Let’s start by setting expectations: There is no known cure for baby eczema. The goal is to keep it at bay as much as possible by combining a natural lifestyle with evidence-based science.
Our skin is our first line of defense in maintaining a healthy body temperature and protecting against toxins and trauma. But delicate, thin preemie skin needs healthy, natural products to nurture it until it has grown and thickened.
The #1 recommendation of nearly every pediatrician or dermatologist is: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
For baby eczema, even excellent skin care is not the same as a medical treatment. Natural, pure baby skincare does not take the place of necessary drugs, but it may help reduce the need for steroids and more aggressive medical treatments.
Eczema can be both intimidating and frustrating. The support and guidance of a good doctor is crucial to your success against baby eczema by:
- Helping you identify eczema triggers through listening to your story, asking good questions and maybe doing a patch test to identify allergies.
- Keeping eczema at bay with careful use of steroids that can cause side effects—a good doctor uses steroids only when necessary.
- Discussing eczema triggers like the nickel-plating on most onesie snaps, dust mites in the bedroom, and pollen at the park.
- Recommending a petroleum-free barrier balm right after bathtime that seals in moisture to calm or prevent an eczema flare-up.
Successfully managing your baby’s eczema relies on creating a plan of action with your doctor, following through with the approach you design together, and attending follow-up visits.
To help control eczema, reduce your baby’s stress
All babies, but especially preemies, need soothing support against the intense stress of having skin that’s vulnerable and not yet ready to protect them.
Key stressors are separation from mom, overstimulation, lack of attention, pain, hunger, lack of sleep, and picking up on the emotions of others.
Some environmental eczema or stress triggers can’t be controlled, but many can. The biggest triggers are air quality, toiletries, fabrics, water, and food.
Using only healthy baby foods and products helps ease your baby’s pain and heal skin issues. The other benefit? Knowing you’re not pushing chemicals into their vulnerable bodies helps lower your stress, too.
- Where does my baby sleep and play?
- What does my baby eat and drink?
- What clothing, diapers, linens and toiletries touch the skin?
Create a healthy environment by using natural products like fragrance-free laundry detergent, non-toxic floor cleaner, water filters that eliminate chlorine, and skincare products that are free of harsh chemicals, like BEB Organic.
Contaminants can trigger eczema. Avoid gluten, fragrances, and harsh synthetic chemicals in your baby’s wash, lotions and balms.
Gluten is tricky because big makers of skincare products use ‘Aveena Sativa’ (oats) as their active ingredient. But oats can contain gluten from cross-contamination in crops and manufacturing.
DON’T GIVE UP
While more than 10%  of babies will experience eczema in their first 5 years, 50% of those cases will clear up as baby ages. The most important thing you can do is to support comfort and prevent infection during flare ups.
Symptoms of baby eczema will ebb and flow— the trick to beating it is to stay in the game.
Avoid common triggers, even when there isn’t an active flare up. Those triggers could change, so be flexible and patient, and simply keep trying.
When something that once worked stops working, try something else. When something stops working, go back to things that worked before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Walls, activist, mother of two, and founder of BEB Organic, has spent years creating skincare products by sourcing the purest, most healthful ingredients and combining them through the most modern techniques. BEB is an organic newborn skincare line, especially designed with sensitive and delicate preemie skin in mind.