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It’s hard to see a little one you care for in pain, and even worse when you’re not quite sure how to help them. Childhood eczema can make even the sunniest child uncomfortable and irritable and leave you not knowing how to help. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help relieve eczema and get your child back to a happy and healthy daily life.
Getting bath time right is the foundation of childhood eczema skincare. The key lies in two factors: the length of the bath and its temperature. You want to make sure the water is warm and not too hot because hot water can make eczema worse. Keep baths short, only 5-10 minutes, and make sure you use mild cleansers formulated for sensitive skin.
After the bath, only partially dry the skin with a soft towel, and then if your child has topical medication for their eczema, apply it on the partially dry skin. Only afterward should you use a thick, fragrance-free moisturizer to the rest of the body. Outside of bath time, You and your child should apply moisturizers two times a day.
Sometimes your child’s eczema may get infected, at which point bleach baths may be a good idea, but make sure you talk to your dermatologist about the safe procedure before beginning bleach baths.
You can’t control your child’s school environment or interactions with the outside world, but you can create a comfortable atmosphere in your home that helps control their eczema. Making sure you maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity is critical. Avoid extremely dry air and temperatures where your child may overheat, stimulating a cycle of itching and scratching.
When washing a child’s clothes with eczema, you may need to use a special detergent. You can find several varieties of skin-sensitive detergents at your local grocery store. One popular one amongst dermatologists is All Free Clear. To find the right one, start by buying smaller containers and washing an outfit or two at once to see how your child reacts to the new detergent. Most sensitive-skin detergents should be safe but always start with a test since every child is different.
When you find a detergent that works, make sure you don’t use more than the recommended amount and use enough water to rinse thoroughly, as too much detergent can be an eczema trigger. You may also want to buy clothes without tags or remove any tags with a seam ripper (not scissors, as scissors can leave behind remnants that irritate the skin).
Most importantly, make sure you wash all your child’s new clothes before wearing them. This limits exposure to dyes and chemicals that may cause flareups.
Eczema is tough, but there is help for you and your child. If you’ve tried these steps and you still feel like you’re struggling with flareups or infections, reach out to a dermatologist today. We can examine your child and provide them with the personalized care they deserve.