Nine Tips For Eczema In Children

Posted by Chandra Nath on

Our guide to treating and managing eczema in children and babies, written in collaboration with parenting toolkit TantrumXYZ

Eczema is a non-contagious dry skin condition which can be unbearably itchy, and cause the skin to rash, bleed or crust. In the UK, one in five children has eczema, but only one in 12 adults, which shows that it is often a condition they grow out of. In the meantime, here are some useful ways to help manage eczema in children.

  1. See you GP

    The first port of call should be your GP, who can discuss treatment options for eczema in children and babies. These will normally be a combination of emollients and liquid soaps to keep the skin hydrated, and creams and ointments to target flare-ups.
  2. Do your research

    Be clear on the ingredients in each cream or ointment that is prescribed. Eczema creams containing steroids are effective but should be used very sparingly on sensitive baby skin. You also need to ‘wean’ the skin off them, so ask your doctor for a clear plan on how to reduce the use of the cream once the eczema has cleared up. Also be aware that many baby oils and lotions claim to be gentle but list colourants and perfumes, which can irritate sensitive skin, in their ingredients. However, Neutral 0% Baby Oil is free of these nasties, and you can use it to massage your little one, moisturising their skin in the process.
  3. Ask for ointments instead of creams

    The best treatment for eczema is to keep the skin well moisturised, but this doesn’t mean that the skin should be wet. Dry your baby’s skin well after a bath, and ask your GP to prescribe an ointment rather than a cream, because these contain less water and also no preservatives.
  4. Bath them every day

    Eczema-prone skin lacks the natural oils and moisture which help protect the deeper layers of skin from bacteria. The bacteria triggers the itchiness, which causes the rash. Bathing your child every day will help protect their skin from bacteria. Pay particular attention to wash the ‘creases’ in the skin, such as inner elbows, armpits and behind the knees, as bacteria can gather here making them common areas for eczema in children and babies.
  5. Don’t keep them too warm

    Another thing that eczema loves? Heat! Warm and/or sweaty skin is more itchy than cool, well-ventilated skin, so check the temperature of the bath water and your child’s room to make sure they are not too warm. This will lessen the itch of eczema in children and babies.
  6. Choose natural, breathable fabrics

    Remember that children spend all their time in close contact with their clothes and bedding, so avoid synthetic fabrics which can be irritating to baby skin, and also cause them to heat up. Natural fabrics such as cotton and merino wool are breathable and help to regulate temperature, although wool can also be an irritant so monitor your child’s skin in various fabrics to see what they might be sensitive to. It’s also important to wash clothes and bedding in gentle product, such as Neutral 0% laundry detergent , to avoid irritation.
  7. Check your household products for irritants

    Perfumes, colourants and other nasties can trigger itchy skin, and it’s not just their shampoos and bubble baths which you need to monitor. Washing up liquid, washing powder and baby wipes can also contain all these things, so switch to a brand like Neutral 0% , which is formulated for sensitive skin instead, to help manage eczema in children.
  8. Stop your baby from scratching

    This is easier said than done but, with older children, you can ask them to stop when they are doing it, and distract them away from the action. And, with babies, you can put scratch mitts on them to avoid it. It is very important that you keep their nails very short so they can’t cause too much damage to their skin if they do scratch.
  9. Remember that pets can trigger eczema

    Sorry to bear bad news, but pets such as cats, dogs and rabbits can be one of the main eczema causes. To limit the damage, make sure your pets don’t lick your child’s skin, and that they are not sleeping near your child’s bed or buggy. Clean the house regularly to keep on top of malting fur and its accompanying irritants.
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