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.
To help control eczema, reduce your baby’s stressAll 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. Ask yourself:
- Where does my baby sleep and play?
- What does my baby eat and drink?
- What clothing, diapers, linens and toiletries touch the skin?