As parents, there’s nothing worse than feeling helpless when it comes to our children. We hurt when they hurt, we feel sad when they are sad and we feel itchy when they itch! When it comes to skin irritations such as eczema in infants, there isn’t just one magical solution. You need to employ a range of tactics to keep flare ups at bay. We have put together a range of bamboo, organic and environmental tips on how to relieve baby eczema itch, including clothes and skin care, for when you want to employ natural eczema remedies.
What is eczema?
Also known as atopic baby dermatitis, eczema is a common skin condition that usually begins in baby’s first year. The affected skin area appears dry, red and itchy. It usually appears on baby’s face and sometimes on their scalp, behind their ears, on their body, arms and legs. Yep so nearly everywhere!
It takes a little time and practise to keep eczema under control and manage flare ups effectively. The cause is unknown however there appears to be links to asthma, hay fever and familial history. Heat is the most common cause of eczema.
So what can you do when you don’t want to go down the prescription ointment track?
How to prevent eczema? Avoid Triggers !
Although the cause is unknown, various triggers have been identified such as:
Dressing baby in clothes made of bamboo fabric is one way to tackle overheating as bamboo fabric is naturally thermo-regulating. Its structure allows for optimum moisture absorption and ventilation. Babies will feel cooler and more comfortable in warmer conditions. It is so soft and silk-like that it will feel light and comfortable on their irritated skin. You can read more on the benefits of bamboo fabric in another Bamboo Lulu blog.
Regular moisturising is essential. It can be done as often as necessary. Common moisturising creams are sorbolene and paraffin. Coconut oil is an organic option. It effectively hydrates, nourishes and protects baby’s skin. It is especially important to moisturise after bathing to lock in moisture, and when living in an air-conditioned or heated environment to avoid drying out. You may need to try several different brands until you find what works best for baby.
Irritation from soaps, detergents, fabrics or other chemicals
In lieu of soap, moisturisers and bath oils and soap free body wash should be used in the bath. Consider using an organic baby wash or a goat’s milk soap (anything natural) in the bath to soothe and moisturise baby’s skin gently. Apply with a hypoallergenic bamboo or organic cotton face washer and when done, dry skin quickly with a bamboo towel. Bamboo is the perfect choice for baby towels as it is 60% more absorbent than cotton. And don’t forget to follow up with moisturiser – moisturise, moisturise, moisturise !
Fabrics such as bamboo and organic cotton are hypoallergenic. There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever.
Food allergies and intolerance
- allergies to dust mites, plant pollens or animal fur
- viruses and other infections
Eczema in full swing? What now?
Keep baby comfortable
- Apply a soft, cool wet towel to the itchy area for immediate relief and leave for 5-10 minutes. Remove the wet dressing and apply a thick layer of moisturiser.
- If baby is scratching, use mittens and/or keep their fingernails as short as possible. Baby nail clippers with a built in magnifying glass are available here online.
- Avoid overheating and use moisturising cream regularly as described above.
- A wet singlet (apply a thin layer of cotton clothing over this) is a good way to reduce the itch and redness on the trunk of their body.
- Dress your child in one or two thin layers of clothing
- Bath your child twice a day in a cool bath (less than 29 degrees Celsius).
- Keep your house at a temperature cooler than 20 degrees Celsius during the day and 15 degrees Celsius at night.
- Bamboo Lulu has a range of products that can help you give baby some relief