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How to Soothe Eczema in Children and Babies

While many adults regularly deal with the annoyances of eczema, the condition can also affect children and babies, leaving them with itchy, inflamed, or scaly skin on their hands, feet, knees, face, or other body parts. This is an uncomfortable condition and can cause many parents to worry about the health of their child’s skin. To help your child with this discomfort, contact a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute to receive proper treatment and avoid increased severity and longevity.


What is Eczema?

Eczema, often referred to as dermatitis, can appear sporadically or continuously on a child or baby. Eczema can be caused by genetics, an immune system that has yet to fully develop, or simply because of winter weather or dry, hot temperatures. It often appears during the child’s first few months. It is a common and treatable condition.


Triggers to Avoid

Each baby is different, but there are some common eczema triggers to avoid. The first is dry skin, which can easily make a child itchy. Try to avoid leaving children in hot and humid areas, as they are the primary cause for dry skin. Irritants such as wool clothes, body or laundry soaps, and exposure to perfumes are another trigger.

While you can do your best to avoid these triggers, eczema may still appear. Many children will outgrow it before they go to school, but eczema treatments are readily available if they don’t.


Eczema Treatment For Babies and Children at Home

The goal of at-home eczema treatment is to reduce itching and inflammation while also adding moisture and preventing infection. Common at-home treatments for babies and children include moisturizing, warm baths, and using unscented body and laundry soaps. Moisturizers should include ceramides which are available over-the-counter and by prescription. The moisturizer should be applied directly after a 10-minute lukewarm bath. The lukewarm bath will help hydrate and cool the skin and will help soothe the itchiness. Add oatmeal to the tub for extra relief.

Both in the tub and out of the bathtub, be sure to use unscented soaps, including unscented laundry detergents. Scented soaps and lotions can affect a baby’s already sensitive skin. After bath time, pat the skin dry rather than rubbing it. Lastly, be sure to keep the child’s nails trimmed to help them avoid making the rash worse more irritated.


When to Seek Help

If these at-home eczema treatments don’t help to relieve eczema and its symptoms, it may be time to move on to medicines. Over-the-counter products, such as hydrocortisone creams, are specifically intended to target itching and inflammation. Be sure not to overuse the cream as it can lead to thinning of the skin and tissue beneath. If the eczema does not get better after one week of over-the-counter treatments, it is time to get a prescription medicine from a dermatologist.

If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas and have a baby or child suffering from dermatitis/eczema, fill out this form to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute.

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