It is reported that one in five babies suffers from eczema. This inflammatory disorder leaves the skin dry, red, painful and itchy. It can be particularly constraining for toddlers, as it is difficult to stop them from scratching and rubbing themselves, which only worsens the situation.
Eczema is an autoimmune disease and therefore cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Eczema treatment consists of retaining moisture from the skin and preventing irritation to reduce itching and other discomforts.
Several solutions are available to improve skin hydration in young children:
- Reduce the frequency of bathing. For most babies, a bath every two or three days is sufficient, as they are already partially washed during diaper changes and at mealtimes.
- The baths should not last more than fifteen minutes and should be carried out in warm water, to preserve as much as possible the oils naturally present in the skin.
- Use a mild soap to wash your cherub. As soon as the bath is finished, apply a fragrance-free moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin to the child's body.
- After the bath, do not rub the towel to dry the child. Instead, proceed by tapping the towel lightly.
- Avoid perfumed and irritating products.
- Choose a fragrance-free laundry detergent and avoid fabric softeners (liquid or sheet) as these products can irritate the skin.
- Avoid making the child too hot, as excessive sweating can be irritating.
- Choose soft and silky fabrics, such as fine cotton. Avoid fabrics including wool and synthetic fibres.
- Cut short nails to prevent injury to the child when scratching. The use of small mittens is also possible.
- Avoid chlorinated swimming pool water, as it can be drying.
In more serious cases, the doctor may prescribe a medicated cream. The only effective way to prevent a baby from scratching is to prevent itching. Therefore, if you notice that your child often scratches at a particular time of day, apply a moisturizer earlier in the day to try to break this habit.
If you think your child has eczema, talk to your pharmacist to get appropriate advice.