fur and saliva have the possibility to aggravate eczema symptoms.
7. Use Eczema Skin-Friendly Materials
When buying clothes and bedding, opt for 100% cotton, bamboo, or silk. These materials are soft, lighter, and breathable, leading to less sweating. They are also delicate enough for sensitive skin.
You want to go for materials that are lightweight to allow skin to breathe, preventing sweating in the process.
They should also be absorbent to be able to absorb sweat and keep it away from your baby’s skin.
Just remember to change your little one’s clothes if they become damp from sweating. Leaving them on will allow that sweat to irritate their skin and lead to itching and scratching.
Overdressing your baby when you put them to sleep can lead to overheating and excessive sweating.
Besides the sweat aggravating eczema, overheating can contribute to SIDS. Here are safe baby sleep guidelines for safely putting your baby to sleep.
Clothes should be loose enough to allow skin to breathe.
Stay away from wool and synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic and polyester as they irritate sensitive skin.
8. Use Baby-Friendly Laundry Detergent
Avoid using harsh detergents when washing your little one’s clothes.
As with all the other triggers, detergents contain chemicals that irritate eczema-prone skin.
If you can’t avoid using them completely, look for types that are suitable for sensitive skin.
Baby detergents, for example, are made to be less irritant on your baby’s skin.
Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that baby detergents won’t irritate your baby’s skin. So you still want to be cautious.
Use a lesser amount of detergent per load of laundry to make it easy to rinse the clothes.
Ma sure you completely rinse the clothes. Just to be extra cautious.
You want to avoid having leftover detergent on clothes irritating your little one’s skin.
Still on the subject of laundry, consider not using a fabric softener for your baby’s clothes.
Ideally, avoid using it altogether if your clothes are going to somehow be in contact with your little one’s skin.
I used different baby fabric softeners but still found that they aggravated eczema.
9. Cut Baby’s Nails to Avoid Scratching
Eczema is itchy. You want to first stop eczema from itching by following the tips on this post.
When skin itches, your little one will want to scratch. And scratching only worsens the condition.
To prevent this, always keep your little one’s nails short.
Scratching with long nails will cut the skin and make it more prone to infection. We don’t want that.
Don’t use baby mittens to prevent your baby from scratching. I have found baby mittens to have more disadvantages compared to advantages.
10. Don’t Let Baby’s Skin Rub against Harsh Materials
Even when you have dressed your little one in breathable materials, avoid letting his skin rub against rough materials in your home, or the clothes you are wearing.
I mean, what’s the use of having him wear 100%cotton and still allowing his exposed arms and feet to rub on polyester, right?
If you have dressed baby in skin-friendly materials, exposed hands and feet can still get irritated if rubbed against synthetic materials, causing a reaction.
11. Use a Humidifier in Heated or Dry Rooms
In hot conditions, you little one’s skin suffers. Like I mentioned earlier, heat strips skin of its natural moisture, leaving it dry.
This worsens eczema.
If you are staying in a dry or hot area, make use of a humidifier to reduce the effects of dry air on baby skin.
You should also use a humidifier if it’s cold and you are using a heater (or any heat source) to heat the room.
12. Try Natural Baby Eczema Home Remedies
In combination with all these steps, you can try natural home remedies to combat baby eczema.
This includes giving baby an oatmeal bath, applying coconut oil, sunflower oil, giving baby vitamin D supplements and probiotics, and using other natural products like tea tree oil and chamomile.
I did use coconut oil as a way to hydrate my daughter’s skin even more, but I have never tried other home remedies.
Be sure to check with your doctor first before using any home remedies for eczema.
Tips to Survive Baby Eczema
It might seem like caring for a baby with eczema is a job and a half. But it’s not.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming and frustrating having to go through all that caution.
But the agony you feel when looking at your baby’s rough eczema skin is enough to motivate you to keep going.
Once you take the above steps, it becomes a daily habit. You will have fewer flare-ups and before you know it, eczema would have disappeared.