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Eczema can be so tough – especially on sleep

Children with eczema playing in the Australian heatNo one likes to see their children suffer, especially when they are only babies, so when my daughter developed a red itchy rash when she was 6 months old I went into panic mode.

As a new mum, you see a rash and you automatically think it’s something life threatening and contagious (I’m sure you’ve all been there!). After an anxious night of imagining all kinds of horrible things, we took her to our GP where she was diagnosed with eczema.

While we were initially relieved that it was ‘only eczema’ we quickly realised this was an uncomfortable and irritating condition. The Eczema Association of Australasia states that half of all eczema sufferers show symptoms before the age of 1, and we fell right into this window [1].

Watching your baby suffer is so hard and our daughter already had issues with severe reflux and food intolerances. Adding eczema on top of this meant that we had a very upset and uncomfortable baby girl who was very hard to calm and settle. One of the biggest issues for us was that the itching was keeping her awake at night, and combined with the reflux we were lucky to be getting more than two hours of sleep at a time.

We were sent home with a prescription for cortisone cream and given some practical tips to follow.

These included:

  • Avoid overheating (we live in Queensland and it was summer, so this was a bit tricky)
  • Avoid too much air conditioning (this advice contradicted the above comment and no air conditioning made life extremely uncomfortable).
  • Be very careful with what products we were using on our daughter.


Happy baby with eczema


While the cortisone cream helped, it’s not something you want to be using too often on your kids, so we tried to use it sparingly. Taking the above advice into consideration, we moved our daughter’s cot so that it wasn’t directly in front of the air conditioning, and started keeping it at a slightly higher temperature than we had been. While this made some difference, the real difference came when we changed the products we were using.

We had been given some gorgeous baby lotions, creams and moisturisers and were using a popular and expensive brand of wipes. When I took a closer look at the ingredients on these I realised most of them contained a lot of nasty chemicals and almost all of them were fragranced. Our GP recommended sticking to very simple products – like the Aveeno range of products – and advised us to get rid of almost everything else.

We switched to hypoallergenic, non-fragranced wipes and tested out lots of different brands until we found one that was suitable. Changing wipes also meant a massive reduction in the amount of nappy rash we were experiencing.

We stopped using baby bubble bath and changed to a natural bath oil instead. A few drops in each bath was all that was needed. We also swapped our bath wash to the Aveeno Baby Soothing Wash and have recently begun using the Aveeno Dermexa Moisturing Cream.


Happy baby with eczema


Thankfully, my daughter’s eczema is milder than many others, and we have been able to control it with the steps mentioned above. Changing the products that we used was definitely the biggest factor in keeping her eczema at bay, and I’m pleased to say that we haven’t needed the cortisone cream in more than six months. When she starts to have a spell of eczema we find that frequently applying the Aveeno Dermexa Moisturiser clears it up quickly.

Remember all children are different and you should always seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner before trying or changing treatment options for any medical condition. Talk to your doctor about your child’s individual situation.

– by Carol Jones from My Bored Toddler

1.Facts about Eczema, The Eczema Association of Australasia

This blog post is sponsored by Aveeno Baby

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