What is Baby Eczema?
Eczema, also referred to as atopic dermatitis, is a skin eruption that can cause mild to very severe symptoms, like redness, raised skin, and itchiness. Many times it afflicts those with asthma or allergies, but it can occur in anyone. The exact cause is unknown. Baby eczema is that which occurs in infants. Because babies already have sensitive skin, this can be a delicate issue to deal with. Some infants can even get cracked, bleeding, or even yellow and infected skin, due to eczema.
What Can You do to Treat Baby Eczema?
There are many ways to treat baby eczema. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized is key. Fragrance free lotions and creams may be a recommended first step. There are over the counter creams, such as cortisone cream, to help treat itching. However, frequent use of those can actually cause further damage to the skin. The doctor may also prescribe an ointment or cream to treat the eczema or an antihistamine to help control the itching.
What Worked for My Baby's Eczema?
Each child is different, as far as how they react, as well as which treatments worked. Here are a few of the treatments that worked best for us. I have more than one child who was prone to eczema flare-ups as a baby. Even the doctor-recommended lotions and creams that were fragrance free would irritate the eczema, rather than helping, in our case.
Original A+D Ointment - I decided to try the A+D ointment one day after asking the pediatrician. To my surprise, the A+D ointment started working fairly quickly. I noticed results the same day and began using the ointment every day. After that, flare-ups started occurring less and less and eventually cleared for good. The same thing happened in three cases, so I definitely recommend talking to a doctor about the A+D ointment.
Medline Remedy Olivamine Clear-aid Skin Protectant - One of my babies would break out very easily and her eczema rashes didn’t respond to anything until we tried the Medline Remedy Olivamine Clear-aid Skin Protectant. This was recommended by NICU nurses for our preemie baby’s diaper rashes. But we liked it a lot and started using it for all skin irritations in multiple kids. It turns out that any time there’s a rash, dry skin, or other skin irritation, this cleans it up quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes, which is like a miracle, compared to other treatments that take days or months. With the kids this was tried on, flare-ups only seem to occur when they're accidentally exposed to an allergen. Other than those instances, after using this on every flare, it hasn't come back at all.
When Should You Call a Doctor for Baby Eczema?
A properly licensed pediatrician or family practice doctor should always be contacted if you suspect that your baby has eczema or notice any other rashes or skin irritations. Treatment options should also be discussed with a doctor. If you hear about a product or treatment option that your child's pediatrician has not mentioned, discuss it with him or her before trying it on the child's baby eczema.
Extra Tips for Treating Baby Eczema
Apply lotions, creams, or ointments to freshly cleaned and slightly dampened skin, such as directly after a bath. The dampness helps absorb and hold the moisture in longer.
Oatmeal baths are great for the itchiness associated with baby eczema. To make an oatmeal bath, fill a sock halfway with whole oats. Then tie it closed. Wet the sock. Run the bathwater over the sock and squeeze the sock into the water several times. The water should be foggy-looking. This mixture can help soothe the baby eczema. Over-the-counter oatmeal bath blends tended to worsen baby eczema in our family. So, it may be important to use this DIY method instead.
Avoid scented and dyed laundry detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, shampoos, and anything else scented or dyed that will come into contact with baby's skin. Look for products that are fragrance-free and dye-free. In all of our kids that were affected by eczema, staying away from these items helped immensely.
Watch for food allergies and other sensitivities. We noticed a correlation between these and eczema in more than one child. Taking away the allergy or sensitivity often took away the breakouts, eliminating the need for treatments.