Q&A: How do I treat my baby's exczema?
My three-month-old was recently diagnosed with eczema. His skin is ALWAYS extremely dry and may even have a rash. Do you have any tips on how to keep his skin well moisturized and on how to control the rash?
Eczema is a very common childhood rash. It starts as dry skin and does get worse in winter, when the heated indoor air makes skin even drier. Eczema itches. As children scratch, they set up changes that worsen the eczema, which then itches more and a viscous and uncomfortable cycle appears.
While there is no “cure” for eczema yet, relieving dryness (thus the scratch-itch cycle) is key. Moisturizers trap the body’s own moisture in and help prevent damage to the skin as it is being scratched. They are most effective when used right after the bath, in fact within 10 minutes after coming out of the water.
When eczema becomes more severe, a steroid ointment used twice a day, usually for one to two weeks, is recommended. The trick is to find the lowest concentration possible that still does the job and when used intelligently, they are effective and safe.