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6 Ways to Treat Eczema

6 Trusty Treatments For Baby Eczema

When a baby's silky smooth skin develops red, dry, itchy patches, the culprit is often eczema. Commonly appearing around 2 to 6 months of age, eczema (or atopic dermatitis) affects some 20 percent of infants and young children. If your baby is itchy and irritated, these six trusty eczema treatments from readers are sure to help soothe his skin.

1. Avoid Topical Irritants

Many babies have skin allergies to the perfumes, dyes, and chemicals in common household products like soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and bubble baths. As Heidi F. advises, switching to hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products can help relieve eczema: "For soap, we use Dove for sensitive skin — anything that I put on their skin is fragrance free. I even found Mr. Bubbles for sensitive skin, which makes bath time fun for them. Another thing that I was told by their doctor was to wash their laundry with fragrance-free detergent and fabric softener. This has all seemed to help minimize flare-ups and itching."

2. Test For Food Allergies

Topical irritants aren't the only allergic reactions that can cause eczema. As mother-of-two Sarah P. shares, "My son had really bad eczema before he turned 1. We had a doctor recommend he be tested for food allergies. Turns out he was allergic to several things, and as soon as they were removed from his diet, the eczema went away completely." Keep a food journal to see if certain foods trigger flare-ups, or ask your pediatrician to recommend an allergist.

3. Use a Good Eczema Cream

Slathering on a gentle, fragrance-free eczema cream is one of the best treatments for eczema. Readers suggest applying eczema creams several times daily, especially right after baths. Highly popular brands among moms include Aquaphor by Eucerin, Cetaphil, California Baby, and Aveeno. Others recommend locking in moisture with Vaseline.

4. Avoid Overheating

Mom Kelly F. recommends children with eczema wear lightweight, breathable fabrics: "Lots of light layers are great as overheating can make eczema worse." Avoid heavy and scratchy fabrics like wool. Jamie D. adds, "You don't want their water to be hot, just a slight warm."

5. Limit Scratching Damage

"I'm afraid she will be left with scarring to her face if I can't get her to stop scratching," shares Melissa E. "It's mainly in her sleep." Since eczema makes skin seriously itchy, heavy scratching is common. To prevent your baby from worsening the rash with cuts and infection, keep nails clean, short, and covered at night. "Try some lightweight mittens," Robyn S. suggests.

6. Give Medication

Several readers, including Amber P., say that the types of treatments listed above did not relieve their babies' severe eczema, so they resorted to stronger medications. "We just recently took him to another doctor and she told us that what we're doing was great for the eczema (washing with Aveeno and using the Aveeno lotion, putting Vaseline on to keep it moisturized, getting rid of all fragrances — laundry detergent, lotion, everything that came into contact with him) but she said that sometimes it just isn't enough. So she suggested using a steroid cream called triamcinolone acetonide. Ever since we started using it, his face has completely cleared up and we have not had any breakouts in almost two weeks. It's the best stuff we could have asked for."

Other moms, like Montana mom Lindsy F., recommend an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream: "Hydrocortisone works miracles! You don't even have to get a prescription for it. It's in the anti-itch cream, part of the health and beauty department." However, pediatrician and mom Helen T. advises that parents use it sparingly: "Just be aware of using cortisone cream in any format for any more than a short period; it will bring much needed relief but it is not a long-term cure as it can have side effects after many years of use and it treats the symptom, not the problem."

Looking for more advice on baby rashes? From diaper rash to cradle cap, all kinds of skin conditions are discussed in Circle of Moms communities. Get started in communities like Kids With Skin Disorders, which has over 2,000 members.

Image Source: Shutterstock
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Join The Conversation
Mei38524 Mei38524 2 years
Agree that medication is necessary although it sounds 'unpopular' due to the negative news generated largely through phobia and by companies/ individuals who'd like to push their alternative solutions. There is potency and frequency of use, and having a knowledge of both can limit side effects of medication and offers a relatively quick reduction of eczema inflammation. For more on potency, see http://eczemablues.com/tag/medication/
milaBurke1374205622 milaBurke1374205622 2 years
I have a 6 month old baby and I am dealing with eczema with her it's not easy and can be very frustrating ,but i am using cortoderm 1% and is all gone ,for now ,her skin looks great ,I cant not say if is gone for good but until now her skin is all good after 2 days with this cream ,what a relieve good luck to all.
ElizabethBarclaySilva ElizabethBarclaySilva 4 years
My son who is now 7 years old had severe excema. He had staph twice on the spots behind his knees etc. We did all the above and nothign worked we did allergy testing he wasnt allergic to anything, we tried no soaps in the bathtub, we changed eating habits, laundry detergant, clothes we wore, he had to have shots, ointments, antibiotics, hospitalizations......it all came downt o a week after he had the last staph infection and finished his antibiotics we went out of town for his big sisters specialist appointment and we wanted to have some fun. We went to the beach he was in the ocean for 20 minutes tops we didnt get to shower him off immediately afterwards he got a shower after we drove home that day and the excema has never been bad again. I have a 2 year old that has contact excema touch her and she breaks out, we are doing allergy testing on her soon. She was allergic to baby soap and everything we have since changed her surroundings and she is doing better now but still breaks out.
JenCoon JenCoon 4 years
Steroids are just temporary and dangerous treatments. Use 100% Organic/all natural products. I use California Baby products - ONLY - on my son (found at Target) and Earth Friendly Brand ECOS detergent which is super cheap and found at Walmart and Costco.com! He's been 100% eczema free for almost 2 yrs. NO flare-ups. Even though it's fragrance and dye free doesnt mean much since the name brands are still usually laced with very harsh ingredients still.
ChristineRussell ChristineRussell 4 years
My pediatrician told me not to use Aquaphor or Vaseline for my daughter's eczema because it doesn't allow the skin to breathe. Instead she had me bathe her every night for about 10-15 minutes, put 0.5% Hydrocortisone on her red patches for 10-14 days, and put Eucerin calming lotion all over her body right after that. I had to do the lotions morning and evening and the bath just at night. Cleared it right up and has kept it at bay ever since!
MollyDurham MollyDurham 4 years
Both of my youngest daughters had HORRIBLE eczema. I finally discovered that Cortizone10 Eczema applied directly after a luke warm oatmeal bath, and then a set of long pant, long sleeved, (one piece) pajamas all right before bedwas the ticket. The Cortizone is super thick but not greasy and if you put the pj's on while it's still on top of the skin then their body heat helps to gently open pores and allow remaining lotion to soak in overnight. The oatmeal bath (I used a pouch of Aveeno and a cup of milk and bathed in the kitchen sink for higher concentration) helps soothe and moisturize too. We also ran cool-mist humidifiers throughout the house year round. I know this sounds like an ordeal but again my girls have VERY severe cases. Hope it helps. Don't get frustrated. I have noticed that every child with eczema responds to different techniques.
LatarranBrown LatarranBrown 4 years
trying to find the root of the problem is the best way to go about it. Medications dont work on my daughter and i dont like the whole steroid cream idea. I found an all natural way to handel my daughters eczema and it works the very best(better the meds) doterra essential oils: lavendar and melaleuca you can rub it on just the spots or all over with coconut oil. I love it that has worked the very best for my daughter and son
AnjiHampson AnjiHampson 4 years
I am recommending Hoskings Pharmacy to EVERYONE here. My daughter had eczema last winter that I couldn't keep under control with anything. I was using a cortisone cream occasionally but was LOATHE to do it as I have been told overuse can thin the skin quite dramatically and then the skin starts cracking and becoming infected as well. The eczema TREATMENT cream from Hoskings Pharmacy is 100% effective with her and has no side effects, it can even be used as a barrier/moisturising cream. It's called Psoerexederm Cream and is a little expensive but can be used quite sparingly and (at least with us) doesn't even have to be applied morning and night, once every couple of days seems to be doing the trick quite nicely. We use QV wash in the bath too so her skin doesn't dry out too much, but I am in love with Hoskings Pharmacy these days we've had such excellent results!
NakiaJohnson NakiaJohnson 4 years
The Renew lotion from Melaleuca works really well. Also try changing the laundry detergent to a non toxic one. Most of the laundry detergents on the supermarket shelves contain Phosphates and other harmful ingredients that irritate the skin. I have using the melaleuca products on my son since he was born and they have been awesome!
anitamurray34416 anitamurray34416 4 years
my son get really bad rashes i find bicarb powder bath takes the red and itch out of his skin then a dermalogicaly tested product make it go fast
SherryRoberts26645 SherryRoberts26645 4 years
I have 2 adopted children with eczema. One has a severe case and was neglected for nearly 2 years before he came to us. My Dr. is rather different and does not like to use prescriptions until after every other option is tried. She recommended using Crisco Shortning on the boys skin. rubbing it in twice daily or more for bad days. To keep the boys from scratching I was to add anti inch cream. I started mixing the anti inch cream with the crisco and it has done wonders for the boys skin. Both boys have sof peaches and cream skin now. No more scratching either. I rub them down after their bathes....Who knew..Crisco shortning( the kids can get it in their mouths and eyes without any bad effects)
HeatherCallicutt HeatherCallicutt 4 years
I have eczema and so does my 13 month old son. I can only use bar soap (dial) any liquid soaps and I have a bad outbreak. I started using Mustella on my son. It's used in Europe to treat Eczema. They have a wonderful all-in-one soap and an awesome lotion (tried the olive oil bath, the steroid creme, etc.). Now my son's skin is completely cleared up!
JulieRobinson JulieRobinson 4 years
I swear by Johnsons naturals cream. My son went through steroid cream after steroid cream, e45, oilatum etc etc and everything made his skin worse. Used a bit of johnsons naturals cream and within 3 days it was ALL clear. He's 16 months old and i still use it on him everyday or else patches start to come back, but it really was a miracle for me!
LouiseBevan LouiseBevan 4 years
My 15 month old daughter has always had eczema ever since she was tiny. She has never been able to have bubbles in her bath or nice smelling creams & has aways had to have oilatum. Recently I was recommended to use products containing Aloe Vera by a company called Forever Living. In the last two weeks I have introduced a hand and face wash into her bath routine and also their Propolis cream after her bath. This has not affected Tiana's skin at all, in fact it is actually softer than it was using the oilatum and for the first time in her life my baby can have bubbles in her bath! I'm amazed by how gentle the products are and love the natural smell of the Proplis cream. Since this experience I have become a distributor for the company and want to share these products with other mums in the same situation i was in. If you are looking for a totally natural product to use on your babies skin get in touch and i'll be happy to meet up and show you what we do. louise_bevan@hotmail.co.uk
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