when kai had eczema at 4 months, it was scarily confusing.
there were so much advice out there - cut out dairy, eliminate gluten, get an allergy test, change to organic clothing, swap detergent, shower less, no wait... shower more. then the doctors prescribed steriods and i panicked more.
so i thought it might be helpful to other moms who may be going through the same journey to share how i cared for kai's eczema.
what causes eczema?
eczema is a condition wherein patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked, and rough.
unfortunately, there is no cure for it and no one knows what exactly causes eczema. infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. the good news is , however, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
caring for kai's eczema
instead of eliminating food components from kai's mommy diet or jumping to an allergy test, we started by taking steps to care for his skin.
bathe everyday with lukewarm water i know it sounds counterintuitive but a quick 5 min bath everyday helps remove any dirt or build up that might be irritating the skin and helps hydrate the skin. when his skin was exceptionally dry, we would add colloidal oatmeal or coconut milk powder to his bath for additional moisture. note: we've tried oils in the bath but didn't find that it added much moisture and found it made the bath too slippery for us to manage. try to avoid soaps as much as possible. once a week, we would use a bar soap that is made with calendula oil, oat or olive oil as we found them less drying. dab dry gently with a soft towel (we loved turkish towels) and moisturize (see more in #2 below) as soon as you can to lock in the moisture on the skin.
moisturize at every diaper change with clean baby skincare product moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! i cannot stress enough about choosing a truly clean baby skincare. you will want to look for something that is toxin-free, chemical-free, fragrance-free, essential oil free and ideally natural & organic. it was so hard finding a product like this that we ended up creating one ourselves - our kai organics' baby balm. p/s: yes, this sounds extreme but kai's skin was really sensitive. we've tried so many products and the smallest ingredients would cause flare ups. last summer, i accidentally used an all-natural sunscreen that had essential oils in it and *boom* he rashed up almost immediately. so please read the ingredients. natural doesn't mean it's irritant-free.
dress in 100% cotton clothing kai's eczema was mostly on his shoulders and arms so we wanted to keep it covered to prevent him from scratching. as such, breathable clothing is key. if you can afford organic, great but otherwise look for 100% cotton or bamboo.
choose a mild detergent minimize chemicals on the skin is key so we changed up our laundry detergent and eliminated using fabric softeners.
use a humidifier especially in the winter, humidity levels are low both indoors and outdoors. we keep a humidifier going in kai's nursery to increase the moisture in the air. we find that it helps make his skin less dry.
keep those nails short when kai would flare up, his skin would get really itchy and he would start scratching till his skin would bleed. we keep his nails as short as possible to prevent him from scratching himself too badly and making his skin worse.
we were thankful to be able to control kai's eczema by following these diligently. but we also recognize that there are some eczema that may be triggered by allergies and other dietary reasons. hopefully this was helpful!
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