Raising a baby with eczema can be an extremely stressful experience, but you’re not alone if your baby has eczema. Eczema is actually quite prevalent among babies, because the most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, usually begins in the earliest stages of life. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat a baby with eczema and in many cases, eczema will go away before they become an adult.
In this article, we outline 25 ways to treat baby eczema and drastically help their symptoms. A word of caution before we begin: Consult your pediatrician or dermatologist first for an eczema diagnosis, especially if your child suffers from severe eczema. This will help to rule out any other possible complications or skin conditions that could put your child at greater risk.
25 Tips to Soothe Baby Eczema
Every child who suffers from eczema will have different triggers, so none of these tips are a guarantee. But trying out these 25 tips could help you ease your baby’s suffering.
1. Understand Your Child’s Eczema Triggers
If your baby is particularly sensitive to certain irritants or environmental allergens, such as cigarette smoke or pollen, it is best to avoid these potential triggers. Certain allergenic foods such as peanuts and eggs may also trigger eczema.
2. Try a Lukewarm Bath
This can help soothe the pain of an eczema rash and hydrate the skin. It is important to use lukewarm water, as water that’s too hot or cold could potentially exacerbate the pain of a rash. Adding soothing products like colloidal oatmeal can also help soothe an itch.
3. Apply Moisturizer.
Moisturizer is best applied after you bathe your baby, since this will help lock in the moisture — especially important if your baby suffers from dry skin. Over-the-counter, paraben-free eczema creams or emollients with ceramides like Eucerin can help improve the strength of the skin barrier and prevent irritated skin.
4. Don’t Use Scented Products
These products often contain chemicals that may trigger eczema. Fragrance-free products are often easier on sensitive skin.
5. Soothe and Calm Your Baby
In adults, stress is known as a potential eczema trigger. The same logic applies to your baby as well. Sing mellowing songs, swaddle them, or give them a pacifier to calm them down.
6. Clip Your Baby’s Fingernails
This will prevent them from excessive scratching. Scratching itchy skin from an eczema rash can worsen the symptoms. Make sure you have baby nail clippers before proceeding.
7. Do Laundry Frequently
Use safe detergent without perfumes or dyes or try skipping the detergent altogether. This can help to strip the clothes from any harmful chemicals that may be left from a previous cycle.
8. Stay Cool
It’s important to keep you and your baby at a comfortable temperature, because sweating may trigger eczema flare-ups. Notch down the AC or find a portable fan if needed.
9. Be Extra Careful During the Winter
The air in the winter can be very dry, so it is important to be diligent about moisturizing. Make sure you’re using a moisturizer that’s approved for babies.
10. Reduce the Use of Bath Products
These can include bubble bath and other bath additives that may make eczema worse. Soap and baby shampoo are typically gentle enough for a baby with eczema but should still be used sparingly. Again, be careful with scented products.
11. Try Different Types of Fabrics
Some fabrics, like wool, may trigger a rash for babies with eczema. The highly breathable cotton fabric is usually a good choice.
12. Keep Your House Clean
Particles in the environment may be harmful to a baby with eczema, as is the buildup of mold. Be sure to use natural cleaning products to reduce potential irritants.
13. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
As if being a parent wasn’t already hard enough, the list of things to experiment with when your baby has eczema can be quite taxing. If it’s financially feasible, you can treat yourself to food delivery to save time cooking. That way, you can have enough energy to give proper care to your baby.
14. Wash the Sheets With Hot Water
This will kill any potential dust mites. Try running a hot cycle without detergent to flush out any leftover chemicals.
15. Refine Your Skincare Routine
Find a good eczema cream that can moisturize, soothe, and reduce your baby’s eczema flare-ups, and remember to apply it on a regular basis. This should be at least twice daily, but you may adjust the frequency by monitoring how your baby’s eczema responds to the cream. Natural treatments without added fragrance are better.
16. Try a Highly Diluted Bleach Bath
Bleach baths are a simple way to treat skin infections that may also help to reduce the symptoms for many eczema sufferers.
17. Use Wet Wraps
When your baby’s skin is particularly dry, this helps to moisturize the skin and also provides soothing relief from itchiness. This is recommended for more intense eczema, so contact your doctor before you start.
18. Develop a Good Sleeping Strategy
Waking up to a crying baby is difficult enough, and this can happen more frequently for a baby with eczema. Take turns with a spouse, or bring in a relative if possible for extra nighttime reinforcements. Again, take care of your health so you can care for your child.
19. Prevent Your Baby From Scratching
Distracting and entertaining them as much as you can. When this doesn’t work, or you need a break, try swaddling them. This can be comforting and prevent them from itching at the same time. Eczema mittens can also keep the baby from scratching when they’re out and about.
20. Balance the Workload
It’s important for both you and your baby that you minimize your own stress. If you are raising your baby with a spouse or partner, ask for their support, and develop a joint strategy to manage your baby’s eczema.
21. Try Adding Probiotics to Your Baby’s Diet
This may be a surprising option, but probiotics can help to clear up eczema for some babies. They also come in liquid form so you don’t have to bother with capsules.
22. Test for Food Allergies
You can go to your doctor for a food allergy test since food allergies can be linked to eczema. If an allergy is found, your doctor will likely recommend avoiding the food in question.
23. Be Systematic
You can even keep a journal of the different things you tried on a certain day and record the degree of eczema symptoms. However, don’t experiment with too many solutions at once. Treating eczema is a marathon, not a sprint.
24. Stay Hopeful
Many parents around the world have children with eczema or suffer from eczema themselves. It’s important to stay motivated and not get discouraged when flare-ups occur. With a little dedication, your baby’s eczema can improve.
Although eczema can be both painful and stressful, know that your child’s life won’t be defined by their eczema condition. It may even go away before they become an adult. Don’t believe that others will automatically look down on them just because they have eczema. As your child grows up, it’s important to empower them so they can control their eczema and their lives.
Caring for Your Child With Baby Eczema
It can be easy to work yourself into a panic when your child has a skin condition that causes them pain. Take a few breaths and start with the easiest solutions — lukewarm water, baby-approved moisturizers, and extra laundry. Move through the list slowly as you find out what does and doesn’t work for your child.
Above all, keep calm. Like much of child-rearing, infant eczema is a stage that will pass. The more you can keep a cool head, the more easily you’ll get through it (and you will get through it).