Baby, Toddler, Child
5th Aug 2020

Eczema may be more common among children and bubs that you might think, affecting approximately 20% of children younger than two years old (1).

There are a variety of different things that may irritate your little one’s mild eczema, including wool and rough fabrics, perfumed products, soap, and even hot baths (2).

When it comes to getting your little one ready in the morning, you might be wondering if there are swaps you can make to help avoid these potential irritants.

Remember, if you have any concerns about your child’s skin, talk to your health professional.

Soap

If your little one is experiencing mild eczema, you may want to first consider the soap in your bathroom cabinet.

Ordinary soap and bubble baths may contain ingredients that irritate eczema (3).

Instead, try washing your child with warm, plain water and use soap-free products such as sorbolene where appropriate (3).

Water Temperature

Speaking of water, keep the temperature of your little one’s bath nice and lukewarm. Abrupt temperature changes can sometimes irritate the skin (3).

And, as a general rule, your bub’s bath should never be the same temperature that you would run a hot shower anyway.

A good rule of thumb is to dip your elbow in the water – if it’s too hot for your elbow then it’s too hot for your baby.

Getting dressed

When it comes to drying them off, opt for a soft towel and pat the skin dry rather than rubbing (3).

Once your little one is nice and clean, it’s time to get dressed! There are a couple of factors to consider when choosing clothes for a child with mild eczema.

Firstly, the temperature sensitivity we mentioned earlier. In the wintertime, try dressing your child warmly when going outdoors and remove additional layers as soon as you get inside (3).

In the summer, opt for light, breathable fabrics. This may help to prevent your little one from getting too hot or too cold.

Then there are the fabrics themselves. Rough or scratchy fabrics may irritate skin that’s prone to mild eczema (3). This includes wool, polyester and acrylic. Instead, try smooth, soft materials such as 100% cotton (3). You may also want to consider removing tags or labels from clothing if it seems like these are irritating your child’s skin.

Other things to consider

  • Generally, the skin of people with eczema does not retain moisture very well, which means it may become quite dry and itchy (1). Try to keep the skin well hydrated by moisturising with soap-free and perfume-free products such as bath oils, sorbelene or Paw Paw.
  • Keep your child’s fingernails short as longer nails may injure the skin if they scratch (3).
  • Avoid overheating or overcooling your house. Heaters and air conditioners may dry the air out and irritate mild eczema-prone skin (3).

If you’ve found this article useful, you may be interested in the following:

Eczema: What It Is And How You May Help

References

  1. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). (n.d.). Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis). [online] Available at: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/eczema [Accessed 27 Feb. 2020].
  2. Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. (n.d.). Eczema. [online] Available at: https://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/fact-sheets/eczema [Accessed 27 Feb. 2020].
  3. BetterHealth Channel. (n.d.). Eczema (atopic dermatitis). [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/eczema-atopic-dermatitis [Accessed 27 Feb. 2020].

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