What do I like most about babies? Rubbing their soft silky skin – especially their toes! Don’t laugh but I love how smooth baby toes are. Unfortunately many babies, tots and children suffer from severe dry skin and eczema which leaves parents wondering what they did wrong. My daughter has suffered from mild eczema for several months and I’ve always dreaded the treatment – hydrocortisone. I’ve always hated using hydrocortisone creams because they contain steroids which can be harmful to your children with repeat exposure.
We didn’t notice the first flare ups of eczema until she was about six months old (maybe older) and it was on the back of her knees and inside of her elbows. My first instinct was to adjust my diet since I was breastfeeding. I cut out milk from my own diet and limited other dairy and acidic foods (like tomatoes). As she started eating solids we limited those same items from her own diet. Now that she’s totally weaned we continue to limit milk but that’s about all. We have switched her to almond milk and that seems to be working most of the time. However, there are still occasions when she has flare ups…
The pediatrician recommended moisurizers and LOTS of moisturizers. She also recommended hydrocortisone if the flare ups are really bad – thankfully they don’t normally get that bad.
Some tips that I found when researching eczema:
- Moisturize! Even when your babies skin is nice and soft continue to moisturize their skin. Apply a moisturizer several times a day to keep their skin from drying out.
- Moderate the temperature. This is especially important with extreme hot and cold temperatures both in the air and bath water. Keeping the temperature mild will help prevent flare ups.
- Natural & Gentle ingredients. Whether it’s cleaning products, laundry detergents, bath soaps, or moisturizers be sure to avoid products laden with toxic chemicals.
- Pets. Uh-oh, is your pet responsible for the flare ups? Pet dander has been linked to skin allergies such as eczema but don’t fear – most children will outgrow eczema as they get older.
- Wool, foods, and other irritants. Some fabrics (such as wool), foods (milk, tropical fruits, peanut butter, etc), and smoke may irritate your babies skin.
Products worth trying:
Around the home we’ve switched to eco-friendly cleaners that are free of toxic chemicals. We’ve also switched to eco-friendly laundry detergents for all of our laundry – not just the tots. Our favorite products are from ecoStore USA. I especially love the laundry detergent with a hint of eucalyptus – I love that smell!
I recently reviewed a new line of baby care products from exederm® that are approved by the National Eczema Association. The line of exederm® products include a baby bath, baby shampoo, baby lotion, intensive baby moisturizer, and for children over 2 – a flare control cream with hydrocortisone in an ultra sensitive hypoallergenic base. The exederm® line is free of colors, parabens, fragrances, lanolin, phthalates, and sodium laurel sulfates– all of which should be avoided in your skin care products. The flare control cream is the only product in the line that contains hydrocortisone. The only negative comment that I had when reviewing the ingredients of these products is that they contain petroleum.
After a few months of using the products our flare ups seem to have decreased slightly and when flare ups do occur they are mild and don’t last long. I could always be more diligent in applying moisturizer to Lil’ B (and myself). When you get in a rush this is usually the one step I skip in our bedtime routine. I know that we could both benefit from a few minutes of relaxing massage time with a good moisturizer.
Which reminds me – my hands could use a nice rub down with some of the intensive baby moisturizer right now! So I’m off to moisturize. What helps you keep your babies skin nice, soft, and eczema free?
Disclosure: I was provided samples of the exederm® line of products to review for this post. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were in no way influenced by the manufacturer.
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