Baby Eczema: Natural Solutions for Dry Skin
By Bubba Organics
If you’ve ever suffered from a dry skin condition like eczema (also referred to as atopic dermatitis), you’ll know that the cold weather associated with winter can cause these ailments to flare up. Perhaps you’ve noticed your baby’s skin has been more irritated over the last few months?
When these conditions occur in infants, it can be very distressing for both mum and bub. Read on to learn more about this common skin condition and how to treat baby eczema naturally.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become very dry, often resulting in red, scaly or rough patches that can become very itchy, especially at night. If scratched, the patches can ooze and become crusty or infected.
The causes of eczema are not clear and there is no known cure but there appears to be a genetic link which means that if you or your partner suffers, your little one may inherit the condition, too. Eczema is often also seen in people with allergies and asthma.
You might be surprised to learn that 1 in 5 children are affected by eczema. This makes already fragile skin extra-sensitive. It’s important to consider everything that may come in contact with your baby’s skin to ensure that they are not being further irritated. Bubbas with eczema have the kind of skin that struggles to retain enough moisture. But when dealing with baby eczema, natural treatment options are often a parent’s first choice.
How to treat baby eczema
If you’ve noticed your baby’s skin has become dry and flaky during the colder weather, it’s important to begin treating that dryness right away. Left unchecked, your poor bubba will find it very difficult to resist scratching and the cycle of eczema is likely to continue and even become worse. Here are some baby eczema treatment options to consider.
1. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
The biggest problem with skin that is prone to eczema is that it loses moisture more quickly. For that reason, daily moisturising is essential – especially after a bath or shower. Choose natural baby skin care that is free from toxins or known irritants to ensure you’re not inadvertently causing further irritation to baby’s delicate skin.
The cooler weather often means we’re spending more time indoors with the heating on which causes the air to be even dryer than usual. This may mean that twice daily moisturising is required to keep bub’s skin protected. Of course, days are busy and it’s easy to forget, so at the very least, concentrate on moisturising those areas of the body where eczema is currently active. It may be useful to choose an extra-nourishing cream to treat these areas. The Bubba Organics Australian Goats Milk Baby Bottom Cream is enriched with soothing shea butter and calendula along with a beautiful base ingredient of Aloe vera which delivers pure moisture to dry skin. You can use this cream anywhere that needs an extra boost of hydration.
2. Eliminate known triggers
There are several known triggers that can cause an episode of eczema to flare up. Here are some to look out for.
• Synthetic fabrics and woollens can be very irritating to eczema -prone skin as they can cause the body to overheat. Breathable, organic fabrics are best – try 100% cotton or bamboo.
• Choose sensitive laundry wash. It’s possible to undo all your good work at caring for bubba’s skin by using a detergent that’s simply too harsh for fragile skin. The clothes baby wears are against their skin all day long so it matters what you use to wash them.
• Avoid soaps. They’re far too drying for eczema sufferers. Choose a soap-free alternative like Bubba Organics Australian Goats Milk Hair & Bath Wash to gently cleanse baby’s skin without stripping vital moisture.
• Keep bathing times short. Long baths in hot water encourage overheating and can really dry out the skin – 5 minutes is more than enough to keep baby fresh and clean. If the eczema is particularly bad, it can be helpful to give your little one a bath every other day.
• Prevent scratching. When your baby scratches at their eczema, the skin releases chemicals that make the skin even itchier which results in a nasty cycle. And when the skin surface is broken through scratching, the possibility of infection increases. Keep those little fingernails cut short and use cotton mittens or sleepsuits with fold-over sleeves.
• Make sure the temperature in baby’s nursery is not too warm. Dry air and overheating allows eczema to thrive. You’re better to keep baby warm by dressing them in breathable layers and/or a sleeping bag rather than by cranking up the heating.
• Sand and chlorinated pools can be irritating to the skin. It may be impossible to completely avoid exposure to these things but just be mindful that baby’s skin may need some extra TLC after playing in the sandpit or taking a swimming lesson. Rinse them thoroughly and moisturise.
3. Treat flare-ups promptly
As soon as you notice patches of eczema appear, it’s important to treat it right away. Lots of soothing lotion on the dry patch is recommended as well as avoiding the triggers listed above wherever possible. A cold compress can help to relieve the itching.
It’s also important to understand that the best way to prevent eczema flare-ups is with daily moisturising. It can be time-consuming and when there are no eczema patches, it can be easy to forget. But a daily habit of keeping baby’s skin hydrated can really go a long way to keeping it healthy. Bubba Organics customers whose babies have dry skin conditions have found our Australian Goats Milk range to be incredibly soothing and have noticed great improvement with skin dryness and irritation. However, if your baby suffers from a cow’s milk or soy allergy, then goat’s milk is not recommended.
4. See a doctor
If your infant’s eczema is not improving, it is advisable to visit a doctor to assess the severity of the condition and perhaps get a referral to another specialist. This may include an allergist who can help determine what role, if any, allergies may be playing. Sometimes eczema can be better controlled with a change of diet. If you’re breastfeeding, this will obviously mean your diet will need to change, too. Food elimination can be tricky and is not always successful which is why it’s important to undertake the process under the guidance of a professional.
And of course, if your baby has scratched an area and it looks particularly inflamed, a visit to the doctor is necessary to rule out a bacterial infection.
Dealing with baby eczema? Natural treatment with Bubba Organics Goats Milk range may assist in reducing irritation and redness.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.