Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Treating Baby Eczema

My little guy has eczema.  It sucks.  He is such a sweet handsome little man, but he was so crusty, that was all you noticed.  He would wake up itchy and aggravated and mom guilt would set in (mom guilt definition: everything that ever goes wrong with your child is your fault because clearly you grew them incorrectly).

I tried anything I heard or thought would help.  I switched to "free and clear" laundry soap.  I ran a vaporizer all day and night.  I bought Aveeno for eczema and loaded him up.  Very disappointing.  I spent fifty bucks on Eczoderm wash, cream and lotion which helped, but didn't clear up his spots.  I started noticing he looked great the morning after his bath, but got worse as the day went on, so I started bathing him every 12 hours, following the bath with a healthy dose of Eczoderm cream.  Better still, but some patches still persisted. 

I hit the internet to read up on the condition to see if I could figure out a solution.  I quickly found out that eczema in little ones is thought to be the result of the skin not functioning properly as a barrier, which means the skin cannot properly maintain it's moisture resulting in skin so dry it turns into flaky, rough and sometimes oozy patches.  That explained why he was so much better after a bath and a lube up with the cream, I was mimicking the moisture barrier he was missing.  I kept experimenting and came up with a system that completely controls his breakouts.  If you are having the same struggles, hopefully it will help.  Here it is:

1.  Bathe no less than every 24 hours in warm (not hot) water, using a gentle cleanser like Exoderm.  Until his rough patches completely went away, I bathed my guy every 12 hours.  This replaces the moisture in the skin.
2.  Immediately after bathing, gently pat the skin almost dry.
3.  If needed, apply a small amount of over-the-counter cortisone cream, such as Hydrocortizone 10 for Eczema, to stubborn areas.  This will help clear up any lingering red bumps.  My pediatrician said this is completely safe for babies because the amount of steroids is so low, it does not absorb into the body.
4.  Slather on the Aquaphor, layering over cortisone cream if applied.
5.  Dress only in breathable cotton.
6. Wash clothes and blankets in free and clear detergent.  I use All Free and Clear.  I also use Downy Free and Sensitive to keep his clothes soft.
7. Run a humidifier.  Eczema usually flares up in the winter because of the dry air.

Here is a before and after of my little man.


I hope this helps another guilt ridden mother feel better!

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