Babies can be more prone to nasty breakouts of eczema during the winter months.
Keeping eczema under control can be difficult and stressful at the best of times, but as winter hits you have new challenges you come up against.
Not only can winter clothing cause eczema to flare-up at this time of year, but the cold weather is also irritating to eczema-prone skin as the air is dryer.
Another problem is central heating. This dries out the skin, and it becomes irritated as we go from a warm house, to a chilly outdoors.
In this post there will be a few product recommendations, but its worth double checking with your doctor or dermatologist who is treating your baby before using a new moisturiser on eczema. This is especially true for babies under three months.
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Here are 11 winter skincare tips for babies with eczema:
1. Moisturise frequently
With eczema, you cannot moisturise too often! Use a moisturiser that is specifically for babies with eczema.
Use a generous amount of the moisturiser and rub it in gently all over their body, paying particular attention to the problem areas.
The worst places for eczema tend to be creases of elbows, backs of the knees, tops of feet, cheeks, under arms and tummy.
You could moisturise your baby at every nappy change, which may be around five times plus for a newborn.
My favourites for this include:
- Epaderm cream – you can also buy this product as an ointment. The ointment is great as you can get a dollop of it and dissolve it in bath water to soften the water. However the cream is better for moisturising (in my opinion) as the ointment makes the skin extremely slippery.
- Aveeno – their range of baby moisturisers is lovely.
2. Try a barrier product
When your baby gets out into the cool air, this change from warm to cold temperature can really irritate their sensitive skin.
You can use a product such as La Roche-Posay Lipikar Stick AP+ before and during days out of the house.
This comes in a handy little stick that easily fits into your changing bag. You open, twist and apply in a way similar to when you use a lip balm.
Use it on the face as a barrier cream during cold winter months!
It can also be used all over the body for relief from itchy patches of skin. It’s a fab product because you can easily take it everywhere with you, saving you struggling to squeeze huge tubs of cream into your bag.
3. Bathe every day
There’s been conflicting advice about bathing and eczema-prone skin in the past.
The current best advice is to bathe every day, under the right conditions! This involves following the next few tips so that you do not irritate your baby’s skin.
When your child has a flare-up of eczema, their skin may be red, scaly irritated and open to infection. A daily bath will help to keep the area clean and prevent infection.
A good bathing routine can also keep the skin moist, soothe eczema and prevent flare-ups.
4. Keep the bath temperature warm NOT hot
A hot bath will irritate your baby’s eczema. Choose a warm temperature, and don’t keep your baby in the bath for too long.
This may be difficult if they love being in the bath, but the longer they are in, the more their skin can dry out.
You can try getting a bath thermometer if you are unsure of the ideal bath temperature.
5. Use eczema-friendly skincare products for washing
Products that cause bubbles in the water and body washes can dry out eczema-prone skin.
Choose a range of products that are specifically targeted at babies and children with eczema.
Unfortunately this does mean your baby won’t have bubbles to play with, but you could try blowing bubbles at them with a pot from outside the bath instead.
6. Try oats in the bathwater
Oats are a brilliant, cheap and clever way of softening the water for your baby. Oats are a natural soother for irritated and sensitive skin!
Simply get some normal porridge oats, pop them in the foot of some tights and tie a knot so that are contained inside the tights.
Next put the tights into the bath and watch it turn a lovely creamy colour!
7. Moisturise generously after a bath
Get moisturiser onto your baby’s skin within a few minutes of removing them from the bath.
Pat dry your baby first and put the moisturiser on when your baby’s skin is still damp. Be generous with the amount of moisturiser, using a good dollop for your baby’s tummy and another dollop for their arms and another for their legs.
This will help to lock in all that moisturiser and soothe dry skin.
Most eczema creams for babies are appropriate for use on the face, as well as the body, but double check with your doctor if you are unsure.
8. Avoid woolly jumpers
All of those cute woolly jumpers that you see for babies are adorable, and hard to resist.
The trouble is that wool is terrible for eczema and can really irritate sensitive skin.
If you can’t resist a cute woolly jumper, make sure your child has on a long-sleeved 100 per cent cotton top underneath the jumper to act as a barrier for their skin.
Dress your child in light layers wherever possible and avoid overheating. You want your child to be warm, but to not get too sweaty.
9. Go for hats with a fleecy lining
Woolly hats are essential winter wear! However a woolly hat could irritate your baby’s face and scalp.
Look for a cotton hat, or if you can’t resist a bobble hat then go for one with a fleecy lining.
10. Moisturise regularly especially during an eczema outbreak
If your child’s skin looks angry and red and they cannot stop itching it, which is breaking the skin, you may worry about putting cream on that inflamed, weeping area.
It is important to keep moisturising that skin, and keep the area clean. You should also seek your doctor’s help if your baby has broken the skin and you suspect the area could be getting infected.
11. Seek professional help if your usual routine is not working
Sometimes you can try and try but nothing makes a difference to your baby’s eczema.
This can be frustrating, but if your baby’s eczema is looking inflamed, red, infected and nothing you are trying is getting rid of it, you need to see a doctor.
You can ask your GP to refer you to a specialist if you want expect advice on your skincare routine.
It is often a matter of trial and error when it comes to what moisturisers and lotions you put on your baby’s skin.
A doctor may also provide a mild steroid cream for you to use for a few days. These are powerful and can clear up red eczema patches within a week.
We used Diprovate cream the last time my two-year-old had a nasty eczema flare-up. This got it under control in just a few days. It is a prescription only treatment and should only be used for a very short period of time.
Hopefully these tips have given you some great ideas for caring for your baby’s delicate skin in the winter months!
If you have any questions at all, let me know!