My hubby and I always said that our kids would be born itchy and blind. Why? Because we both have to wear glasses and we both have horrible skin. Well it’s not really horrible but we both have eczema. I’ve been able to control my eczema now that I’m older but when I was a kid, it was really bad. I would scratch the back of my knees so hard that it would bleed. I would have rashes in the crease of my arms. I would be embarrassed to wear skirts because the skin on my legs was unsightly. It was so bad my doctor prescribed me some oral medication temporarily to calm down the inflammation. Now that I’m older, I can choose not to scratch and I’ve learned how to take better care of my skin.
All three of my kids have eczema. The oldest one’s eczema is very mild. She just has a bit behind her ears. My middle child has a few spots on her face and legs. It’s getting better now. But my youngest has it the worst! She’s always itchy. Her skin is extremely dry no matter how much we moisturize and she’s always scratching her belly. She’s also got it on her cheeks. My poor baby! Anyway, despite the flare ups and constant rashes, we never give up on trying to treat the eczema and help control the symptoms.
Here’s what has worked for me and my baby.
1. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.
You have to find a moisturizer that works for you. I’ve tried so many different kids of moisturizers. I really like using Curel and Cerave. Gold Bond Ultimate is also very good. All of these products that I have mentioned are on the list of recommended products by the National Eczema Association and are dermatologist recommended. They are more expensive than your regular Vaseline brand lotion, but they work very well at keeping the skin moist. My baby’s skin is so dry that I like to moisturize her whole body every 3 to 4 hours or every diaper change, so I keep the moisturizer right beside the diaper changing supplies.
2. Take a shower or bath daily.
According to the National Eczema Association, bathing is a great way to get moisture back the skin. The key is applying moisturizer within three minutes of bathing or showering to lock in the moisture. I’ve got my girls in the habit of applying moisturizer immediately after showering. It’s not the bathing that strips the moisture, it’s the fact that the skin cannot hold the moisture in. Make sure the water is luke warm and do not scrub the eczema effected skin with a loofa or wash cloth. Make sure to use gentle cleansers like Cetaphil and not soap. It’s also important to use products that are scent-free, fragrance free and dye free.
3. Wear clothing that is soft, breathable and not too hot.
I like to put my baby in cotton clothing. I avoid thick sweaters or acrylic material. These materials can sometimes be too hot or rough against the skin. I also try not to dress my baby too warmly because that also aggravates her skin.
4. Uses laundry detergent that is scent free, fragrance free and dye free.
Don’t get me wrong, I love smell of scented laundry detergent. My favourite is the Downy scent, but since baby has really bad eczema, I use Tide Free. It’s free of any fragrance, scent or dyes so I know it’s safe for my daughter’s sensitive skin. I also have to lay off the fabric softener or use very little.
5. See your family Doctor if nothing is working.
Maybe baby has a food allergy. Maybe the baby just needs a prescription cream to help calm down the skin. See your doctor if you’ve tried everything and the skin doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
6. Try a natural remedy.
According to the National Eczema Association things already in your kitchen like sunflower oil and coconut oil can really help. Coconut oil may reduce the amount of staph bacteria on the skin which reduces the chance of infection. Make sure that it’s “virgin” or “cold pressed”. This means that chemicals were not used in its extraction which mean it’s better for the skin.
Here are some great resources for information on eczema:
Do you and/or your kids have eczema? What has helped you? I heart your comments.