Summer Skincare for Baby Eczema
Summer is here again and for many it brings relief from the some of the dryness of eczema prone skin.
There are things that can be problematic but if we know what to look out for it can make summer a little easier on sensitive baby skin.
Sun Creams for Eczema
We all know the importance of using sun creams especially in babies but finding a sun cream that doesn’t make eczema worse can often be tricky.
There are two types of sun protection, chemical and mineral.
Chemical Sun Creams
These contain a number of chemicals that are absorbed into the skin to help protect you from harm-full rays of the sun. These are most of the widely available sun creams and as they are absorbed into the skin these kinds of cream can cause problems for sensitive eczema skin.
Mineral Sun Creams
Containing things like Zinc or Titanium oxide, these creams form a barrier on the skin. They are more often found in ‘natural’ sun creams or preparations for sensitive skin. These creams can be a little harder to apply and as they sit on the skin can leave a white sheen that some people may not like. Examples of mineral based creams are Badger and Organic children Sun creams.
A mix of chemical absorbers and mineral screens.
Again, as with everything finding a sun cream to suit your baby’s eczema is trial and error, there is often the added problem that many sun creams contain detergents like SLS to mix the oil and water into a cream, perfumes and preservatives that can also cause reactions in sensitive skin. Natural creams may contain ingredients unsuitable for children with allergies so it’s important to check labels.
We used Badger Sun cream last year, it’s very natural and contains no preservatives or detergents, it was great for my little one and very moisturising, though it does leave lots of white blobs.
I’ve also tried Jason’s Sun cream, and we had no problems with that and I’ve heard very positive things about Lavera products and tend to try them this summer.
The National Eczema Society also has a fact sheet on sun creams.
Your Droctor or Dermatologist may be able to advise or give a prescription for a sun cream they feel may be suitable for your child, so it’s worth checking with them.
Swimming and Sand
Even tiny babies love water, and I think more than any parent we feel the conflict of wanting to protect out sensitive baby’s yet let them do all the things that children love and enjoy.
Paddling pools in the shade are great for hot days, one thing we had to be careful of was using ‘safe sun cream’ on siblings and friends as it ends up in the pool water and that was enough to cause scratching on Josh.
Swimming pools for most eczema sufferers are ok, you may find you need to use moisturiser before and after and always shower skin with fresh water on leaving the pool. Cooler pools often contain less chlorine than warmer pools. Here is a thread on our forum of some mothers’ experiences of swimming - please feel welcome to share your own experiences.
Sea water is salty so may sting open or very inflamed eczema so be cautious at first, if it’s well tolerated just make sure to rinse the skin well after paddling and moisturise well.
Sand gets everywhere and on a well moisturised and sun creamed baby can be impossible to get off without lots of rinsing. If your little one loves sand try to make sure that cream is applied a while before he get’s near it. Unless skin is open or very cracked it shouldn’t be too problematic, but beware if skin is weeping of open it may be very irritating, stingy and problematic to remove.
Coping with Heat
Many of us know how heat can make our babies feel itchier and on hot days it can be hard to keep our little ones cool.
Eczema can be exacerbated by sweating so skin creases on the insides of the elbows or behind the knees can become inflamed sore and itchy. If you find this is the case with your eczema baby, then bathing the areas at intervals threw the day with damp cotton wool before applying there moisturiser may help keep them more comfortable.
Light cotton clothes are ideal for hot weather. If you find little ones getting hot and itchy while travelling try things like terry towelling covers that can go into buggies and car seats to absorb moisture, I’m sure a clean towel placed into a buggy would do the same thing. As with any small children try and keep them in the shade were possible and out of the midday sun.
Summer is a fun time for children and their parents, with a little forethought and preparation you should be able to enjoy the warm and sunny days with your little ones.