Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on February 06, 2017

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Hansa Bhargava, MD National Eczema Association.

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Video Transcript

HANSA BHARGAVA: Hi. I'm Dr. Bhargava, and we are here today to talk about eczema, a chronic skin condition that affects a lot of children. Eczema usually starts less than five years of age, but can even start as young as infancy, such as little Charlotte here. Eczema can get worse with dry skin or irritating triggers, so it's really important to have a good bathing routine to properly moisturise the skin and prevent these flare ups from happening.

Your little baby. How old is she?

SUBJECT: She's seven weeks.

HANSA BHARGAVA: She's gorgeous.

SUBJECT: Thank you.

HANSA BHARGAVA: So with seven-week-olds, generally, you can see rashes not only on the body, but also on the cheeks. And looks like Charlotte has a little bit of a rash on the cheeks, which is eczema. Let's go ahead and talk about how to properly bathe her so we can prevent those rashes from getting worse, and even prevent them from getting red at all.

So now that we have cute little Charlotte in the bath, let's talk about proper bathing techniques to help prevent those flare ups from happening. You did a great job with the water. It's lukewarm. We don't want it too hot or too cold, obviously, and we don't want her to be in the bath for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Bathing's actually better than showering, not that we would give a shower to her. But when she gets older, just try and stick with baths as long as possible. Also, remember to use cottons wash cloths rather than any kind of polyester, because that can actually help the rash from getting worse as well.

Now, the soap is really important. You definitely want to use a mild soap that's not harsh on her, and also avoid soaps that have fragrances or colors. Never put bubble bath in the water, because that can also aggravate rashes, especially with eczema.

Certainly with the areas where there's eczema or red rashes, you don't want to rub those areas very much either. Always pat them, as opposed to rubbing them really hard, and use as minimum soap as you can. More water is always better for those areas.

SUBJECT: Sometimes, my child has rashes on her private area. Is that considered eczema as well?

HANSA BHARGAVA: Usually, rashes in the diaper area are due to the diaper itself, which is called diaper rash, or an infection. Eczema in this age group generally is on the cheek or on the body. It's important to know how to dry her off properly. You don't want to rub her dry. You actually just want to go ahead and pat her dry, and that removes most of the wet water, but leaves some of it in there so we can apply moisturizer on top. You want to lock in that moisture as soon as possible, preferably within the first three minutes of her coming out of the bath.

The type of moisturizer you should use is really a cream or an ointment. That works best to lock in that moisture and prevent dryness from happening. Definitely do it at least twice a day. Once after the bath, and once in the evening before your child goes to sleep.

Remember not to use a moisturizer with fragrances or color, because those can aggravate the skin as well. So the more you moisturize, the better it is. Now that we've gone through these bathing tips with this beautiful little girl, remember to do that with your own child to keep eczema at bay and have a happy and comfortable child. Aw. So cute.