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Did you know that, according to the National Eczema Society, as many as 10% of all infants in the US have some form of eczema? Those are pretty worrying odds and something a new parent should never have to think about. Unfortunately, baby eczema is a reality. In this post, we breakdown both the most common forms of eczema as well as the best eczema treatments for babies.
I’ve heard countless stories and have talked to many parents whose children are suffering or were suffering from eczema. They have tried countless doctor visits, treatments and medications to help improve their child’s skin, but many have been unsuccessful. In fact, my own son’s battle with eczema is the main reason why I decided to start this blog and The Eczema Company – I knew how hard it was to see your child suffer with eczema and the itchy skin and sleepless nights and I just wanted to help others going through the same thing! If you haven’t had a chance to read my story yet, I recommend you read Natural Remedies for Eczema – What Worked For My Son.
Battling baby eczema is no easy journey, and it’s not always easier as they grow older and they don’t grow out of it, but understanding the most common types of eczema, as well as learning about effective eczema treatments for babies and children will make the fight that much easier. This I promise you. Because once you’re armed with resources and ideas, as well as a good physician or natural practitioner who will support you on your journey, you’ll feel quite empowered. Eczema won’t feel like it controls your life any longer. Sure, not every day is going to be perfect. There will be ups and downs and days you still feel lost, I know because I’ve been there. But in general, arming yourself with a good practitioner and the right information will put you in control and get you on a forward moving track to better skin and itch free days.
Please keep in mind that although these tips have worked for many of my readers and customers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
Before discussing the best baby eczema treatment, it’s important to distinguish various forms of eczema seen in infants.
This is the most common form of eczema among babies, children and adults. Normally, the eczema will manifest in red, dry, scaly patches on various parts of the body – often times in creases like behind the knees and elbows or on the neck under the chin. These patches are extremely itchy and can cause babies to incessantly scratch or rub their skin to alleviate the itch. With atopic dermatitis, often the child may grow out of eczema only to develop allergies or asthma, or may experience them altogether. Read more in What Is the Atopic March?
Most people don’t realize that diaper rash is actually a form of dermatitis that results in red, angry looking eczema. Skin will appear both red and irritated, while small blisters can appear if the irritation is more severe. This rash can be produced by bacteria from both a child’s urine and stool sitting in a diaper, or from a reaction to ingredients or materials used in the wipes or diaper itself. Switching to DIY wipes and cloth diapers is a great natural alternative for babies experiencing diaper rash. We’ve heard countless cases where this has completely resolved chronic, severe diaper rash. We didn’t have issues with diaper rash with my son, but we did try Fuzzibunz swim cloth diapers for my daughter. It’s also important to track how your baby responds to new foods, as acids in certain foods can cause further irritation – pears caused mild irritation for my son’s bottom and beets were a HUGE problem for my daughter’s sensitive little toosh.
This condition is basically infantile seborrheic dermatitis, a form of dermatitis that is prevalent in both children and adults. Both my kids had this for years! After checking my 8-year-old son’s scalp the other day I discovered he still has a tiny bit and my 6-year-old daughter definitely still has some patches as well. Cradle cap is caused by sebum, an oily substance produced by the glands that cakes on the skin. Although it is usually not bothersome to babies, dryness can cause some discomfort and annoyance. I don’t necessarily have full on seborrheic dermatitis, but I do have trouble with excessive sebum production, which gives me waxy, greasy hair after a shower.
So, What are the Best Eczema Treatments for Babies?
Because your eczema baby has extremely delicate skin, it is best to not use any products that contain chemicals or synthetic ingredients. With my son, I found the best results in all natural products like balms because they didn’t contain any form of alcohol, which burned him terribly. This is why I only recommend natural eczema treatments for babies that are gentle on soft, delicate skin and that don’t contain any harsh chemicals or things like alcohol.
One of the most important steps in healing any form of eczema is to moisturize. Because the skin barrier is damaged, it’s important to repair the barrier by moisturizing it. One of the best baby eczema creams is our Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream that combines healing Manuka honey and oil with organic nut-free tree oils, as well as beeswax to nourish the skin without any burn or sting. If you’re looking for specific products that are aimed towards Diaper rash or Cradle Cap, using herbal treatments like Emily Skin Soothers’ Itchy Eczema – Baby & Adult Soother and Severe Diaper Rash Skin Soother can help wonders as well!
While moisturizing will help heal your baby’s damaged skin, sometimes the itch can be too much. Not only does itching not allow for the eczema to properly heal, yet it can cause more severe infections like Staph. Using scratch preventive eczema clothing like ScratchMeNot Flip Mitten Sleeves for Babies or Goumi Kid’s Infant Eczema Mittens can help your little one’s eczema heal. For cradle cap that is irritated and bothersome, this Goumi Hat is very helpful.
Tags and seams can really rub and irritate the skin, so consider pajamas like those from Cotton Comfort in 100% organic cotton, which were made for children with eczema. They make a one piece footed pajama, as well as a scratch mittens pajama top and coordinating footed pajama pants. These pajamas are soft and soothing and just what I wish were around when my son’s eczema was severe.
For more information, read Eczema Clothing for Babies & Children: Our Recommendations
For more severe bouts of eczema, wet wrap therapy is a miracle treatment. When my son needed quick relief, we always turned to wet wraps to ease his flare-ups. Wet wrapping is very simple and requires both an emollient moisturizer and clothing to seal in moisture for a minimum of 2 hours. For baby wet wrapping, the WrapESoothe Eczema Suit is the perfect solution available for children 6 months up to 3T. For children 4-5T, there are wet wrapping treatment shirts and separate pants available.
To learn more about wet wrapping, check out How to Use Wet Wrap Therapy for Eczema in 6 Easy Steps!
Although baby eczema is a difficult journey, there are treatments and remedies that can help alleviate both the discomfort and stress naturally. Personally, I went through so many trials and errors before really understanding what could heal my son’s eczema. We tried a variety of natural treatments that eventually worked, yet running a proper elimination diet and figuring out his allergies and intolerances made all the difference.
Are you pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to treat your baby’s eczema? Leave me a comment below or contact us.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.