Newborn skin is renowned for being super soft and beautifully clear, but when your baby develops skin problems it can be awful for parents. Eczema in babies can develop within the first few weeks but there are many things that you can do to help your babies skin.
Eczema is a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel (www.nationaleczema.org).
The first thing that you may notice is the dry red skin and it can be very uncomfortable for a baby. There are several things that you can do to help, which are very simple.
Eczema in babies can leave the skin very rough and dry, which is why it is so important to moisturise 3 times a day if you can. I have tried and tested many different creams and lotions over the years and the only one that actually worked is Weleda white mallow baby derma. I would highly recommend using it before anything else.
Clean your washing machine
One of the biggest culprits of eczema is a dirty washing machine, they are actually very unsanitary especially if you are using cloth nappies. There have been many stories going around about children suffering from eczema for years, they had tried everything and then once they had cleaned the washing machine, it went away.
If you are breastfeeding your baby then this can be difficult, try eliminating one thing at a time to see if it helps. The biggest culprits are wheat, dairy, eggs for food intolerances. Eliminate the food group for at least a month as it can take that long to remove the inflammation for your body. If it doesn’t help then try the next food group.
If you are formula feeding then try and switch to an alternative milk. Some babies needs special formula as their reaction to cow or goats milk may worsen the eczema. See your local specialist for more information.
Many wash powder and softeners can be very harsh on babies skin and can actually cause eczema in babies. This one is more of a test and see what reacts with your babies skin. I personally love Persil sensitive as I find it cleans the clothes really well.
Another thing to mention it to wash the clothes on a hot wash as the build up of creams can worsen the eczema.
Dry your babies clothes inside in summer, as the pollen that is in the air can irritate your babies skin. Doing this simple thing can help your babies skin in the long run and keep them more comfortable.
Try and steer clear of material that is not 100% cotton, the fibres from wool and synthetic materials can really irritate your babies skin. You really need to let your babies skin breathe to minimise irritation.
As you can see there are several simple things that you can do to help improve the eczema in your baby. It may take a month or so to start seeing some improvement, but keep trying.
For more informative pregnancy, birth and baby related articles, read our Maternity Mum blog.