It happens suddenly one day when you’re playing with your baby; you notice the red rash and bumps on their cheeks or scalp. Eczema. Don’t panic. A few things you should know is that about 20% of babies have this condition, it’s more likely to show up if another family member has it, it isn’t contagious and there’s a good chance your child will outgrow it by age 2. Breathing easier yet? No? No need to worry, I’ve got a few tips to help calm both your baby’s skin and your mind.
- Washes and Lotions
Moisture is necessary to combat dryness, which means utilizing various specialty lotions and body washes. I know what you’re thinking: I’m not about to cover my baby in chemicals! Fear not, Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion is hypoallergenic, pH neutral and free of dyes, parabens and phthalates. In addition to that, there’s Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Lotion which contains no toxins, dyes, parabens, phthalates, steroids, formaldehydes, fragrances, PEG or drying alcohol. A quick tip to keep in mind when applying lotion: make sure your baby’s skin is damp to retain moisture before you lather them up! A recommended body wash would be California Baby’s Therapeutic Relief Eczema Shampoo and Bodywash is gluten free and features no dyes, sulfate or alcohol.
- Snip Their Nails Short
While a few quick scratches may lead to instant relief, this is actually doing more to hurt than to help and will cause irritation and inflammation of the skin. Stay on top of clipping your baby’s nails short! If you feel like this isn’t doing enough to keep the temptation away, try using cotton mittens to further discourage the scratching.
- Avoid Unnecessary Irritants
The best outfit for a baby with eczema to wear is no outfit. But say it’s cold outside or there’s a formal event and I have to dress them up? In that case skip the tight fitting and restraining clothes and choose instead to dress your baby in loose fitting outfits to avoid contact with their sensitive skin. The best fabric is breathable cotton and it’s also best to stay away from scratchy wool. When it comes to washing your baby’s clothes it’s important to keep in mind that laundry detergent can dry skin out and strip it of oils. When using laundry detergent choose one that is hypoallergenic, free of dyes and fragrances and is formulated for sensitive skin. A popular brand is All Free Clear liquid laundry detergent which ticks all the above requirements and is the #1 recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin.
How are you doing? Have I calmed your nerves? Staying calm is actually another tip, a calm environment can ease eczema, according to dermatologist Jeffrey S. Fromowitz, “Higher levels of inflammatory chemicals such as the stress hormone cortisol worsen inflammation, which makes eczema more severe”. Your baby’s eczema is nothing to stress about, there are always steps you can take but the first step should always be to contact your pediatrician. When you find the right treatment those red rashes and bumps can disappear within days so don’t be discouraged if a remedy doesn’t give you immediate results, it could take a little time!