Dr. Mona Gohara, MD, FAAD
Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD
Scratches, rashes, and rough patches – it can feel like every time you put your little one to bed, you find something new on them by morning. If you’ve got a case of baby eczema on your hands and you’re feeling lost on how to soothe the itching and irritation due to baby eczema, read on for expert advice from dermatologists Mona Gohara MD and Kavita Mariwalla MD.
First, a bit of background on the skin condition. So, what does baby eczema look like? Skin affected by baby eczema (also called Atopic Dermatitis) can be red, inflamed, dry, and usually shows within the first six months for a newborn. Eczema is a chronic condition that may disappear as a child grows older, although some children will have flare ups into adulthood.
Baby eczema causes skin to become uncomfortably itchy. In fact, itchiness can cause 83% of children with baby eczema to have trouble sleeping. This is bad news for their skin barrier, which becomes weaker when your baby scratches, causing more moisture loss and exposure to irritants. Needless to say, this cycle is often stressful on parents and can affect the whole family’s quality of life.
Now, over to Dr. Mona and Dr. Kavita with their top eczema care tips.
Know your little one’s baby eczema triggers
Get familiar with what might make your little one’s eczema flare-up. Common triggers can include scratchy wool clothes, polyester, perfumes, harsh body soaps, laundry detergent, heat and sweat.
Keep bath time to ten minutes at most, using lukewarm water. This helps to hydrate and cool their skin. Use a gentle, soothing cleanser made with colloidal oatmeal and moisturizer. Avoid cleansers with fragrance or sulfates which can irritate sensitive skin. Baby Dove Derma Care Soothing WashOpens in new window is a great choice as it is suitable for eczema-prone skin and also replenishes skin-essential nutrients to help skin retain its natural moisture.
Smear on your baby eczema cream
When your baby is out of the bath, pat the skin dry with a soft cotton towel and, within minutes, apply a thick colloidal oatmeal-based baby eczema cream or petroleum jelly to damp skin. Baby Dove Eczema Care Soothing CreamOpens in new window is a great over the counter choice. This thick, soothing skin protectant provides a 24-hour moisture barrier for rough and dry skin. Its patented PPAR technology restores the skin barrier and moisturizes from within, helping baby’s delicate skin become stronger. You can dress your baby in soft cotton for additional comfort, too.
File those fingernails
Keep your baby’s fingernails short or place cotton mittens on their hands to keep them from scratching. Scratching can cause skin irritation and infection.
Find your calm zone
Sometimes, despite all of your efforts, the rash on your little one’s skin will persist. It’s okay to feel frustrated. Rest assured, there have been many medical advances that can help you figure out how to manage baby eczema. See your board-certified dermatologist for further treatment – you’ll soon realize lots of parents are going through the same thing.