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Best Ways to Moisturize Baby Eczema

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When a baby has eczema, the doctor's advice to the parents is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. That is because eczema is characterized by severe dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Dry skin is not skin lacking in oils, but skin lacking in water. And yet water itself can be drying on skin. Here are some ideas for moisturizing your baby's eczema.

The first step is to bathe the baby properly. Sitting in hot water for a long time is very drying for the skin. Soap is also drying to skin. A baby with eczema needs lukewarm baths that do not last too long, and they need only very mild soaps if any. Many doctors recommend the use of a moisturizing, unscented soap like unscented Dove. The bath should not last longer than three or four minutes if possible. The baby should be taken from the water before the skin starts to look like a prune.

There are things you can add to the bath water to help keep the baby's skin moisturized. One thing is a spoonful of oil. It can be mineral oil or an edible food oil like olive oil. (Don't use a scented baby oil, as the scent can cause irritation.) The oil will float on the top of the water and adhere to the baby's skin when you take her from the tub. Other additives that some people sometimes use for eczema are salt, baking soda, or a little bleach. Do your research and ask your doctor before trying anything that sounds too outlandish!

When moisturizer is applied immediately after the bath, the moisture from the bath can be locked into the skin. Moisturizers that are thick and somewhat greasy feeling are the best to use for this purpose. Some parents put moisturizer on while the baby is still wet, but it is more often recommended that you gently dry the baby first. The skin should feel warm and moist. Baby creams are often thicker than lotions and work better. It should not be rubbed into the skin but spread on thickly and allowed to soak in naturally, which might take as much as ten minutes.

It's a good idea to have containers of baby moisturizer in different parts of the house so you can moisturize anytime you think of it. For instance, when you feed your baby, they often get milk, drool, or food all over their face, neck, and hands. This can cause irritation if not cleaned away quickly. Chances are the baby already has an irritated face to start with. Use a soft cotton washcloth dampened with warm water to gently clean the baby, then apply moisturizer. Baby wipes are not good to use, since they contain fragrances, alcohol, and other irritating or drying ingredients.

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