Eczema is a chronic, itchy, dry and scaly rash. It’s commonly found around the eyes, insides of elbows, behind the knees, and back of neck.
Eczema-prone skin commonly develops cracks and sores, which makes it challenging to hydrate and leaves skin open to infections. The following are best practices when caring for babies with eczema:
- Promote good bathing habits: Babies with eczema do not need daily baths, which can strip away the skin’s natural oils. I recommend parents use lukewarm water to bathe baby and keep bath time to less than 10 minutes.
- Choose soaps and moisturizers carefully: Parents should look for fragrance-free moisturizing soap. After bath time, gently pat baby dry (don’t rub!). While skin is still moist, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer with ceramides or glycerin from head to toe. I recommend moisturizing babies with eczema at least twice a day.
- Avoid potential irritants: Be mindful of which wipes you use to clean baby’s bottom during diaper changes. A baby’s bottom is already sensitive from constant exposure to moisture and the pressure of wiping; it doesn’t need to be repeatedly exposed to potential irritants in the wipes themselves! For patients with sensitive skin, I recommend using hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free wipes such as WaterWipes, which contain 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. These wipes are gentle enough for everyday use on sensitive eczema-prone skin and have been awarded the National Eczema Association of America Seal of Acceptance. For hot days WaterWipes are instantly hydrating and suitable to use all over baby’s face, arms, and legs to cool them off.
- Recognize and avoid triggers: When parents can recognize triggers that irritate baby skin, they can reduce exposure. Common triggers for eczema-prone skin include pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, and sweat.
- Know when to see a dermatologist: I see eczema patients in my office every day, and I sometimes wish they came to see me sooner instead of suffering at home! If a baby is constantly scratching at his or her eczema, and seems uncomfortable, then it is time to come in for an appointment, especially if the baby can’t sleep at night from scratching or if they are scratching to the point of bleeding. If a baby is constantly scratching at his or her eczema, and seems uncomfortable, then it is time to see a dermatologist. There are lots of tools at our disposal for eczema treatment, including topical medications to decrease inflammation, treatments to prevent and treat infections, and antihistamines to help baby with uncomfortable itching and sleep.
This has been paid for by WaterWipes.