Any baby can have delicate skin, but if your child is among the 10 to 15 per cent of children who suffer from eczema, you’ll need to take extra steps to take care of his skin.
Eczema shows itself as raised, red bumps that can appear anywhere on your child’s body. The patches can be itchy and dry, but without proper care, they can quickly become sore, and even infected. Fortunately, a little preventative TLC can help head off many problems related to this condition.
While most babies need a bath just once or twice a week, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends a daily soak for children with eczema. The water will help soothe sore skin, provide added moisture, and cleanse away irritants that might infect open sores. Use tepid-to-warm water for bathing; hot water can aggravate flare-ups and should be avoided. Keep baths to about 10 minutes. Use a soft, clean washcloth and avoid rubbing the skin during bathing, which can further irritate already-sore skin.
Skip the Suds
Finding the right cleanser and moisturizer for your child’s skin requires a little trial and error—the same product isn’t right for every child. Keep notes about how your child responds to new creams and cleansers so you remember when you find the one that works well. Skip foamy bubble baths in favour of soothing cleansers like AVEENO® Eczema Care Body Wash, which carries the “Seal of Acceptance” from the Eczema Society of Canada.
At the end of the bath, bundle your babe into a clean soft towel and cuddle until damp-dry. Apply an emollient moisturizer within five minutes of the bath to help seal any water still on the skin.
Keep your baby clean and well-moisturized between baths, too. Your baby’s face needs extra attention, as little cheeks and chins are a common site of eczema flare-ups because they are constantly wet with drool, milk, or food. Try your best to keep your wee one in dry shirts and bibs, and make sure to wipe her face throughout the day with a clean, damp cloth. Apply cream as necessary to keep redness at bay. Be vigilant with moisturizer, making sure to apply two or three times daily to head off itchy red flare-ups.