Caring for a child who suffers from eczema takes a lot of energy – from both the parent and the child.
We have a more general article on eczema – causes, diagnosis and treatments but it is sometimes good to get some real advice from parents who are dealing with eczema each day.
Here are some general tips from Bub Hub members who have been down the eczema road before.
Tips for cleaning the house for a child or baby with eczema
Try to limit dust mites as much as possible even if you don’t have access to allergy-repellent bedding.
- You can hot wash bedding, curtains, small rugs, couch throws rugs, and cushions regularly to kill any dust mites.
- Vacuuming as often as possible is also helpful if you have carpet – and make sure you include the couches and any other furniture that could house dust mites as well.
- Try to avoid having fluffy toys that dust mites can live in – or if there are special ones you can’t get rid of, try freezing them every night, and then hot washing them every few weeks to a month.
“The other things you can do are wash all bedding in 60+ degree water weekly, no fluffy toys (or put them in the freezer overnight or during the day if your little one has one they sleep with, and then hot wash monthly). We also bought a new vacuum cleaner and would vacuum three times a week. If you have curtains, hot washing them regularly would help. We got rid of cushions/ throw rugs on our couch and would vacuum it too.” – cindye
Tips for antihistamine use in babies and children with eczema
You can use antihistamines to control flare ups.
- Antihistamines will help a lot if the eczema is caused by a histamine allergy, but will also reduce redness and control itchiness so your child is more comfortable going through day-to-day life.
- Antihistamines especially help to allow easy sleep.
“I’ve given my son antihistamine quite a few times now, usually at night if he wakes up so itchy that he can’t sleep. Within half an hour he is back to sleep, no longer itchy. The next morning, the redness has died down dramatically.” – CMF
Tips for wet-wrapping a child or baby with eczema
Wet-wrapping – wet wraps are materials used to wrap eczema affected skin in a protective, wet layer.
- First, bathe your child in lukewarm water, with nothing in it except some bath oils if you want, then pat dry and moisturise liberally. If you think you’re using too much moisturiser, you aren’t.
- Now wet some bandages in lukewarm water and wring out so they are not dripping – mostly damp – and cover the layers of your child’s body that need treatment.
- Cover them again with dry bandages or clothing and leave them to sit for two hours.
- If the under bandages start to dry out too quickly, wet them a little again.
- After two hours is up, take off the wrappings and moisturise again.
- Repeat as often as you feel is necessary.
“I used to wet wrap my daughter when her eczema flared up. I learned about using wet wrapping at a dermatological clinic, and we found it really helpful. It cools the skin, and reduces infection because they can’t scratch it. She would sleep with the wrapping on, we used the prescribed creams or a barrier cream under the wrappings.” – bugsy
Tips for using diet to control eczema in children and babies
Keep track of the child’s diet to see if that causes flare-ups.
- There are certain food groups that are known to cause eczema, and making note of exactly what the child has eaten right before a flare-up will help to see if a particular food is causing it.
- After identifying what the food is, it should be easier to control the eczema and avoid aggravating it.
“Diet – Keep a journal and update what he ate before he flared. Ours turned out to be milk. Such an improvement after we cut it out!” – wendys
Tips for using steroid cream to control eczema in children and babies
The best way to stop an outbreak is to treat it with steroid cream. This will kill any chance of an infection and will clear up a nasty spot as soon as overnight in some cases.
- You should use the steroid cream liberally to make sure the outbreak is stopped as soon as possible – using sparing amounts for a long time won’t do much good.
- You can get over-the-counter steroid cream that isn’t as potent as the doctor-prescribed ones to start with. If you find it doesn’t work very well, you can always see a doctor and have something stronger prescribed.
“The most important thing with eczema is to stop an outbreak, it can lead to infection if it doesn’t get stopped. I use a steroid cream (over the counter) and for more severe outbreaks… a prescribed steroid cream.” – babyla
Please note: This article is a guide only and is not intended as a replacement for actual medical advice. If you have any concerns about your baby’s skin please consult your health care professional as soon as possible.
Image credit: radist/123RF Stock Photo