Natural Remedies to Cure Baby Eczema
Baby eczema is a very personal topic for me because my own eczema started out as a baby – and I know many other babies who have it. My boyfriend’s nephew (photo below), also had a skin condition. It usually appears around 2-6 months – affecting around 20% of infants and young children. But fortunately, it is treatable and most of the population is able to outgrow it. As a result, the type of cream and shampoo for eczema you use is incredibly important.
Since most baby’s are already born with almost 200 chemicals right out of the womb, their immune systems are very sensitive, and you don’t want to add onto this toxic load. It is vital to choose ingredients that are natural and chemical free. Always pick up the habit of reading labels, as many shampoos and lotions say “natural” but still contain chemicals that will irritate eczema.
Avoid popular recommended brands such as Vaseline which appear natural but aren’t. Vaseline is made of petroleum – the same substance that makes petrol. It is not breathable and can worsen eczema – especially if the substance is absorbed from your skin into your body.
(Note: infant eczema can easily be confused with cradle cap – which is also characterized by flaky, dry red skin. It tends to clear up by 8 months, and is usually found on the scalp, nose, eyelids and eyebrows, and behind the ears.)
Tips in dealing with baby eczema
(This is also applicable to young children)
1. Avoid Topical Irritants
Babies immune systems are very sensitive and can easily be irritated by perfumes, dyes, and chemicals in household products, laundry detergents, shampoo, soaps, cream, fabric softeners, and even certain clothing material. Be sure to switch to all natural, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products in order to relieve and cure eczema naturally. The brand California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash Eczema Therapeutic Relief is a 100% all natural botanical cleanser that is free of chemicals, allergens, sulfates, fragrance, and is naturally low foaming. The Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash will also leave skin soft and hair shiny.
2. Test For Food Allergies
Diet is a huge part of triggering eczema. The digestive system of a baby is not fully formed until 2 years old – so it is vital that only healthy, nutritious, and easy to digest foods are fed to babies. For example, feeding babies bread that contains gluten should be avoided until after 2 years old. It is shown that babies who are fed gluten and wheat earlier on in life are more likely to develop allergies and a lowered immune system. Read Dealing with Food Allergies in Babies and Children for more information.
You can also have your baby tested for food allergies. Some babies are allergic to several things, and once they are removed from the diet, the eczema can often disappear (as was the case for myself). You can also keep a food journal to see if certain foods trigger flare-ups, or ask to be recommended to an allergist.
3. Breastfeed (whenever possible) or choose a high quality formula
It is also important to breastfeed your baby to reduce allergies, eczema and help to strengthen their immune system. If this is not possible, then ensure that you choose a formula that won’t aggravate their allergies or digestive system, such as the Babys Only Organic Toddler Formula. This contains all organic ingredients and nutrients that won’t irritate your baby’s delicate digestive system.
Gerber Good Start Protect PLUS Powder is another formula that contains probiotic cultures to increase antibodies and the immune system, as well as provide essential fatty acids to support the physical development of the brain and eye tissue; 70% of the immune system is in the gut, so it is important that formulas such as this one support the digestive tract.
Choose clothing that is loose, light and breathable (this will prevent overheating, as it can aggravate eczema). Bed bedding and clothing should preferably be cotton, while wool and chemical fiber products should be avoided. Ensure that clothing, pillows, and bedding are changed frequently to remain clean (ensure your laundry detergent is as chemical free as possible). Limit scratching by choosing a pair of anti-scratch mittens, like the Sesame Street Infant Scratch Mittens or $3.99 4-Pack of Scratch Mittens that will help your child reduce scratching.
Keep your environment clean: the room temperature should not be too high, otherwise it can aggravate eczema. Also minimize allergens, as allergic reactions can increase scratching and stimulation. Pets such as cats and dogs can also be common allergens that can aggravate the situation. Keep your room well ventilated, do not smoke indoors, keep your carpet clean, and avoid dust. A great filter will also help keep the air pure. I would suggest a HEPA filter or an ANDREA filter for the home.
Follow these few tips – and remember that making small changes will make a big difference.
And remember – don’t give up – there is always a way to cure and make the situation better. 😉