You will probably agree if we say that babies are born with perfect skin – no blemishes, and absolutely smooth. However, in some cases, when the baby hits two to the three-month mark, the skin condition becomes different. Suddenly, a patch of red and itchy skin erupts – it’s eczema. While there are a lot of over-the-counter remedies, some parents would rather go the natural way. Thus, the search for various baby eczema home remedy options.
Luckily, today, we are going to be talking about different baby eczema home remedy options that are easily available. But before we move on to that, let’s go down memory lane a bit first.
Remember when you first held your baby? Or the first time you got to see him or her? That was priceless, right? We can only imagine the joy – needless to say, the tears of joy – your baby has brought you. It was indeed life-changing, right?
You know that feeling that if only you can shield your baby from harm forever, you would. Oh, that’s absolutely how every parent feels – generally speaking.
But a few months later, things were different. You thought you had a happy baby! But suddenly, all you got is a fussy, irritable little one. For once you though he or she is just uncomfortable, or maybe part of a growth spurt. But, slowly you see some red rashes on his or her cheeks.
While you thought it was nothing harmful, you suddenly feel the need to have your baby checked. Thank goodness you did because apparently, it’s baby eczema. All this time, the rashes you thought are just simple rashes were apparently symptoms of eczema.
For a while you felt devastated, you couldn’t fathom why your baby has it. But through the doctor’s guidance, you were able to pick yourself up. Thank heavens it’s not as serious as you thought. The condition is manageable, and in due time, your child may eventually outgrow it.
Now, here’s the thing, you badly wanted to manage it and keep your baby away from flare-ups. While the doctor suggested products to help ease out baby eczema symptoms, you felt it is better to try natural methods first. So, you start searching for baby eczema home remedy options.
And guess what? Your search led you here! Well, precisely why you are reading this, right?
Anyway, eczema can be a serious matter if not managed and not taken seriously. While there is still not a single specific way to cure these skin conditions, luckily, there are ways on how to manage its symptoms.
But before we even get into the real thing, let do some baby eczema 101 first. This is to ensure we are fully knowledgeable about this condition.
So, let us begin.
BABY ECZEMA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
What is baby eczema?
As the National Eczema Association puts it, eczema is a skin condition wherein you will notice the red, itchy, and sometimes inflamed patch on your baby’s cheeks, chin, or chest.
Since it looks like typical baby rashes, some parents tend to not mind the symptom as all. Others would even just put on creams to help ease out the rashes. What they do not know is, they’re dealing with a more serious skin condition on their baby.
There are different types of eczema. That is why it is very important to have your baby checked if you suspect he or she has one so that you are able to attend to it accordingly.
What are the different types of eczema?
As we mentioned earlier, to be able to give the right medication or remedy, it is important that you know what specific form of eczema you are dealing with.
To give you an idea, below are some of the most common forms of eczema according to the National Eczema Association:
- Atopic Dermatitis
This is probably the most common type of eczema or dermatitis. It is a form of eczema that is said to be “chronic and inflammatory”. While the true cause behind this type of eczema is not known, experts say that this occurs when the “the immune system goes into overdrive in response to an allergen or irritant inside or outside the body”.
Atopic dermatitis is very common among babies. In fact, it usually affects babies within the first six months of their lives. If your child has it, chances are it might either improve or worsen.
- Contact Dermatitis
This type of eczema or dermatitis occurs when the “skin touches irritating substances or allergens”. When that happens, the skin gets inflamed, which causes it to burn, become itchy, and red.
There are several kinds of skin irritants or allergens. Some of these are:
- Tobacco smoke
- Industrial chemicals
- Acidic Foods
- Skincare products that content alcohol (except cetyl alcohol)
- Harsh soaps and fragrances
- Allergens (typically animal dander or pollens)
Apart from redness and rash, other symptoms of contact dermatitis include burning and swelling, as well as blisters that may tend to weep or crust over.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema
If you notice itching, redness, flaking, scaling or cracking skin, as well as small fluid-filled blisters on the hands, fingers, and feet, plus there is a pain, most likely that is dyshidrotic eczema. These are the common symptoms of this type of eczema.
Some of the common triggers of this type of eczema are:
- Allergies like hay fever
- Moist hands and feet
- Exposure to nickel (like the ones in metal-plated jewelry)
- Exposure to cobalt (normally found in metal-plated objects, as well as in pigments used in paints and enamels)
- Chromium salts that are used in the manufacturing of cement, mortar, leather, paints, and anticorrosives
- Nummular Eczema
Also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis, this type of eczema may occur at any age. Unlike the usual symptoms of eczema, nummular is easily recognizable because of its round, coined-shaped spots that tend to be itchy, dry and scaly too.
Nummular eczema may be difficult to treat. Normally, this type of eczema is triggered by things like dry skin during the winter season, reactions to inflamed skin, or may also be caused by insect bites.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
This form or type of eczema is considered as chronic. It normally appears on the body wherein there are lots of oil-producing glands, which are normally the nose area, scalp, and the upper back.
Some of the common symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are:
- Redness of skin
- White or yellowish crusty flakes on the skin
- Greasy and swollen skin
- Stasis Dermatitis
Also called gravitational dermatitis, venous stasis dermatitis, and venous eczema, stasis dermatitis refers to the condition of the skin when there is “a problem with blood flow in the veins and pressure develops (usually in the lower legs)”.
Common symptoms of stasis dermatitis are redness, scaling, itching, swelling around the ankles, and pain.
What causes eczema?
Experts could not yet pinpoint specifically what causes eczema. However, according to research, the gene composition of a person may have something to do with it. Meaning, it can be inherited. If either of a child’s parents has it, there is a greater chance that eczema will develop in the child.
Another cause that experts are looking at is environmental factors like irritants and allergens. Some chemicals of natural things may cause eczema flare-ups.
But then again, there is still no definite cause, which makes it harder to come up with treatments or remedies specific to eczema and not the triggers or symptoms.
How to treat baby eczema or eczema in general?
Generally speaking, eczema is not curable – at least as of this time. Experts haven’t really found out the causes yet, thus, they could not also get into finding out the proper way to cure eczema.
However, the symptoms of eczema are manageable and there are remedies to help you deal with them – which, by the way, we are sharing with you in a bit.
Now, in the case of baby eczema, fortunately, experts say that in the case of children, when they get eczema at such a young age, there is a greater chance that as they grow old, eczema will disappear. But then again, there are cases that the condition reappears when they’re older.
Regardless of age, the thing is, you have to manage it to avoid eczema flare-ups, which are totally discomforting.
With that said, let’s move on to the real deal for the day —
BABY ECZEMA HOME REMEDY OPTIONS
While there are over-the-counter medications, creams, and lotions, nothing beats doing it naturally. Yes, there are baby eczema home remedy options that help soothe dry, itching skin caused by eczema.
With that said, let’s begin with our list.
- Lukewarm Baths
You may find this very simple, but, yes, it does help a lot in keeping the skin moisturized, which is very essential for someone with eczema.
However, when taking a bath, make sure that the water is not too hot or too cold as it may lead to dryness of skin instead, which is not what we want to an eczema patient. Also, take note of using the right soap, use gentle, unscented soap. And to keep the moisture intact, immediately apply moisturizer within five minutes after taking a bath.
Although regular bathing is recommended, frequent bathing is unnecessary, especially among babies. Once or twice a week is more than enough.
Meanwhile, according to NEA, for adults, one a day bathing is ideal. However, make sure to only limit it to 10 to 15 minutes daily. Also, avoid scrubbing as it may worsen your skin condition. And of course, use gentle cleansers in lieu of soaps. Adults may also consider medicinal baths by putting on some baking soda, vinegar, or oatmeal. All of these helps ease out eczema symptoms.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
We know by now that apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits. Perhaps it’s no longer surprising that it can help ease out eczema flare-ups, too!
According to a report by the National Eczema Association, apple cider vinegar may help address eczema symptoms, but with proper caution because of the vinegar’s acid content, which may cause damage to soft tissues if not used carefully.
Although there haven’t been any published research yet that will prove the efficiency of apple cider vinegar in reducing eczema symptoms, there are possible reasons why it becomes a hit among eczema patients. Like, for instance, its high acidity content.
Naturally, our skin is acidic. However, people with eczema have less acidity on their skin. So, by using apple cider vinegar, it helps balance out the acidity level of the skin.
Another reason is the vinegar’s ability to fight bacteria. Like staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. By using apple cider vinegar, it helps keep broken skin from getting infected.
When using apple cider vinegar, always make sure to dilute it first before applying into the skin. If not diluted, it can cause chemical burns or injuries.
As with babies, make sure to ask your doctor’s go signal first. Remember that babies have the most delicate skin. One wrong move might cause long-lasting damage to your child.
Bleaching may sound dangerous for some, but according to research, bleach in the bath helps improve eczema symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
Apparently, bleach is capable of getting rid of bacteria on the skin. It may also help restore the microbiome of the skin’s surface.
Then again, before using it on your child, make sure to ask your doctor’s go signal first. Remember a baby’s skin is very delicate, so better be sure than sorry.
When making a bleach bath, make sure to use a regular-strength (6%) plain bleach. Then, add half a cup of it to a full tub of water or equivalent to a teaspoon of bleach per gallon. Pour the bleach while the bath is filling, and then soak for about 5 to 10 minutes only. After this, make sure to rinse the body thoroughly using warm water. Pat dry the skin gently.
- Colloidal Oatmeal
Another famous baby eczema home remedy is using colloidal oatmeal when bathing. Colloidal oatmeal is also known as Avena sativa. It is made from oats that have gone through grounding and boiling to extract the skin-healing properties of it.
There was a study conducted wherein it showed that colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which helps a lot in managing eczema symptoms. In particular, it helps improve scaling, skin dryness, roughness, as well as the intensity of itch.
When bathing, all you have to do is add powdered colloidal oatmeal to the water on the tub and soak. Particularly choose colloidal oatmeal product with pure oatmeal as an ingredient. Do not use the ones with fragrances or additives as they may worsen the skin’s condition.
Apart from bathing, you may also consider applying lotions and creams that had colloidal oatmeal in it. There are actually a lot to choose from in both the online and offline marketplaces.
Compared to the previous ones we mentioned, colloidal oatmeal is generally safe to use. However, just make sure your baby or the person using it is not allergic to oats.
- Gentle and Unscented Body and Laundry Soaps
Here’s the thing, somebody and laundry (most especially) soaps do have harmful chemical ingredients that are harmful to the skin and may aggravate eczema flare-ups when used. Thus, it is highly recommended to use only soaps that are gentle, color-free, no-lather, and unscented, as much as possible, organic and/or specially made for eczema patients.
Another thing, skip fabric softener as well as it lingers on the clothes and generally contains fragrances, as well as chemicals that may lead to irritation if it comes in contact with the skin.
- Stay Away from Heat
Too much sun or heat exposure is dangerous to someone with eczema. Unfortunately, going to the beach is a big no-no. Sitting next to a fireplace is not a good idea too for someone with eczema.
The dry and hot air from the heat can dehydrate the skin and may worsen the itchiness among eczema patients.
To help your baby out during the summer season or even the winter months, you may use a humidifier at home. It helps keep moisture in your home, which is ideal for someone with eczema.
- Dress Comfortably
Another very easy to do baby eczema home remedy is to keep your baby’s clothing comfortable. Put loose clothing on them. Avoid clothes that rub the skin as it may aggravate eczema symptoms. Also, make sure that your baby’s clothing is made up of cotton. If it’s 100% cotton-based, way better. Avoid putting on clothing made of wool or polyester. They are not skin-friendly for people with eczema.
- Apply Moisturizer Regularly
Moisturizer is every eczema patient’s best friend. Make sure to always have one at home. Particularly, use the ones with high ceramides content as they are the secret to keeping your skin moisturized.
There are moisturizers specific for baby’s use. If you are not sure which to put on your baby, you may always ask your doctor.
Just a reminder, moisturizers must be applied immediately after a bath. As with the frequency, you may apply on the skin as often as possible.
- For Babies, Always Put On Mittens
When the skin is itchy, babies (even adults) tend to scratch their skin. Thus, it is highly recommended to always put on mittens on your babies to avoid them from scratching off the affected area.
So, there you have it. We hope you learned something from what we have shared with you – from a little information about what eczema is all about up to baby eczema home remedy options that you can try on.
Parents, a gentle reminder, while it may feel like managing eczema can be exhausting sometimes, remember that your babies rely on you. How the condition will be better or worse depends on the care that you are going to give them. At the end of the day though, when the baby is healthy and happy, we too are.
You can do it!