Being a parent can be the best job in the world, but it also brings challenges – for every heart-warming giggle and cuddle, there’s often a sleepless night, or a case of baby eczema. Usually appearing in their first year as red, dry and itchy patches (often behind their ears and in the creases of their neck, knees and elbows), eczema isn’t uncommon in delicate baby skin – in fact, up to 20% of children can have it.
The causes of eczema are hard to pin down, but there are numerous triggers you can look out for, as children’s nurse and mother of two Tracey Barber explains: “It could be anything from soaps to detergents, or adult soaps that perhaps aren’t pH-correct. A sudden change in temperature might also make eczema in children worse – moving from a warm house to the cold outside for example, or out of a particularly warm bath.”
When you don’t know exactly what is irritating your little one’s skin, it can seem difficult to know what to do. But as with all aspects of parenthood, you’ll find your own way to deal with baby eczema. Dad of one Andy asked his pharmacist for advice: “He recommended a great bath oil and lotion, which has worked wonders!”
To keep your baby’s delicate skin comfortable, hydration is the key. Paediatrician and mother of four Dr Dina says: “It’s best to try and use the most simple creams, lotions and washes that are hypoallergenic, pH-neutral and fragrance-free.”