Written by Nina Howard, mother with experience in dealing with baby eczema
What is eczema?
Eczema is a very common skin condition in which the skin becomes red, itchy and in most cases inflamed. Many babies and children who have eczema may also have sensitive skin and/or certain food allergies, making it hard to find skincare products that help soothe and protect the skin.
Eczema is unpredictable and flare ups can happen at any time. Your baby’s skin is essentially failing to act as the barrier to prevent water escaping and keeping out bacteria and other irritants.
What can trigger my baby’s eczema?
Triggers can cause flare ups. Some of the most common triggers can include:
- Dry skin
- Bacteria and irritants
- Heat and/or sweating
- Allergens e.g. pollen, dust
- Certain skincare products
- Certain fabrics
- Harsh soaps and detergents
Getting to know your baby’s triggers can help keep them under control.
- Bathe your baby in lukewarm water and add 2-3 drops of calming essential oils such as the DoTerra Chamomile Essential Oil or the Aromatherapy Associates Pure Lavender Essential Oil. Essential oils can be great alternatives to conventional medicines and harsh chemicals. Be sure to find non-synthetic and pure essential oils. DoTerra is a trustworthy brand. In addition, use natural soaps and shower gels that do not contain harsh chemicals.
- Moisturise your baby straight after a bath to prevent water loss in the skin. Be sure to find an organic lotion that does not contain water. Neal’s Yard Remedies organic baby balm is a great alternative to some of the harsher lotions. It is hypoallergenic and does not contain any synthetic perfumes or parabens. Great for newborns and sensitive skin.
- Apply topical lotions throughout the day to keep the eczema areas moisturised. These topical creams can be as simple as applying aloe vera gel or coconut oil. Kokoso Baby’s natural oil range is a great choice. Apply this as many times during the day as needed.
- Start swapping your child’s clothing and bedding to organic and natural fabrics. Our organic bamboo sleeping bags are a great alternative to the polyester bags on the market as bamboo is not only thermoregulating, meaning your child won’t sweat or overheat causing irritation, but bamboo is highly antibacterial, stopping your baby’s skin from having flare ups.
- If your baby uses comforters or blankets, make sure they are made from all natural materials as synthetic fabrics can cause irritation to the skin. Our bunny comforters and baby blankets are made from 100% organic cotton and bamboo.
- Ensure your child is getting a moderate amount of fresh air and sunlight (making sure they do not burn). It’s best not to let their bedroom air become too dry – you can add a warm humidifier to help keep eczema under control.
- Finally, make sure that your child is having a healthy and balanced diet.
There are many natural fabrics and skincare products available. Please do your research and check the ingredients list before buying. Try to avoid anything that includes synthetic perfumes and materials, phthalates, PVC, BPA and other nasty chemicals.
It’s also worth noting that if your newborn has eczema, there is an increased chance that they could have a bad reaction to certain food groups. In the newborn phase, keep allergens away from their skin (so no nut oils or milk-based lotions etc). As their skin barrier is not working efficiently this can lead to allergens being absorbed through the skin and the body creating a negative response to the food type, which then might manifest as an allergy when consumed. It’s really important to speak to a healthcare professional before starting the weaning process.
Remember: Always talk with your GP about any health issues or concerns your child is experiencing.
Please share your comments, experiences and questions below. We’d love to hear what has worked for you, any tips for other mothers out there, or any questions you want answered.