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Basic Baby Eczema Skin Care

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A baby with eczema needs special care to keep his or her skin healthy and rash-free. It is not enough to use regular baby products and follow a normal bathing schedule. Babies with eczema need special care. The best way to think about eczema is to see it as super sensitive skin that needs extra help staying moisturized and hydrated. The irritants that set off one baby's eczema are likely to be different from what sets off another baby's eczema. Also, eczema is often associated with allergies, such as hay fever, and with asthma.

Right from the start, the longer you can breastfeed your baby, the better your baby's eczema will be. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can offer some protection against developing eczema. The best results are best when the baby is breastfed for at least six months. Even so, breastfed babies can have eczema, and will still need that special skin care.

Eczema is dry skin, so the first line of defense to reduce symptoms is to increase the moisture in the skin. One way to do this is with a home humidifier. Another way is with the generous use of moisturizing creams. It can be challenging to find a cream or lotion that works for your baby, because sometimes the very thing you are using to soothe the rash can be what irritates it. Look for products specially designed for babies with sensitive skin. If one brand doesn't help, try another.

Bathing is a special challenge for babies with eczema. Doctors used to recommend bathing only a few times a week, but that advice has been changed for the most part in recent years. Now they often recommend bathing daily, but leaving off the use of soap part of the time, because soap can be drying. The bath itself needs to be very brief, like three to five minutes, and not be too hot. Heat is drying and irritating, and it can stir up itching, so keep the water lukewarm.

Within just a minute or two of leaving the tub, the baby should be gently patted dry and then a thick moisturizer be applied. The right kind of moisturizer will seal in the moisture from the bath as well as soothing and healing itchiness. For those times when the rash flares up, you can use over the counter cortisone cream in a 0.5 percent or 1.0 percent strength. Use the lowest strength that works, and only use as needed.

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