moisturizing baby
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Do: Moisturize

Dry skin can lead to flare-ups. Apply lotion, cream, or ointment to your child's skin. It’s especially important right after a bath and during cold months, when you’ve got the heat on.

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moisturizing baby face
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Don’t: Use Just Any Lotion

The “oilier” a moisturizer, the better it can hold water inside your child’s skin. Stick with an ointment or cream with a high oil content, and layer it on thick.

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woman buying lotion
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Do: Skip the Scents

Steer clear of lotions, soaps, or detergents with fragrance. Mild, dye-free, unscented products are less likely to trigger a reaction in your child’s skin.

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trimming fingernails
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Don’t: Let Them Scratch

Eczema itches, and little hands have a hard time leaving it alone. But messing with it makes it worse, and can even lead to infection. Teach your child not to scratch their skin. Keep their nails trimmed short in case they forget.

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baby clothes
5 / 15

Do: Dress for Success

Itchy clothes can scratch and irritate your child’s skin. Soft, breathable fabrics like 100% cotton are best.

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sleeping child
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Don’t: Let Them Overheat

Hot, sweaty skin is ripe for an eczema outbreak. Avoid hot baths or showers. Keep them from too much activity when flare-ups are bad.  Make sure they’re cool enough when they sleep, too.

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sweeping dust
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Do: Avoid Allergens

More than 35% of kids with eczema also have a food allergy. Be sure you know what might be kicking your child’s eczema into high gear. Dust, pollen, or pet dander could also be culprits.

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doctor examining baby
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Don’t: Ignore Infection

Skin with eczema is at risk for bacteria or viruses. Keep an eye out for signs of infection, so you can treat them quickly. These can include:

  • Weeping
  • Bumps filled with pus
  • Crusted spots that look different than the rest of your child’s eczema
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bathing baby
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Do: Bathe Them Better

Never give your child a hot bath. Instead, keep tub water lukewarm. Other things that can also help soothe and heal include:

• Bath oils
• Salt
• Baking soda
• Oatmeal
• Bleach (half a cup to a full tub of water)

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child washing hands
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Don’t: Use Hand Sanitizers

Waterless, antibacterial cleansers are hard on skin. Always wash your child’s hands with water. Keep it cool, pat dry (instead of rubbing), and moisturize right after you’re done.

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steroid cream
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Do: Try Steroid Cream

Sometimes your child’s eczema needs more than just a bath and moisturizing to stay under control. Ointments called topical corticosteroids can help. Your doctor can help you find the right one and tell you how to safely put it on.

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child applying moisturizer
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Don’t: Do It All Yourself

Once your child is old enough, help them learn smart skin habits so they can take an active part in keeping flare-ups away. Even very young kids can be taught basic tips like to not scratch.

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mother and child yoga
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Do: Ease Their Stress

When kids are under pressure, their skin shows it. Help them avoid stressors. Also be sure they’re getting what they need to cope with their daily life. Things like:

  • Plenty of sleep
  • Healthy food
  • Exercise

Relaxation things like deep breathing can help, too.

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no smoking please
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Don’t: Smoke

Being around smoke is bad for kids (and adults) in general. It’s also an eczema trigger. Be sure your child isn’t exposed to secondhand smoke. 

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child drinking water
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Do: Push Water

Creams can only do so much. To make sure skin doesn’t dry out, you also have to hydrate from the inside. Make sure your child drinks 6-8 glasses of water every day. That'll give their skin some much-needed moisture.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 02/01/2019 Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 01, 2019


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National Eczema Organization: “Child Eczema,” “Infants and Toddlers,” “Bathing.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Eczema: How to Help Your Child Avoid the Itch.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: “Eczema in Children.”

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Water: How Much Do Kids Need?”

Kid’s Health: “Eczema.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 01, 2019

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.