Toddler Tuesdays: Let’s Talk About Eczema

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Hello and welcome to my very first Toddler Tuesdays!   I’ve been thinking about what to write about for my first edition of Toddler Tuesdays and while I wanted to do a recipe I thought there was something more important to talk about.  So today let’s talk about eczema.

Baby J had the most flawless skin for the first 4 and a half months of his life.  He looked like a little china doll baby.  Then something happened and he began to have dry, red, itchy patches all over his face and body.   We tried several different lotions before talking him to the dermatologist.  It turns out he had infant eczema.

J at 4 months

The first two or three months after we learned he had eczema were a struggle.  We tried many, many different lotions, found ways to keep him from scratching, and just worked hard to keep him comfortable.  It took some time, some medication, and some trial and error but by the time he was 7 months it started clearing up.

Once we figured out what worked for him things became easier.  His face cleared up first and we’ve been able to keep it looking good for the last 5 months.  On occasion he will have a very tiny flare up but it’s always in an isolated area on his face and goes away after a few days.  His body is a little bit harder but he also gets patchy flare ups that we are able to control after a few days.  His face and body look a hundred times better and he doesn’t scratch nearly as much.

J with eczema

So let’s talk about what worked for us.   The first and most important thing is to go to the doctor.   Get to a dermatologist if you think your baby or infant has eczema.   We got a steroid to put on J from the beginning.  It took a few weeks for it to work initially because the eczema was so bad.   I hated putting a steroid on him but it really worked for him.   Now we only put it on whenever he has a flareup.

The next thing that worked was to buy sleepers that had the built in mittens.  While it’s a total pain to change him for every nap and bedtime, it’s worth it because he isn’t able to scratch himself while he sleeps.  He used to scratch his legs and arms until they would bleed because he was so itchy but now we put the mitten sleepers on him for every sleep.  Target and Old Navy both carry them through size 6-9 months which was a life saver for us.   Then I bought several long sleeved onesies in size 9 months, 12 months, and 18 months and had a friend sew mittens on them for us.  He still sleeps in them for naps and bedtime.

Another important thing is to find a detergent that works for you.  I know a lot of people recommend Dreft because it’s supposed to be a baby detergent but it is full of scent.  J needed something that was gentle on his skin and did not carry a scent.  Once we found out he had eczema we began using All Free and Clear detergent and dryer sheets.  They don’t both him at all and they are free from dyes and fragrance.  It’s reasonably priced and it’s recommended by the NEA (National Eczema Association).

All Free and Clear

Lastly, we had a lot of trial and error on lotions and body wash for J.   He reacted poorly to some and did well with others.  It’s important to keep the child’s skin covered in lotion after baths and anytime you change the diaper.  This was hard for us to do but we now put lotion on him in the morning, after both naps, and before bed.

I’d like to share a review of the lotions and body washes and shampoos we tried for J.  I realize that our experience is not the experience of everyone but this is what worked best for us.   I’ve talked to a lot of mama’s who have kids with eczema and have found that some lotions and creams work for some babies and some don’t.  It really depends on the child.

Our Favorite Products to Treat Eczema:

CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream

Cerave Moisturizing cream

  • This product is fragrance free.
  • Creams are often better than lotions because they are thicker and stay on better.
  • This product is recommended by the National Eczema Association
  • J’s skin looks better and feels softer after a day or two using this cream.
  • This is my favorite cream to help treat J’s eczema.

Cetaphil Baby Moisturizing Lotion

Cerave Moisturizing Lotion

  • Fragrance and paraben free.
  • This product is recommended by the National Eczema Association.
  • Clinically proven to moisturize dry, itchy skin.
  • We often use this on J’s skin and it looks and feels better within a few days.
  • This is a close second for my favorite lotion/cream to help J’s eczema.

Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash

Cetaphil Baby Wash

  • Paraben and colorant free.
  • Gentle on babies skin.
  • Contains lotion so it leaves skin soft and smooth.
  • Gentle enough to use daily.
  • This is our favorite baby wash for J.

Products that didn’t work for us BUT that have worked for others:

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy

  • This product is recommended by the National Eczema Association
  • Reduces itching and irritation.
  • Steroid and fragrance free.
  • This product actually made J a little bit itchy but I know numerous people who used it on their babies and swear by it.

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief

  • Improves hydration to the skin.
  • Reduces redness and itching.
  • Fragrance, dye, and steroid free.
  • This did not help J but it didn’t make things worse either.   I know a few people who have had good luck with this cream.

Things that did NOT work for us

Coconut Oil

  • This did not reduce redness or itchiness.
  • It left J smelling like a coconut.
  • It’s expensive.
  • There is no proof this works on eczema.

Aquaphor Baby Ointment

Aquaphor Baby

  • This was recommended to us by a LOT of people.
  • Helps with dry, chapped, or irritated skin.
  • Preservative and fragrance free.
  • We found out that this creates a preventative barrier so it’s great for helping to prevent eczema but once J had eczema it made it worse.  Keep this in mind!

One Comment

  1. Awww! I remember my babies having eczema and what a struggle it was. We used All Free and Clear also. Mine still occasionally have flare ups; right now on their hands. They are elementary aged now. The flare ups get fewer and fewer each year for us. 🙂

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