Help for Baby Eczema

Suzanne Murray
12

We all want our babies to have perfect, glowing baby skin, like Swtdreamerbaby's little darling here, but unfortunately a lot of babies can get skin conditions well before the teen acne years. Baby eczema affects about 1 in 5 babies (twenty years ago, it was only 1 in 20).

Experts say more babies are getting it these days because of pollution, preservatives, pollen, harsh laundry detergents, soaps, and immune system issues. The good news is that half the babies who have eczema will outgrow it. Still, for those who have to deal with it, eczema can be distressing—your poor little baby is so itchy and red and scaly and goopy, and there seems to be nothing you can do.

I just read an article in today's New York Times, "Learning to Cope With, if Not Cure, Infant Eczema." Although it can't be cured, eczema can be treated, but the same solutions won't work for everyone nor do they appeal to everyone. It's pretty frustrating. Here are some of the options from the article:

1. Give the baby a bath every day followed by a slathering of petroleum jelly.

2. Avoid ingredients that can irritate baby's skin: fragrance, color, preservatives, Kathon, propylene glycol.

3. Use products with The National Eczema Association's seal of approval, such as Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion and Triple Cream Severe Dry Skin/Eczema Care.

4. Try low-dose topical steroids.

5. Try antihistamines.

6. Try non-steroidal ointments (which carry FDA safety warnings).

And here are some suggestions for coping with eczema from the CafeMoms who answered have2travel's request for help in Answers:

1. Cut back on baths. The less you bathe them, the faster it heals. From: tiffers32788 and 3maniacsmom

2. Try Philips Milk of Magnesia. Give her a bath with no soap (just a drop to wash her hair) and no lotions. Pat her dry and use a Q-tip to dab Milk of Magnesia on each spot. From: twotwinsmom

3. Put some breast milk on the eczema. From: Anonymous

4. Try Aveeno Creamy Wash. From: blueeyes71883

5. Avoid dairy. If you are breast-feeding, stop eating it; if you're giving your baby solids, check labels for dairy and dairy by-products. From: 3maniacsmom

6. Dab baking soda and warm water on the affected areas—be careful not to get it in the baby's eyes. From: SheriSanchez

As you can see, the ways of coping with eczema are many—and often completely contradictory. Sigh. If you're a mom whose baby has eczema, here are some groups on CafeMom devoted to supporting each other: Dealing with Eczema, My Eczema Baby, Babies or Toddlers with Food Allergies or Eczema. Check them out.

If your baby has eczema, how are you dealing with it? Have you tried any of these "solutions"? What worked for you?

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