Six months after our daughter was born, she began to break out in what appeared to be a rash that spread quickly across her inner elbow. Nothing to cause us the undue alarm, but enough to make us want to dig into it.
We looked up pictures and descriptions of rashes on infants and toddlers on the internet that appear to us like ringworm. My husband and I decided it was mild ringworm and looked into treatment options. The solution sounded simple enough. So we tried it, and the rash gradually faded.
The rash resurfaced one week later, but this time it was on her cheeks. We immediately took her to the pediatrician, where we discovered that we had misdiagnosed the problem; it was not ringworm. She suffered from mild Eczema.
This word Eczema was new to us, we took the pediatrician’s advice and went on to the hunt for the best products known to keep our baby’s skin soft and rash-free.
If you are a parent, you can imagine how we must have felt when witnessing my little daughter’s cheeks, inner elbow becoming reddish.
In our research on Eczema, we found that it is common in children of the ages from six months to five years, but the cause is unknown. It is not contagious and there is no treatment, but you can manage the symptoms with the help of your doctor. Approximately 20% of all children are affected. It can also affect adults, but it is more common in children.
Although it is chronic, it tends to flare up periodically, especially if it is exacerbated by certain environmental factors, types of food, or other variables.
What exactly is Eczema?
Eczema is a persistent skin ailment that produces dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Eczema in children is characterized by a skin rash (sometimes severe) with red lesions that cause intense, uncomfortable, and painful scratching.
Depending on the severity of your eczema symptoms, it may have an impact on your quality of life (lesions may scab). The rash can appear on any area of the body, including the face, inner elbows, hands and feet, wrists, ankles, neck, upper chest, behind the knees, and so on.
What are the factors causing Eczema in Children?
Eczema is classified into numerous forms, and the most prevalent of which is Atopic Eczema (atopic refers to a hereditary tendency). Other forms of eczema are less common like allergic contact Eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, etc.
Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medicines) and emollients (skin moisturizers) are commonly used to treat eczema but natural remedies are a better alternative to the usual medical treatments.
Natural remedies for Eczema
Here I will mention some of the natural remedies, which we have followed for our Lil one.
1. Coconut Oil for treating Eczema in children
Coconut oil (cold-press/virgin) provides several health advantages, including aiding in the treatment of dermatological illnesses such as eczema. It increases skin hydration and is a great anti-aging therapy too.
If you have read my previous posts, you must be aware that I am a big fan of extra virgin coconut oil. Among its numerous benefits, coconut oil may be used to treat Eczema organically. This magical oil has natural antibacterial and antioxidant compounds that will relieve itching and irritation.
Coconut oil also includes vitamins (A, E, and K), which help to maintain skin health, repair damage, and prevent scarring.
2. Fragrance-free wash and cream for Eczema
When hunting for the best body wash for child eczema, check for fragrance-free wash options only. Certain soaps and skincare products can worsen eczema. Soaps free from fragrance, dye, and allergens are best for people with eczema.
Added fragrances can cause allergic reactions sometimes. Scents added to items benefit mainly adults and have no value when used on kids.
Look for products that are FREE of chemicals.
There is no perfect product. I recommend doing the patch test if you’re unsure of using any product. Certain products work great for some and not for others. I recommend ordering a product based on what fits your needs and giving it a try.
3. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also helps to heal wounds. I have used aloe vera gel to soothe my daughter’s Eczema.
4. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing properties. It may help relieve skin dryness and itching and help prevent infections. Always dilute essential oils before using them on the skin. Try mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil, before applying the solution.
5. Dietary changes
Some foods may either cause or reduce inflammation in the body, following a few important dietary modifications may help prevent eczema flares.
Dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat are all common inflammatory foods. Try removing any of them from your diet. Keeping a food diary helps you identify which items may be triggering eczema.
6. Clothes and Fabrics to Avoid for Kids with Eczema
It is recommended to avoid using synthetic fabrics for babies suffering from eczema. Synthetic fabrics like rayon, nylon, polyester, etc tend to worsen the effects of eczema. Always go for natural and organic clothes like cotton.
Wool, despite being a natural fabric, is not a good choice for babies with eczema. You’ve probably all experienced how irritating wool dresses can be when they rub against your skin.
Instead of wool clothing, you can layer soft natural materials on your baby to keep them warm during the winter.
7. Epsom Salt Baths for Babies
Epsom salts are nothing more than magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is the second most prevalent element in human bodies and is involved in the regulation of over 300 enzymes and processes. Epsom salts bath can help exfoliate the skin to give relief for itchy or irritated skin caused by eczema.
How to Make a Epsom Salt Bath:
- Fill baby’s bath with lukewarm water.
- 1/8 cup salt (for infant), for older kiddos: 1 cup.
- Soak for 5-15 minutes.
- Remove from the tub and pat dry, rather than rubbing, since this might cause discomfort.
- Apply a thick layer of moisturizer right away to seal in the moisture.
P.S.- Low-grade Epsom salt is extremely dangerous.
Dry air is one of the primary causes of a baby’s eczema, especially during the winter months. A humidifier will introduce moisture into your home and assist in combating the harsh winter air. Using a humidifier is similar to moisturizing the baby’s skin.
Don’t add too much moisture to a room. You don’t want the humidity in a room to be at more than 50%. When the humidity exceeds this percentage, bacteria and mold can grow. This can aggravate respiratory disorders such as allergies and asthma.
P.S. – Most importantly, keep your humidifier clean to ensure that you are introducing clean air into your baby’s living area.
9. keep your child’s nails short
Eczema itch and small hands can’t seem to leave it alone. Messing with it, on the other hand, makes it worse and can even lead to infection. Teach your child to avoid scratching his or her skin. In case they forget, keep your child’s nails short or put a pair of cotton gloves on their hands.
Related post: https://messymom.co/2021/06/homemade-baby-food-recipes/
Eczema in children: The right actions and reflexes to adopt
To live better with eczema, here are what we have discovered the right things to do:
- Wear loose-fitting and soft cotton clothes. Do not rub the skin to avoid irritation.
- Hydrate intensely to relieve dry skin.
- Consume fruits and vegetables regularly.
- Soaps that are pH neutral should be used. My daughter was recommended non-scented soap by our paediatrician.
- Avoid taking hot water showers as it damages the tender skin of your kid, instead, give short showers.
- Stress too triggers eczema flare-ups, calm down your little one with your love. (for young kids)
- Moisturize your skin daily with a rich, oil-based cream or coconut oil to form a protective barrier against the elements. Apply the cream right after you give a bath to your kid to seal in moisture.
Unfortunately, there are several eczema triggers. The good news is that if you understand what causes eczema in your child, you can avoid them and, to a great extent, prevent flare-ups.
Knowledge gives you power! Don’t let eczema rule your life. Fortunately, many youngsters outgrow their eczema after 6yrs of age. Each kid is unique, and determining your child’s exact triggers is an important part of the process.
The internet is flooded with suggestions for how to soothe eczema in babies, but I’ve only mentioned what we’ve tried with our daughter.
I wish this article would help you understand and manage eczema in a better way.
Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy.
Image source: Unsplash
Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. This content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatments.
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