New advice for dealing with eczema in babies

Shopprice New Zealand

Research has suggested a new approach to the condition in small children.

The advice on dealing with eczema in babies has changed, after a new study in the US.

Experts have previously said that babies with eczema should be given less baths, as frequent washing can dry out the skin and aggravate the condition.

But allergy doctors in Maine looked at this in a recent study and found that, while using lots of soap is best avoided, a daily soak in the tub is fine.

UK experts agree with this advice, though they add that it’s important to gently pat dry skin before smearing moisturiser onto skin – locking in moisture from the bath.

Dr Ivan Cardona says parents should use their own judgement as well as official advice, and if frequent bathing seems to aggravate the condition, they should lessen it and seek their doctor’s advice.

See also: 12 tips for dealing with eczema

Amena Warner from Allergy UK said keeping bath times to under 10 mins was advisable.

Eczema Association New Zealand (EANZ) advises the following when it comes to the managing the condition:

  • Keep fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin and wear cotton mitts or gloves at night
  • Wearing 100 per cent cotton or soft fabrics – avoiding rough, scratchy fibres and tight clothing
  • Using rubber gloves with cotton liners
  • Having lukewarm baths and showers
  • Using hypoallergenic products and avoiding anything perfumed
  • Gently patting, not rubbing, the skin dry with a soft towel
  • Applying a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing to “lock in” the moisture
  • Keep fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin and wear cotton mitts or gloves at night
  • Avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities that raise a sweat
  • Reducing dust mites
  • Using sensitive skin washing powders and detergents.
  • Reducing daily stress
  • Learning your eczema triggers and how to avoid them
  • Developing and maintaining a daily skin routine