Our son Levi was diagnosed with eczema around 6 months old after we noticed a few red patches on his cheeks and legs that appeared out of the blue in the middle of winter. Around this time I was also introducing solids into his diet and he did break out into hives after having blueberries for the first time (he has since been tested and isn’t allergic).
It appeared that our little guy had very sensitive skin, although I would argue that in Winnipeg’s -40-degree weather everyone’s skin is dry and sensitive! Needless to say, we went on a long wild goose chase trying dozens of products to find what worked, and what definitely didn’t, to help heal those dry patches fast!
A few key points about eczema:
- Eczema flare-ups can be unpredictable and flare up for seemingly no reason. Watch for triggers and try to avoid them.
- Avoid hot baths and showers as that can cause flare-ups.
- Implement a regular bath and moisturizing routine and stick to it.
- Decide what type of products you want to use based on your comfort level.
- Choose fabric material that is breathable and avoid harsh and fragranced soaps and detergents.
There are many types of eczema treatments and everyone’s response to treatment can be different, but after trying many combinations and techniques I can definitely tell you what worked for us and what didn’t.
Thankfully I had spent the last several years working in wound care and part of the education I provided to my customers was related to skincare.
When skin loses its moisture it becomes dry, flaky, itchy, and increased itching can break the surface of the skin making it more susceptible to infection. One of the most helpful tips I can share when it comes to treating eczema is that the skin absorbs the most moisture within 10 minutes of getting out of the shower or bath.
This is CRITICAL for building a regular bath and moisturizing schedule to treat eczema. If you keep that time frame in mind, you want to have everything you need readily available after you or your child gets out of the bath so you are able to moisturize immediately.
Levi’s problem areas for his eczema were his face, lower back, bum cheeks, behind his knees, and some patches on his arms. Without fail it is better in the summer and the second the weather starts to turn in late fall, he will often get a flare-up. I have found if we start our routine immediately it stays under control much better.
Example of our daily routine:
- Every time Levi had to go “potty” I would assess his problem areas (much easier to convince a 2-year-old to let you look at their skin when they are stuck on the potty and can’t go anywhere). Although it was several times a day, I would ask him to participate by “helping” put cream on as well which made the task much easier. This also allowed me to keep a constant eye on his skin so I could track progress.
- During the winter months, we bathed him less frequently depending on the breakout. If it was bad we stretched bathing to every other day, made sure the bathwater was lukewarm and moisturized his whole body within 10 minutes of getting out of the bath.
- We switched our detergent to less fragranced options and only wash all our family clothes with that. You can find the brand we are loving here.
Hands down the most important part are prevention. If you can prevent a flare-up you can typically keep eczema under control. And the key to this is moisturizing!
The 3 Products we use to moisturize that work fast are:
- Cere Ve I buy it at Walmart but it is readily available at many places.
- Zoe Organics. I absolutely love this cream and went have gone through several jars. (Sadly after we discovered Levi has a peanut allergy we were no longer able to use it on him). But It is 100% organic, perfect for new babies but equally perfect for the whole family! Instead, I started using it myself as I loved it so much! Definitely, an amazing moisturizer that I would highly highly recommend!
- Aveeno Eczema cares nighttime balm. I was in Florida and came upon this product at Target. The chlorine from all the swimming in the pool had been irritating Levi’s skin and he had started itching. I didn’t want to buy a huge big cream as I didn’t want to bring it back to Canada with me. This was a very pleasant surprise!
Initially, our doctor prescribed a steroid to get eczema under control. Although I feel that it helped a bit, steroids are not meant to be used long-term. I definitely think finding the right combination of products, sticking to a bathing and moisturizing routine, and limiting the amount of harsh fragrance in our soap and washing detergent was the combination that ultimately did the trick in keeping his eczema under control!
I hope this information helps you and your family with tips for managing your eczema. Please feel free to subscribe and follow me on Instagram at @tranda.jack.