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Eczema in toddlers and babies is quite common. My son’s first eczema breakout freaked me out so much I took him to the doctor. His cheeks were incredibly red for most of infancy and into toddlerhood. His cheeks were bright red and scratchy on his first birthday. He had red, dry patches on his joints on his legs and arms and some started to appear on his belly and back. These are a few easy tips on how to treat eczema in toddlers and babies.
We needed to fix these issues before he started scratching and making the patches worse.
Eczema is when too few fatty cells to keep the skin moist and the skin loses water and creates the unpleasant dry itchy patches. Eczema can run in your family so it’s good to know if someone in your family also suffers from it.
Here are the things we have done to help treat and prevent future eczema breakouts.
1. Eliminate Fragrant Soaps and Detergents
Eliminating the fragrant baby soaps and detergents was the first step in how to treat eczema. We had already been using this dye and chemical free detergent, but made the switch to this soap to help with Rion’s eczema. While chemical free, I still like the smell of the soap!
Detergent is an easy fix. Most grocery stores have available free and clear detergents for you to choose from. Another idea would be during the clothes washing cycle use an extra rinse cycle to make sure all soap is out of the clothes.
Babies and toddlers have to wear clothes and have to take baths. You may be able to get away with giving your baby a bath less, but I know with a toddler who loves to run around and get dirty it might not be as easy.
In addition to switching to a free and clear soap, spend a shorter amount of time in the tub – no more than 10 minutes. Bathe daily if necessary and use lukewarm water. This one was tough for me because I’d think warm water would feel better! A cooler bath is better when your child deals with eczema because it can calm and soothe the eczema. I noticed a difference soon after we switched to a cooler temp bath.
2. Irritants in Clothing
You will also want to check what clothes your child is wearing. Stick with organic cotton garments for your littles. Polyester can be a big irritant. Check different brands and use what work’s best for your child. It may be a bit of trial and error. We find that Carter’s works really well for our son.
Avoid scratchy fabrics. Stick with light fabrics and are smooth to the touch.
Also, have your baby or toddler wear loose clothing and nothing that’s tight to the skin. This will help with letting the skin breathe.
3. Finding Indoor Activities
In the summer, it’s hard to avoid getting outdoors. Heat, sweat, and the elements outside can be an irritant to your child’s skin. Outside elements such as pollen and grass can cause even further irritation. When your child is running around, he or she may become so sweaty thus irritating the already patchy dry skin.
You may want to switch to indoor activities and limit outdoor activities when it seems too hot or if the pollen alert is too high. We’ve been going to museums and trying to head outdoors later in the day when the sun is behind buildings.
For us, A&D and Aquaphor worked wonders for our son’s skin. We were given a prescription early on, but A&D does the trick much better than the prescription or any other lotion out there for us. We’ve tried other lotions, but these simple non-fragrant ointments worked best for our toddler’s eczema prone skin.
We simply apply the ointment once in the morning and once in the evening after a bath to prevent dry patches in his joint areas. I don’t slather my son in the ointment, but focus on his problem areas where the patches show up first.
Avoid lotions with ingredients that will dry out skin, such as alcohol!
If you’ve tried all of the above and are still having trouble getting your toddler or baby’s eczema under control, consult your pediatrician. They may recommend a change in diet (eliminating dairy and wheat to start) or recommend a specific hydrocortisone cream for your child’s skin.
The good news is, this too shall pass. Your child may outgrow eczema by the time he or she reaches kindergarten.
Does your child have eczema? What have you done to eliminate eczema?