Baby Eczema Skin Care
Moisturising or emolliating the skin to help hydrate it is extremely important to keep eczema under control. What we put on our children’s skin is critical in managing their condition. Keeping the skin hydrated and reducing allergens are the 2 mainstays of eczema treatment. For reducing allergens have a look on the About Eczema page.
Our skin is made up of different layers of cells; inner most are the living and dividing cells. These sit on a blood rich layer of tissue containing the many nerve endings, hair follicles and glands.
The outer layers of the skin are made up of the dead and drying skin cells, which are being pushed up to the skin surface by the new cells being formed below. These top cells which are wearing away daily form the protective layer we think of as our skin.
When the skin becomes very dry as it does in eczema the water and oils from between and around the cells is lost making the skin vulnerable, irritable and sensitive.
Treatments for eczema aim to control rather than cure the condition. Trying to replace the skin barrier and stopping further damage is the purpose of emolliating. If we can help form a new barrier with creams then the skin underneath has time to heal and renew itself whilst keeping irritants out.
Clean, well moisturised skin is the key to preventing the dryness and soreness associated with eczema.
Main Points of Skincare and Eczema Treatments
- Eczema cream (Emollient). There is no right or wrong cream for eczema – everyone is different and the best cream is the one you and your baby are happy about using. If you like the cream, then you are going to apply it much more often and that is what will help. More about creams.
- Bathing/washing. Keeping the skin clean is important to stop infection. Moisturising creams are also more effective when applied to damp skin. Keeping baths cool and short can help to stop them doing more harm than good. Bath additives are numerous. More about bath products.
- Scratching. Try to discourage scratching as much as possible, clip fingernails as short as you can (I found this easier to do when Josh was fast asleep). Healthy looking skin can itch too! So if you see your child scratching anywhere apply some of their cream. Keeping the skin or hands covered in tiny children can be helpful. More about scratching.
- Medication. Always follow your healthcare professional’s advice when it comes to medication. Before you leave make sure you’ve asked any questions and ensure you’re happy and understand how best to use any prescribed medications. More about medications.
- Wet wraps. Special bandages used by some dermatologists to help bring moderate and severe eczema under control. Wet wraps help with the absorption of topical medications and control of itching. Mainly used in hospitals or taught to parents by a specialist nurse for parents to apply at home.
Treatment of eczema is all about getting the symptoms under control, this means finding what works for you and your child. Health watchdogs NICE have ruled that any child with uncontrolled eczema should be referred to a specialist. So don’t be afraid to keep going back to your doctor for help. If the skin isn’t improving or you are not happy with the recommended treatments then ask your doctor for a referral. If your GP refuses, the National Eczema Society advises reminding them of the NICE guidance.