My son and daughter both have eczema. As a child, I suffered from it too, so I understand how difficult it can be to manage and even more so now that I’m a mother to little ones with it. You need to be extra careful about everything that touches the skin or risk a painful, irritating flare-up. Thankfully I grew out of it as a child and I’m hopeful that my two will also grow out of it as well.
Here are 7 ways to help prevent eczema flare-ups in toddlers.
- Don’t bathe them everyday. I have heard both sides of this topic. I have heard from some that say it’s best to bathe them everyday, however my pediatrician recently told me that if I can go two days without a bath then it will be better for their skin. So now, we bathe them every two days and it has definitely helped with the dryness and rawness of their skin. It used to be so bad that my son would scratch his legs all night long and in the morning I’d see painful red spots all over his legs, even after moisturizing at night. Also, when you do give baths, be sure that the water is lukewarm and never hot. Hot water will aggravate eczema and can cause flare-ups. We can’t use many bath products without my son’s skin getting irritated. Look for products that say they are specifically for eczema. Usually these products will have less skin irritants in their ingredients.
- Wet wrap therapy – Try wet wrap therapy. We have personally used these soothe sleeves at night and have seen an improvement in my son’s skin. You wear the wraps damp under a dry layer at night which helps repair the skin barrier and helps calm the itch.
- Cotton clothing – Dress them in light and breathable fabrics. Simple, loose-fitting clothing made of cotton is best.
- Use a non-water based moisturizer – Using moisturizers that are water based will only dry up leaving the skin feeling just as dry as before. Opt for a non-water based ointment or lotion that will keep in the moisture.
- Long socks or mittens at night – My daughter scratches her legs mostly at night, so putting long socks on her helps control the middle of the night scratching. You can also use mittens for the little ones that will help prevent them from scratching everywhere else.
- Keep the temperature cool in the home – Warm temperatures will aggravate eczema so keep the temperature cool in your home, especially in the hot weather season.
- Avoid foods that cause flare-ups – I had no idea when I was a kid that eczema flare-ups could be caused by the foods that I was eating. Keep an eye out for foods that they might have eaten before their flare-up. My son is allergic to many foods that we avoid but he’s also sensitive to some fruits and even the milk in my own diet that he consumes while breastfeeding. Cutting out dairy in my own diet has helped ease some of his flare-ups.