Treating Baby Eczema

By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

Baby eczema is a very common skin condition characterized by red, itchy, dry, and cracked skin mostly on the face, arms, and legs. While baby eczema isn’t particularly dangerous, it is  very uncomfortable and should therefore be handled in the most effective way possible as  as soon as possible.

Baby eczema is not the easiest to treat, but making lifestyle changes can help.

How to Treat Baby Eczema

There is no cure for baby eczema, but there are a number of effective treatments that relive symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. Most cases are improved by sticking to a treatment routine and the passage of time. However, it is important to see a doctor if your baby’s eczema is not cleared or improved with at-home treatments.

There are three main aspects of treating baby eczema: skin care, itch control, and managing triggers. These three aspects work in tandem to relieve symptoms, prevent worsening of symptoms, and reduce flare-up frequency.

Skin Care for babies with sensitive skin

Skin care is key when it comes to treating baby eczema. The right skin care routine can help restore your baby’s skin barrier to fight back against future flare-ups and can relieve existing flare-up symptoms.

The first step in an effective skin care routine is a daily bath. Bathe your baby every day for 15 minutes or less using warm water. Take care not to make the water too hot or too cold as temperature can be a trigger. Use a gentle baby eczema shampoo and body wash in the place of soap or other harsh cleaners. Fully rinse away all suds. Gently pat your baby dry with a soft towel, taking care not to rub the skin.

The second crucial step in a good baby eczema skin care routine is moisturizing. Immediately apply a cream or emollient after the bath to seal in moisture and protect the skin from irritants.

Not just any old thin lotion will do, however. Look for thick moisturizing creams that are:

  • Fragrance and Dye Free
  • Dermatologist or clinically tested
  • Including Licorice Root Extract
  • Using Glycerin (same as Glycerol) as an ingredient

Moisturize your baby’s skin at least twice a day in addition to right after a bath.

Itch Control

Baby eczema is often very itchy, causing lots of discomfort. Unfortunately, allowing your baby to scratch the eczema rash will only make the itch worse and can further irritate skin or cause an infection.

A key step to controlling itching is to keep your baby’s nails clipped. The best time to trim nails is right after a bath as they will be soft from the water. You can also prevent itching by placing cotton mittens on your baby’s hands during the night, naptime, or when you’re not watching.

If baby is still itching after following the steps advised in the section above on “skin care” then you should consult your doctor.

Managing Triggers

Baby eczema is often brought on or worsened by triggers. Triggers are environmental factors that can induce an eczema flare-up and should therefore be avoided. Some common triggers are:

  • Extreme Temperature – Both extreme hot and extreme cold can trigger eczema, as can dry air. Use a humidifier to keep the air moist and avoid exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Fabrics and Materials – Some materials like polyester, wool or other scratchy fabrics can cause irritation. Choose soft cotton clothing, bedding and towels instead.
  • Restrictive Clothing – Clothing that is too tight can cause friction to build up between the skin and the material, leading to skin irritation.
  • Harsh Products – Household products like soaps with scent and color, scented laundry detergent, scented dryer sheets, and creams with flowery or fruity scents and beautiful colors can be too harsh for sensitive young skin. Choose gentle, fragrance-free products that are made for use on eczema-prone skin.
  • Food Allergies – Baby eczema can occasionally be triggered by food allergies. In some cases, speaking with your child’s doctor and looking for allergies may be indicated.

Baby Eczema Treatments

A common baby eczema triggers is soap. The vast majority of soaps and shampoos on the market are very basic with a pH of 9 to 10. The ideal skin pH is acidic, between 4 and 6, so many commonly frequently used products out in the market can create an un-natural acidity to the skin that could cause flare-ups.

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash is a body wash and shampoo for babies with eczema prone skin. Developed by a licensed pediatrician, this gentle non-soap cleanser has a low pH and is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Use Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash, a safe eczema body wash for kids, daily to smooth and soothe your young one’s dry, itchy, and irritated skin.

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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