Don’t let eczema be the bane of your little ones’ childhood. Here’s everything you need to know about soothing the skin condition permanently.
It starts with a rash and turns into an itch that never quite goes away. Eczema – or ‘Atopic Dermatitis’, isn’t uncommon, as it affects 15 to 20 percent of children around the world. Newborn babies and infants in the Middle East are particularly susceptible to the skin condition, due to the hard water, dry heat, and exposure to air conditioning, amongst other factors. In fact, studies show that in Saudi Arabia, more than 17 percent of a baby’s visits to ER are related to pediatric dermatitis-related issues.
Although the causes of eczema are hard to pin down, there are numerous triggers and combinations of factors that cause itches and flare-ups. It could be anything from soaps to fabrics, a sudden change in temperature, or even a particularly warm bath. When you don’t know exactly what’s irritating your child’s skin, it can seem challenging to know what to do about it. And while the urge to scratch usually keeps little ones awake at night, the discomfort faced by your child is often a cause for sleepless nights among parents too.
The comforting regime that delicate eczema-prone skin needs is a lot less complicated than you’d think. Here are five tips for soothing eczema from the paediatric skin experts behind Aveeno’s naturally derived skin and hair care products.
1| Hydration is key
The first step to reducing inflammation and soothing aggravated baby skin is hydration. When curating an everyday skincare regime, opt for those creams, lotions and washes that are hypoallergenic and pH-neutral. You’ll also find hydrating products specifically tailored to combatting eczema on the supermarket shelves. A fragrance-free lotion with a non-greasy formula and no drying alcohols such as Aveeno Baby Daily Care Moisturizing Lotion will help provide instant relief and calmness to affected areas of the body.
2| Better bathing rituals
Lukewarm water, minus the harshness of bubble soaps and dyes, is the way to go for a relaxing bath for a baby with eczema. Dermatologists also suggest avoiding the use of sponges and washcloths to dodge fibre-related irritations. Apply a soothing body wash like the Aveeno Baby Daily Care Hair & Body Wash, by hand before using a gentle soft towel to pat the baby’s skin dry, being sure to leave the skin a bit damp. Lock in the moisture with a calming body lotion to complete the bath time treatment.
3| Go for the oats
Colloidal oats have the natural ability to hold in moisture and relieve dry, irritated skin, which is why they’ve long been a popular household solution for instant eczema relief. Look for oat-based lotions, like Aveeno Daily Moisturizng Lotion or Aveeno Dermexa for the more severe cases, which are carefully designed using oat proteins and rich emollients. They contain a naturally nourishing and non-greasy formula that’s alcohol-free, gentle, and leaves a protective barrier on baby’s skin that can help with long-term relief against eczema.
4| Play it cool
Heat tends to irritate the skin, particularly around the knees, cheeks and thighs of your baby. In summers, stick to sponge baths followed by the reapplication of oat-based moisturisers. Avoid fabrics that could aggravate skin allergies and produce more heat such as wool and nylon, sticking to natural, airy fabrics that keep the baby cool. And, during the harsh summer heat waves in the Middle East, store your moisturisers and medicated creams in the refrigerator for an extra instant cooling touch.
5| The food factor
Kids with eczema are prone to developing other allergies, and food tends to be a direct trigger for skin conditions in young ones. It’s always best to refer conditions to your doctor, but at home you can check your baby’s food for allergy-causing ingredients to bring the eczema flare-ups to a minimum. Most common food irritants come from eggs, dairy, wheat, and various nuts.