Health

Scratchy Baby: Dealing with eczema

I have heard from lots of parent friends of mine that their babies and young children suffer from eczema. My girls themselves have all suffered with dry, itchy skin, and even my husband suffered terribly in childhood. In fact, it is a considered to be a common condition. If you have this condition as an adult, you will understand just how uncomfortable it can be. So for babies and small children it’s really heartbreaking to see them in such discomfort. As the weather starts to warm up, the itchiness can get worse. So right now is a good time to address this problem, before the summer kicks in.

If you are looking for information on how to help your baby deal with eczema, I have rounded up some advice here. I really hope that it helps you out.

The NHS website recommends that the first step you should take, if you have not already done so, is to seek a diagnosis from your doctor. If you self-diagnose and attempt to treat the condition yourself, this could potentially exacerbate the problem. Your GP will be able to assess the nature of the problem and provide the right treatment. It’s best to get the problem checked out super early too, as eczema can very quickly get worse in a short amount of time.

Itching eczema only makes it worse- big time. It can cause the affected areas to bleed and potentially become infected. The urge can be very difficult for a child, and adults for that matter, to avoid. However, there are things you can do to help your child stop scratching. For example you can buy specialised clothing like ScratchSleeves, apply perfume-free moisturiser and a cool compress to the itchy areas.

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There are also a number of actions that parents of babies with eczema recommend should be avoided as much as possible. Things that are likely to aggravate your baby’s skin condition are scented soaps and lotions, scrubbing during baths and clothes made from itchy fabric. As well as clothing, it’s also helpful to choose soft bedding materials as babies may do a lot of their scratching while they are in bed. Those beautifully smelling baby bath products may look (and smell) appealing, but they really can exacerbate problems. Its best to use unscented, natural products or better still, just plain water.

It is also thought that diet can be a reason in some cases of eczema in babies and young children. Small changes to diet have had a positive effect for some young people. However that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. In any case, no dietary alterations should be made before consulting with your GP. If your doctor thinks dietary changes may be a good idea, he or she will probably recommend a reduction in dairy products, wheat or egg.

As I mentioned above, the heat can make your baby’s urge to itch even worse. Try to keep him or her cool by wearing light clothes in the summer and by doing what you can to reduce the temperature in their nursery to a comfortable one. Remember to use a parasol on prams and buggies and keep children in the shade as much as possible.

The good news is that most babies will grow out of this condition. So, the important thing is to do what you can to make them as comfortable as possible while they have to put up with the side effects of having eczema.

Please feel free to let me know about your own experiences with this condition.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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