It is with great sorrow that I passed on my eczema to my two sons. I was hoping that I wouldn’t pass on this uncomfortable skin disorder to my children. That I would spare them the break out hot red rashes that sometimes you can’t figure out what triggers it. The intense itching that comes with the rashes and the soreness and cracked skin that comes with it due to the constant scratching. Eczema is no fun. My oldest son didn’t have it that bad as a baby. He would have a rash patch or two on his shoulders or chest then it would go away and wouldn’t appear for maybe months before the next breakout. My infant son however has it full blow with no break in between as of yet. So for the sake of this post, I will talk about the eczema that my youngest son has.
I notice that my infant son started breaking out with eczema when he was about a month old. Along with the eczema, he had cradle cap, and baby acne. Talk about having a triple whammy when it comes to skin disorders, my little one had the mother load. When I took my infant son to his two month wellness visit two months ago, he had the eczema on his chest, inner arms, shoulders, inner legs, his outer thighs and lower legs. The pediatrician told me to use Dove soap to help calm his eczema and gave me a prescription for hydrocortisone cream for any red spot which was practically almost all over his body. Now, since I have experience with eczema till this day (nope, never out grow it as a child) Dove doesn’t do anything to help calm the eczema. I remember when I was in my early twenties I went to the dermatologist to get help with my eczema and she said to use Dove. I remember telling her that Dove dried my skin and she gave me this “huh” look like I was crazy.
Anyway, I tried it on my infant son. It started to look like it was working one day and it didn’t improve the next. I should have known that it didn’t work. Until I had time to look up an alternative soap, I didn’t use much of the Dove. I lotion him with Vaseline Aloe lotion first for the aloe benefit and then layered him with petroleum jelly with aloe as a barrier. Eurcein didn’t work for him. Heck, it doesn’t work for my skin. I realize that any lotion or cream that has the first ingredient of water on their product doesn’t work with people with eczema. People with eczema have to make sure that moisture stays in our skin so our skin won’t dry and break out. The baby eczema seem to subsided but didn’t complete go away. Sometimes I feel that doctors don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to certain medical condition. Doctors only give text book answers and wouldn’t do the research to find out what really work for the patient.
At my son’s four month wellness visit a month ago, the pediatrician noticed the rash didn’t go away and he asked me if I had milk or eggs in my diet. I told him I ate a lot of eggs…I mean a lot of eggs. I love eggs! So he told me to cut out eggs to see if his eczema will improve because usually it’s an egg or milk allergy causing it to linger longer than it should. If it doesn’t go away, I would have to send him to an allergist. I’ve been to an allergist before and lets just say it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. Getting injected with allergens under the skin is no fun.
I started to cut out the eggs. I started researching what types of soaps I could use on him that won’t dry out his skin. I started looking into vegetable oil based soap and any natural plants such as aloe vera and lavender that would calm his rashes. One day I decided to use this soy soap that my mother in law gave us to see if it would work. By the second day, his skin started to look better. I also had this Peter Rabbit Intense Therapy cream (which the company doesn’t make anymore) that I used on my oldest son when he started to break out with eczema. After a few more days of using the soap and cream, his skin started to look normal. I remember that Shea butter also worked with my eczema. I had some Shea MoistureRaw Shea Butter Eczema Therapy that I also use with my oldest son. Also, I got lavender vegetable oil soap from Trader Joes to wash him with. So now I use the lavender vegetable oil soap and the Shea Moisture for his skin. These two items along with cutting out eggs helped his skin to soften and looking less leather like.
So if your baby has eczema:
-Do not use commercial soaps, Dove included. Use natural soaps that doesn’t strip moisture from the skin after bathing e.g. vegetable oil, soy, Shea butter, or goat milk soaps
-Do not use moisturizers that have the first ingredient of water. You want to keep the baby’s skin hydrated and what happens when water hits air? It starts to evaporate and dries up. Use moisturizers like Shea butter, Aquaphor, beeswax, or coco butter that will hold moisture in the skin. ( Use real Shea and coco butter not the lotion)
-Watch your diet if breastfeeding. Some triggers are milk, eggs, and wheat. If you baby eating solid foods these same foods apply.
-Heat and sweat are also triggers for eczema. Make sure the baby isn’t dressed too warm that cause sweating and make sure the room isn’t too hot. If it’s hot outside, don’t expose them to the heat too long or you’ll risk them breaking out in rashes later on (what my mother use to call “heat bumps”).
-Check what type of detergent use to wash the baby’s clothes. Use detergents specifically for sensitive skin.
-Check the fabric of clothing your baby is wear that could irritate the skin such as wool.