6 effective ways to treat baby eczema
As a new mom whose baby has suffered from Eczema, I can tell you that having it go into remission is key because having your baby up at night itching or generally feeling uncomfortable is torture! I can attest to the recommendations below since I’ve tried them and they work!
In babies, eczema can show up anywhere but it’s usually seen on the cheeks, the head, and the folds of the skin— the backs of the knees, the elbows and the neck.
1. Give more baths.
It used to be believed that bathing frequently made eczema worse, when in fact if can be helpful. Cleansing the skin can help remove an overgrowth of staphylococcal bacteria, which may trigger eczema flares, said Dr. Megha M. Tollefson, an assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minn.
There’s no recommendation for how often to give baths, and what works for one baby may not work for yours. Nevertheless, always use warm water, only wash soiled areas and don’t bathe your baby longer than 15 minutes. Look for products labeled “cleansers” and those that are fragrance-, paraben- and phthalate-free.
After your baby’s bath, pat— don’t rub— his skin dry to leave some moisture behind. Then, seal the moisture in with an ointment or a thick cream at least twice a day. You can’t overdo moisturizing so have the cream handy at diaper changes too.
3. Try probiotics
A review and meta-analysis in the journal Allergy found that supplementing with probiotics during pregnancy and early infancy can prevent eczema in babies. Plus, a combination of probiotics and fish oil can completely clear up eczema in about half of babies, said Dr. Erika Krumbeck, a naturopathic physician who specializes in pediatrics and the founder and owner of Montana Whole Health in Missoula, Mont. Check with your doctor for the best brands and appropriate dosage.
4. Eliminate dairy
One of the reasons some babies have eczema or tummy troubles might be because they’re inheriting bad gut bacteria from mom, Krumbeck said. Eliminating dairy, which is usually the most common culprit, can help baby’s eczema especially if mom has digestive problems herself.
If your baby is formula fed, try switching to a hypoallergenic formula or consider donor breast milk from a milk bank to see if it helps.
5. Go on a moderate version of the Candida Diet
Eliminating foods that cause inflammation in the body is key. Holistic practitioners believe that Eczema is due to having poor gut flora. So, once you have eliminated dairy and see some results but not much, take it a step further. Eliminate grains, most fruits, except for berries, and all added sugars, fruit drinks, candy, desserts, soy, egg (a popular inflammatory culprit), and sesame. Do this for at least 3 months and see how well your babies eczema heals. Doing this while taking probiotics is key.
6. Ask the pediatrician about other treatments
Depending on the severity of your baby’s eczema, the pediatrician may prescribe a topical steroid medication, antibiotics, oral medications or phototherapy. Another treatment, wet wrap therapy— which covers baby in wet dressings or pajamas— and topical steroids can also be very effective, Tollefson said.