My daughter has eczema and we have struggled with it her entire life. Although I know that is just 18 months, it is still frustrating and can be difficult to deal with. When she was younger it wasn’t such a big deal, but now she is scratching at her chest and belly every time I change her diaper. I feel so bad for her, but I am doing everything I can to make it better. I thought I would share with you the best ways to help prevent and treat eczema, that way if you are dealing with it you can help your little one feel better.
Use unscented everything. Soap, shampoo, lotion, even laundry detergent and fabric softener should be unscented. Just because you are using something meant for a baby doesn’t mean that it can’t make your little one break out.
Figure out if there are things that trigger a breakout. My daughter started with eczema after just 2 months old. I tried everything to figure out what was causing her to break out. It was too early for new foods so that wasn’t the issue. I found that when I put freshly laundered clothes on her (washed within the last 24-48 hours) was when she would break out the worst. I switched her laundry detergent to All Free and Clear, and she didn’t have any more breakouts, for a while. If you are breastfeeding it could be something in your diet, if you are starting your little one on foods it could be a new food. Just try to eliminate whatever is causing the breakout.
She recently started breaking out more and has some additional symptoms which I have attributed to a milk allergy. We have recently removed all dairy from her diet and her skin has mostly cleared up. I will talk about this more later though.
Use lotion for eczema, but use one that works for your baby. The doctors wanted me to use Eucerin, but that didn’t work for her, it actually made things worse. What worked for my daughter was Aveeno for Baby Eczema.
Oatmeal baths. When my daughter would break out really bad, I would soak her in an oatmeal bath to help soothe her skin. I would only do 1-2 oatmeal baths a week, and only if needed.
But, don’t over do it with the water. Water can dry skin out, even if you are using lotion. My daughter gets a bath about every 2-3 nights, depending on how dirty she gets. Even though she loves the bath and the water, I try not to let her stay in the tub for too long as well.
Keep your little one cool. Being hot can make the eczema itch and make it worse. Sometimes this means staying inside in the air conditioning during a really hot day.
Use aquaphor. This stuff is greasy and horrible. I wouldn’t want to walk around with it all over my body, so if I do use aquaphor, it is usually at night when I can put long sleeves on my daughter. This really does work though because almost every time I use it, the next morning my daughter’s eczema is cleared up.
Use hydrocortisone cream, but sparingly. Hydrocortisone cream can help with the itching associated with eczema, but try not to use it all over your little one’s body. Try to only use it on the spots you can see, and only a couple of times a day. If you feel you need to put something on, you can use lotion instead.
Allergy medication can help. Eczema can be a type of allergic reaction to something so ask your doctor about giving your little one an allergy medication. Her age will determine what medication she can take and how much, so don’t give allergy medication without asking your doctor.
Keep your little one’s nails short. Many parents hate trimming little ones nails, but it needs to be done, especially if she suffers with eczema. Eventually they will learn to scratch and can cause open sores which can get infected and take longer to heal.
If you are concerned see your child’s doctor. Eczema can become infected if it becomes open from scratching. If you think your child has an infection, see the doctor to get treated. Also, if you cannot keep the eczema under control you may want to see the doctor for steroids and to have your child tested for allergies.
Eczema can be frustrating for both mom and baby. You can do everything you can to help your baby, but in the end, there is no prevention. Learning early how to treat and reduce outbreaks can make it more manageable.
Does your child have eczema? What do you do to treat it?