What Can Make It Worse
Each baby is different. But there are some common eczema triggers to avoid, including:
Dry skin . It can make a baby more itchy. Low humidity, especially during winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, is a cause.
Irritants. Think scratchy wool clothes, polyester, perfumes, body soaps, and laundry soaps. These can all trigger symptoms.
Stress. Children with eczema may react to stress by flushing. That can lead to itchy, irritated skin. And that, in turn, ramps up their eczema symptoms.
Heat and sweat. Both can make the itch of infant eczema worse.
Allergens. It’s not certain, but some experts believe that removing cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, or certain fruits from a child’s diet may help control eczema symptoms. Remember that your baby can get exposed to these foods if Mom eats them before she breastfeeds.
Give your little one's skin some TLC. That’s the first step in treating their eczema. Try:
Moisturizers. One with ceramides is the best option. These are available over the counter and by prescription. Otherwise, a good moisturizer, fragrance-free cream, or ointment such as petroleum jelly, when used several times daily, will help your baby's skin retain its natural moisture. Apply immediately after a bath.
A lukewarm bath. This hydrates and cools the skin. It may also ease itching. Make sure the water isn’t too hot! Keep the bath short -- no more than 10 minutes. To soothe itchiness even more, you could try adding oatmeal soaking products to your baby's tub.
Use mild, unscented body and laundry soaps. Perfumed, deodorant, and anti-bacterial soaps can be rough on a baby's sensitive skin.
Clean carefully. Use soap only where your baby may be dirty, such as the genitals, and hands and feet. Simply rinse off the rest of your child's body.
Dry off. Pat skin dry. Don't rub.
Moisturize. Smooth one on while your baby's skin is wet.
Dress for comfy days. To avoid the irritation of clothing rubbing on the skin, your child should wear loose clothes made of cotton.
Always wash new clothes before you put them on your baby. Use a mild, fragrance-free detergent.
To keep your little one comfy, don’t overdress him or use too many blankets. If he gets hot and sweaty, that can trigger an eczema flare.