Eczema is a common skin condition that affects many children, often appearing during infancy and potentially lasting until a child gets much older. My eldest daughter developed baby eczema around 6 months old and so began the search for a magical potion or cream to improve it. We soon found there was no one magical lotion but she got a lot better as she became older and was mostly better by the time she went to school. She did have occasional flare ups when she got too warm or in the sun but overall it was much more manageable. We also found that she managed a lot better when she did not have cows milk or eggs in her diet so that may be something to try. She is now a teenager and has great skin, although it can still be sensitive to chemicals in shower gels etc
So what is eczema? And more importantly, how do you manage the symptoms?
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition which causes dry, itchy and red patches of skin to appear. Usually on the neck, joints and behind the ears, although it can appear anywhere. In children, this skin can be uncomfortable and irritated. Scratching then causes the skin to become broken and damaged which can over time potentially lead to infection. This is a common condition, normally as a child gets older the eczema eventually goes away. However, during a flare up, it is important to take steps to combat the symptoms and soothe irritation.
There are a number of different ways that eczema in babies can be treated. Thankfully many of them are simple and easily included in a daily routine.
One key method is to keep skin moisturised, apply a unperfumed moisturiser, such as those available from Chemist4U, to the irritated area throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to do this whenever you feed or change your baby.
Certain soaps and bubble baths can cause additional irritation and cause skin to dry out. It’s important to avoid these while treating eczema as you run the risk of making skin dry out further. The same goes for other irritants, such as certain fabrics such as wool and nylon or even household cleaning sprays. Keeping these items away from your baby can stop the problem getting worse.
Being too hot and sweaty can also cause more irritation, especially on the joints and creases on a baby. Keeping their room cool can help to prevent this. It’s important to make sure your child doesn’t scratch too, this might be a case of buying some scratch mitts, these go some way to helping make sure that any scratching doesn’t irritate the skin too much.
Visiting the GP
If symptoms persist you might need to visit your GP. This is to check that your child isn’t allergic to something, which could be causing a rash that could be mistaken for baby eczema.
A GP can also prescribe steroid creams which can help alleviate symptoms. This might sound extreme but don’t worry, they are prescribed by a specialist and if used as directed should be completely safe.
The key to dealing with baby eczema is to stay calm. Understand that it is common, and understand that treatment can be simple. Keeping your baby cool, comfortable, and moisturised is usually enough and these are considerations that can slot easily into the routines you usually use for caring for your baby.