11 Tips to Alleviate Your Toddler’s Eczema
Summer has not been so nice on Lennox’s skin this year. Besides the multiple mosquito bites all over his arms and legs, Lennox has also been suffering from Eczema. I never experienced Eczema, so at first, I thought it was just dry skin. However, as the summer progressed, the dry skin started turning into circular, raised itchy rashes.
I knew it had to be more than dry skin because Carlos (Lennox’s dad) also gets similar-looking rashes on his back. They usually appear after a beach trip, or from prolonged exposure to the sun.
I couldn’t bear to watch my little boy in a permanent uncomfortable state from all the scratching. So, I did a lot of research, changed our routine, and bought new products to help alleviate our little man’s Eczema. Here is what I found out, and what has helped Lennox the most.
First things first, what is Eczema?
“The itch that rashes.”
Eczema is the umbrella term for several conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed.
The most common type of Eczema is Atopic Dermatitis, which appears as a red itchy rash most commonly found on the arms, legs, and cheeks. According to NationalEczema.org, more than “18 million American adults have atopic dermatitis”, and most of the time, “it begins in the first six months of a baby’s life.” In most cases, atopic dermatitis will improve by age 5 or 6 and will disappear into adulthood, but flareups can still occur.
Eczema is oftentimes genetic and is not contagious.
What are the symptoms of Eczema in infants and toddlers?
Crusting or oozing
Circular patches of red or light areas
Lennox usually has circular patches on his chest and stomach, and he gets little dry bumps all over his body. When he has a flareup, he tried to scratch as his skin nonstop, and several times we have picked him up out of his crib to find blood.
It is heartbreaking to see him uncomfortable, therefore, we have tried many different products and remedies and here is what has worked best to sooth Lennox in the short and long term.
Pin me down!
1. Know what triggers your child’s eczema.
Each child is different, for some, it could be a food allergy causing an outbreak and for others a reaction to a specific lotion.
For Lennox, the sun and excessive heat are what triggers his eczema. We have spent the majority of our time this summer at the pool or playing outside. His skin has paid the price.
Kids Health has a comprehensive list of triggers that might be causing your baby’s eczema:
Dry winter air
Skin is too dry
Certain soaps or detergents
Certain skin care products
If you are not sure what triggers your child’s eczema, try eliminating some of these products or foods to see if their condition improves. * Children with Eczema are more disposed to skin infections, so if your child is experiencing any of the following, fever, warmth around affected areas, or pus, it is time to give your doctor a visit. Blood and other testing can be done to see if your child is suffering from something more serious.
2. Stay out of the sun/heat for long periods.
Since the hot weather doesn’t agree with Lennox’s skin, we make sure to limit our time outside each day.
The hot weather and humidity from the summer can exacerbate the itch, so it’s essential to keep body temperatures regulated. Also, sweat is very cumbersome to eczema. If you know Lennox, or myself, we are sweaty, and our thick dark hair only makes us sweat more in the heat.
“human sweat contains trace elements of zinc, copper, iron, nickel, cadmium, lead, manganese, sodium and chloride, the build-up of these chemicals could irritate a person’s eczema, he said. In fact, the areas of the body where moisture accumulates most, such as the insides of the elbows, back of the knees and around the neck, tend to be hot spots for eczema rashes. So, if you sweat through your clothes, you should rinse off with fresh water and change into a new outfit.”
3. Take warm to cold baths.
The colder the bath, the better for your child’s skin because hot water dries out the skin.
Also, if you are water bugs like Lennox and me, make sure you are bathing your baby immediately after the pool. The chlorine in the pool dries and stresses the skin, so you must bathe your child as soon as you get home. You don’t necessarily have to use soap, but make sure you are rinsing off all of the pool chemicals.
Also, avoid scrubbing or toweling your child during and after bath time. Use a bar of soap to lather your tot gently and when you take him out, pat him try to avoid further irritation.
Here are some of our favorite bath items to alleviate eczema:
4. Moisturize, moisturize and more moisturizing. Did I mention moisturizing?
If you haven’t gotten the gist, dry skin is the issue here. Make sure you are moisturizing your toddler’s skin at least once a day every day — two times during an outbreak. I keep a bottle of moisturizer in my diaper bag, my purse, downstairs, upstairs, well, everywhere so that I don’t forget.
And don’t just use any moisturizer. Use unscented moisturizers that are made exclusively for eczema. I have used many delicious-smelling baby lotions that make Lennox smell great but irritate his skin all the more.
Here are some of the lotions that I have found to be most useful to combat Lennox’s eczema.
5. Avoid scented soaps and detergents.
Great smelling soaps and cleaning products are my favorite, but they do not coincide with eczema because they can cause your skin to burn or itch, or become dry and red. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets as well.
Below is a list of great household products that are eczema friendly. Try them out to see if your baby’s flare-up subsides.
6. Coconut oil and Aloe Vera
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I heart these two natural products. I have a jar of coconut oil that was halfway gone that I mixed with aloe vera straight from the plant.
What I did was run the jar of remaining coconut oil under hot water to liquidize the coconut oil. Then I scraped the insides out of an Aloe Vera plant put them into the jar and mixed both of the products.
I literally use this on EVERYTHING. I have used it on my stretch marks, sun burns, Lennox’s Ezcema (duh), I have even used it to cure my Yorkshire terrier’s skin allergy. It is a magical, healing potion!
Use a humidifier in your child’s room, especially during the winter months, to keep his skin moisturized. Below is our Vicks’ humidifier with an added nightlight that projects stars onto the ceiling of your child’s room.
9. Keep fingernails short
I need to get better at this, but it is such a battle trying to clip toddler’s nails. However, Lennox would probably have fewer scars from itching if I cut his fingernails more often.
I have also read that putting gloves on your child during the night helps control the itching, but let me know how that goes if you try it, because I know Lennox would throw a fit. He doesn’t even like band-aids on his boo-boos.
10. Avoid aggravating foods
According to Medical News Today:
“For people with eczema, eating certain foods can trigger the body to release immune system compounds that cause inflammation, which, in turn, contributes to an eczema flare-up.”
If you think your child’s eczema trigger is from food, try implementing an anti-inflammatory diet such a fish or foods high in probiotics. Also, avoid the following foods can help reduce eczema outbreaks.
Gluten or Wheat
Certain spices- Vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
Some types of nuts
11. Lots of H2O
Water does wonders for the skin and the body in general. Drinking water will hydrate your toddler’s skin, which, as a result, will alleviate the itch.
I hope our tips help to control your toddler’s eczema. Please comment below with any suggestions or comments that have worked for your child’s or your own eczema.
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