*This blog post is in collaboration with iHerb*
As a former Nanny (and former Nursery Nurse in a Private Day Nursery) of 14 years I have cared for numerous babies & toddlers, and it is safe to say that no one skin type is the same.
Each child is unique and therefore has individual likes, dislikes, allergies and needs.
Both of my children have Eczema, Emmy had it rather severely as a baby/toddler but out-grew it around 3 years old and it hasn’t returned. Harry developed his at the age of about 1 and still suffers now, aged 4 and a half.
What is Eczema?
The word eczema comes from the Greek word “ekzein” which means “to boil.”
Eczema (also known as dermatitis) is a dry skin condition. It is a highly individual condition which varies from person to person and comes in many different forms. It is not contagious so you cannot catch it from someone else.
In mild cases of eczema, the skin is dry, scaly, red and itchy. In more severe cases there may be weeping, crusting and bleeding. Constant scratching causes the skin to split and bleed and also leaves it open to infection. – www.eczema.org
Although Eczema is mainly seen on children it can of course affect anyone of any age, and those who have once out-grown it, as Emmy has, could see it return out of the blue in adulthood. With 1 in 5 children in the UK having this and 1 in 12 adults.
Signs of Eczema
- redness of affected areas of skin
- generally dry skin, which is often thickened in the areas that have been scratched
- lumps or blisters in affected areas
- signs of superficial infection, such as weeping or crusty deposits.
Top Tips for dealing with Eczema and dry skin
Avoid hot baths or showers
I’m not saying don’t bath your baby, however water can dry out their skin so daily bathing probably isn’t best. Stick with every other day or so (we all know just how messy babies get and will need it). Use warm water instead of hot. Water will help to soothe the itching although if the skin is broken through scratching it may hurt a little.
Avoid bubble baths and shampoos which contain Parabens
Parabens are a chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid and are used in shampoos, deodarants, moisturisers, soft drinks, processed meats and many other every day items to give them a longer shelf life
Our doctor always used to refer to it as ‘Slippery Baby’ – one of the key factors in keeping dry skin and Eczema at bay and under control is to keep the skin moisturised. When the moisturiser has been applied and then been absorbed into the skin, reapply often. With a good moisturiser you can not apply TOO MUCH.
I have used Aveeno Baby with Harry for years, we have tried various other creams and lotions however, for us this was the one which suited us best and comes in such a wide range of creams, bath treatments and shampoos that can be used for the whole family.
I often have a bath with the kids, it’s an easy way of them getting in fuss free and while in that bath I ensure they both wash their hair. I use the Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo with them as using a different product on Emmy while in the bath with Harry will irate his skin. This can also be used as a soap replacement, traditional soaps can dry the skin out too much, if not washing hair I use Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash which is very moisturising for Harry’s skin but also great for mine too. I use the Aveeno Baby Eczema Soothing Bath Treatment when Harry has a very bad flare up, it is made of oats and helps to relieve dry, itchy and irrated skin, and is good for taking on holidays to avoid taking a heavy bottles of liquid as it comes in handy one use sachets.
After the bath I pat dry and try my hardest to avoid rubbing the affected areas, then I use either the Aveeno Baby Soothing Moisturizing Cream all over or their Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream. All Aveeno products are Paediatrician recommended. These moisturisers are fragrance free and suitable for use daily and have been clinically shown to moisturise for up to 24 hours. It is hypoallergenic and this soothing cream is non-greasy and absorbs into the skin quickly while also being gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Keep nails short
Young babies and toddlers will scratch at the sore areas both in the day and at night while sleeping. Scratching can make Eczema infected and bleed, making the situation far worse.
Many baby sleep suits come with scratch mitts, if your child is prone to scratching then make sure you put these on before bed. For older children where this isn’t an option socks work well.
Baby your babies skin
Remember that young skin is delicate, don’t be tempted to use products designed for adults for ease, let it breathe – include nappy free time into your day and dress in breathable fabrics.
Light layers over heating
Central heating can dry out skin so try to limit the use if you can, using baby sleeping bags at night time instead of putting on the heating on.
Keep a food diary
If your little one has very bad Eczema it may be worth keeping a food diary for a few weeks to see if certain foods may trigger a flare up – foods which can be links to such flare ups include: Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Wheat, Fish, Shellfish and Soy. If you notice a connection try cutting that food type out and speaking with your doctor to see if you can get food allergy testing or advice.
This won’t get rid of the Eczema but may help to keep flare ups to a minimal
Be vary of washing powders etc
Contact Eczema can get worse by changing washing powders/liquids, fabric softeners etc. It is recommended you use non-bio versions for children’s clothes however if you are cuddling a small child you’ll want to wash your clothes in that too. I have always found Harry has a rather bad flare up if I run out of our usual washing liquid and I’ve just grabbed a bottle in a local shop as a stop gap – it’s easy to forget when he’s not had a flare up for a while. I also have to re-wash clothes given to him by friends when their children have out-grown them and new clothes need a wash too.
I was given a voucher code to purchase my recent Aveeno products from iHerb which a Google Trusted Store, there are lots of different products available from household items to baby products, pet products and supplements. They ship internationally to over 160 countries and their Customer Service Team provides support in 10 different languages. Although my purchased items were being shipped overseas to me I was pleasantly surprised to find they took less than one week to arrive safe and sound and ordering was very easy once I had created an online account.
Currently customers will get 10% off Aveeno Baby Products by clicking on this link – this offer ends on 30th June 2017.
*Post contains affiliate links*
This is part of a Blog Series called Top Tips from a Former Nanny, please click the picture below to read my other posts in this series: