19 Month Old & Dry Skin

Updated on February 17, 2010
V.M. asks from Virginia Beach, VA
52 answers

My 19 month old was born with sensitive skin and tends to have a little excema (not sure of spelling), when I took him to his recent dr appointment I asked about the redness on his face, specifically his cheeks. He has two red spots and now with the new cold temps it looks a little scaly and dry. When I went to the dr she advised using hydrocortisone otc - which I have but I do not want to continue using it and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what I can use for his poor little cheeks.

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J.C.

answers from Lynchburg on

I saw you got a bunch of answers, but haven't read any of them. We use Aquaphor and love it. Just a very little bit rubbed on in the mornings and before bedtime make the skin oh-so-soft and no redness. I highly recommend it!

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Y.W.

answers from Roanoke on

I agree with Natalie B & Erica K. Renew lotion is a MUST!!! There are no harmful chemicals in it & it is not greasy like other lotions (Eucerin, Aquaphor, etc) We use this lotion daily!! Works wonders!

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A.P.

answers from Washington DC on

my daughter had this as a baby and we used vit E oil and worked wonders she doesnt have it anymore.
Good luck

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N.E.

answers from Washington DC on

My son also suffers from eczema, though not so much on his face. His also tends to be worse in the summer than the winter, but a couple of things:

If the patches on his face are really bad, you might want to use the hydrocortisone for a couple of days to clear it up. My son's skin was opening up and bleeding on the backs of his knees and the insides of his elbows, and the hydrocortisone really helped.

Whether you use the hydrocortisone or not, moisture is key. My son takes a bath every other day in luke warm (not hot) bath water. As soon as he gets out of the tub, we slather vaseline all over his body. I originally used aquafor, but the main ingredient is petrolium jelly, and given the quantities that we need, regular vaseline is much more affordable.

You also may want to consider whether he has any allergies (food or otherwise). My son is allergic to dairy, and his eczema was MUCH worse before we figured that out. His skin might be particularly aggravated if he's having an allergic reaction to something.

Hope that helps!

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C.J.

answers from Washington DC on

My almost 10-month-old son also has eczema on his cheeks. I've been using Triple Cream and it works really well. I have used Aquaphor in the past with my three older sons and although it works just as well, it's greasy. Good luck finding something that works best for your son!

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B.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I read some of the responses and I think they've said everything I would, but I'll just put in my two cents! Vaseline works well for us sometimes and we also like the original Eucerin (it comes in a big jar or tub). My son's skin also seems to respond well to the Burt's Bees baby lotion. I would also suggest using the hydrocortisone on a limited basis, as needed. But use it to clear up spots when nothing else is working, then go back to moisturizing. As far as some of the other recommendations, I can't say how they work because I haven't tried them. But every baby's skin is different and depending on the time of year and the cause(s), different things may work best, so you may need to do a little experimenting. I guess it's a good thing you got all these suggestions!! :)

Good luck!
B.

1 mom found this helpful

K.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Wow! You have a LOT of suggestions. I'm writing because my daughter was also prescribed hydrocortisone for her excema. When it was under control (she had it--strangely--on half of her torso) I tried some of the things that were suggested like Aquaphor, but didn't really see any results. Honestly, I don't know a lot of the ones people suggested and they may work just as well or better than what I'm going to suggest, but I found the best results from simply using the lanolin I still had from breastfeeding (Lasinoh is the most popular brand and it's 100% lanolin). It's safe enough to use every day, and since you're using it on your baby's face, it's ok if he ingests it. There are some products with lanolin mixed with zinc oxide which would work really well too, and I'd probably use on the body, but not the face. Good luck! My dd grew out of her excema by the time she was 2.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My son (who is a little over 2 now) also has the dry skin, but not quite excema. I tried the hydrocortisone otc and prescription and it didn't really do much good anyway. I usually just put Cetaphil or Curel (non-fragrance for sensitive skin) on his face, legs and arms at least once a day...I usually put it on with his PJ's. It works even better if you can do it at least 2X a day...sometimes if it is getting worse, I will put it on him in the morning when I get him dressed and at night with his PJ's. I ALWAYS put it on him after his bath...I try to get it on him ASAP - before he even is dry to help lock in moisture. Hope this helps.

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M.S.

answers from Norfolk on

try a Health Foods store, when my brother was little my mom used to get lotions that were of a more natural base to treat his face.. good luck!

I've also found Eucerin products to work pretty well

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B.P.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter had the same problem. Aveeno Sensitive Skin bodywash didn't work for her. Pay careful attention to what you are using. Read the back of the labels. Most have perfumes in them. Bathe every other day if possible. Some docs recommend only twice a week even. A bath every night is necessary for my toddler.

Questions that may be affecting your child's eczema: Could your child's diet be triggering it? Are you using soaps w/ perfumes in it? Are you using a perfume-free laundry detergent? Are you using fabric softner that could trigger his ezcema? Are you bathing too long?

Here are a few things that work for us: keeping bathtime to a minimum of 20 mins, using a good body wash(we use Melaleuca brand:Koala Kids, Use generous amount of plain Vaseline immediately following bathtime.

Hope this helps! Good luck!!

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L.C.

answers from Kansas City on

it might not actually be eczema. My son had the same thing, just these scaly chapped patches. it seemed like we tried everything on it and we were down to steriods, which i just did not want to put on my invite. I turns out that a lot of kids are diagnosed with eczema when it is really just a reaction to caustic chemicals, which are really bad for you, but in a ton of stuff. So no matter what creams of lotions you put on him, if he is having a reaction, then the creams wont do any good because he is still in contact through his baby shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, etc. go to http://www.HealthySafeAndClean.com there is a list there of common house-hold products with caustic chemicals in them, you can also request more information about naturally based products and how you can convert your home. just put in the information request that you are wanting information on products for eczema. we converted ours back in august and it has made a HUGE difference. all i had to do was wash my son one time with the new shampoo and body wash and all the "eczema" was gone. it was crazy! plus, it is a lot cheaper and helps you save money.

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T.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I was born with skin like this, and now my youngest daughter has the same problem. Best solution I know: plain old vaseline. More specifically, Aveno oatmeal baths, quickly pat him dry, and then grease him up with Vaseline and wrap him up in flannel pjs. His dry skin will absorb most if not all of the Vaseline overnight, and it's amazing how fast skin can heal (especially in little ones). Put Vaseline on his cheeks, too; he'll rub off some of it on the pillowcase but enough will stay on to do some good. And apply a thin film of vaseline to his cheeks before you go out. The Vaseline doesn't heal anything; it just provides a protective layer to prevent further damage to delicate skin.

Eczema is sometimes made worse by cold temperatures. And the same gene that predisposes people to eczema is also the gene that predisposes people to other allergies and/or asthma, so just be aware.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

Try Aquafor...my daughter's thumb was gross and the skin was peeling (she sucks her thumb to put herself to sleep) within two days it was completely clear and back to normal. I still put it on every couple of days to make sure it doesn't dry out.

I would think Aquafor would be helpful for your son's cheeks too.

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S.H.

answers from Norfolk on

We use copious amounts of Eucerin in the winter. After the bath, in the morning and on the face before the boys go outside in the winter. It is thick and creamy, but it works! My nephew has a skin condition that gives him excema and this was the product they used the most.

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Q.B.

answers from Norfolk on

Hydration is the key so I say...VASELINE! and if flares up bad and you have to use the hydrocortizone then I suggest mixing it into a jar of eucerine. Its what works for me and my 3 kids.I used to have a prescription for it then I just started mixing it myself.....
try to buy white soaps like ivory and washing detergents that are free and clear. Also check the diet. Mine flares up if I eat too many citric acids... my daughters flares up from dairy...
hope you get it under control! I know it itches like crazy!!!

S.K.

answers from Boston on

Aveeno Baby - dark blue cap - my son would get patches, i'd use the hydrocortizone, it' go away for a couple of days then flair up again. for winter we only have tubs every other day - use the aveeno every morning when he gets dressed and every night when putting on PJ's. i don't use alot of soap - no soap on his face - just wet wash cloth. and in the tubs only soap his hair and his crotch and pits. everywhere else just wash with cloth and water. he cleared up real well and has stayed clear most of the winter.

also i find putting lotion on full body atleast once a day, gets him used to be slathered up and is much more willing to put sunblock on in the summer b/c he's used to lotion all over. (learned this with my daughter) i use the aveeno baby sunblock for him too. my daughter was fine with any brand, but my son has more sensitive skin and the aveeno brand seems to work best for him. My girlfriend also suggeested CereVa - it is hard to find it in my area - but i do see it online at drugstore.com.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I would avoid the cortisones if you can because they can cause discoloration of the skin over time. I would recommend Arbonne's ABC line. It is amazing. It is Botanically based so it is healthy for you to use especially on very young sensitive skin I would recommend the wash, lotion and baby oil. It isn't like other oils because it can actually absorb into your skin and heal at the cellular level. I wish I could post some before and afters for you here. If you want to check it out go to www.mbcrooks.myarbonne.com
and take a look. Oh and if you're not pleased you can get a 45 day money back guarantee. Good luck!
M.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My son was the same way. As a baby (btw he was breastfed exclusively) he had eczema on his cheek too which would not go away with anything, no lotions (and I tried them all) and over the counter cortisone would lessen it but not take it away. We even took him to an allergist to see if they could do anything. His pediatrician prescribed a prescription strength cortisone cream. But from all my research and what his Dr. said it doesn't hurt them. The cold weather made his worse too. He would actually get it so bad that several times he had to be on antibiotics becuase his eczema spots would get infected. He gets it on his elbows, his cheeks and face, an on his thighs. He still uses the cream for his flareups and its gone in usually 2 days with multiple daily use. Its not the worse thing in the world if you do have to have your child on this. Good luck. Hope you find something that works.

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K.H.

answers from Richmond on

hydrocortisone may help temporarily but you might want to try putting some vitamin E on the dry, scaly
looking skin. most people with excema actually have a slightly harder time then most people absorbing
nutients through the skin.. which in turn, encourages the exema. dont scrub at the excema, because that
will only irritate the skin, not cure the excema. try getting the child to eat some yogurt everyday, that will
also help clear the skin.
K. h.

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B.B.

answers from Columbus on

Go on line e-Bay and order Maleluca gold or white bar. I'm not a sales person,but I care for many children with this similar problem- the soaps we have now have too many chemicals- read the label. Maleluca (sp) is made to bring the natural oils back into the skin. Use it daily. Glad you don't want to use the hydrocortisone-too many side effects.

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I have very dry skin and eczema in the winter months. It is sensitive to many creams and lotions, especially my face. I know it's old school but it works, at least for me,..... VASELINE! Yes, vaseline, petroleum, is definitely underated in the healing category. Maybe because it's so cheap. Good luck.

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N.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I met a 6 year boy with such a skin. His mother used a regularly moisture cream with less ingredients than most of the others. Tell me if it worked. Take care. + N. m.

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Renew lotion is incredible for any type of dry skin. Of course you don't want to use steroids on your baby! I know lots of moms who were thrilled to discover Renew. Feel free to contact me if you'd like more information. Good luck!

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H.H.

answers from Washington DC on

My son had dry, scaly skin behind his knees and on one of his cheeks. My dr recommended and I use Curel and it cleared up within a few days. I now just use it after he gets a bath or if I notice that it's getting dry again. Hope this helps.

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T.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Cetaphil, Eucerin, or Vanicream! Do not use baby lotions they do not work and are too watery. Put a little vasaline on top. On his body you can do baby oil first and then the lotions on top of that...works wonders for us!

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T.H.

answers from Norfolk on

My oldest daughter has had eczema for a few years now. A freinds and our pediatrition recommended Cetaphil lotion, paste and cleanser. The lotion is great for everyday use. The paste is great for at night or when a bigger breakout, it is a thick cream that smooths on a heavy layer of moisture. The cleanser is great because it has no perfumes or dyes in that other soaps have. Note: it does not lather up like regular soaps and washes off completly. I hope this helps.

J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

YES! If you haven't yet, you need to trust that instinct and stop the hydro-cortisone. The long-term affects are no good and the mineral oil base will only clog/suffocate the skin and lead to more problems down the road. You need to try Arbonne Baby Care - it's a Swiss formulated line based with natural botanicals. My daughter has very sensitive skin, and I have several clients (all ages) who've battled eczema/psoriasis and other skin conditions, and it's the only thing that's worked. If you know someone that sells Arbonne - call them!! And if not, feel free to message me back - I'd be happy to service you! Whatever you do, don't use anything based with mineral oil/petrolatum/vasoline on a frequent basis... it is a hormone-altering toxin that can lead to many problems (more internally, unseen, which is scarier). Hope that helps!
J.

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H.S.

answers from Washington DC on

My 20 month old has the same issue and our doctor recommended washing with cetaphil and then rubbing in aquaphor....i prefer the Aquaphor over Vaseline because it's seems to absorb into his skin a little better and make less of a mess all over everything.

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H.C.

answers from Atlanta on

Try plain dove bar soap. My son had eczema on his legs and abdomen. After only using dove twice his cleared up. He has not had a break out or anything in almost a month. His doctor also gave him hydrocortisone, but it did nothing to help it. The only thing that worked is the dove.

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E.K.

answers from Washington DC on

What has worked for my boys' for the past 5 years is Renew lotion. It went up against Eucerin and won hands (and other body parts) down! I can arrange for a sample for you if you would like to try it, e-mail me: [email protected]____.com It has worked sooo well that I would NEVER use anything else again!

S.H.

answers from Nashville on

It almost seems unanimous - We also use koala pals and renew lotion from Melaleuca for my 3 year old son who has always suffered from red, cracked dry skin. After a few days of consistent use, his skin was clear. To order you can visit: www.HappyWorkAtHomeMoms.com

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J.M.

answers from Norfolk on

Arbonne products are pure safe and beneficial-botanical and free of fragrence and harsh dyes . ABC products and skin conditioning oil mixed with rejuvinating cream-all available on

www.jeaninem.myarbonne.com

let me know if I can give you some samples-
J.
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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

try a product called california baby. my son had the same issue that no other over the counter lotion recommended by the dr. would work. you can find it online, at whole foods or at a local health food store. best of all it's not greasy and you can use it as well. good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Aquaphor is wonderful for healing dry cracked skin. Also a great to use to protect skin from cold weather. My daughter's skin was like this as an infant and is still struggling w/ extra dry and sensitive skin at almost 9rs. old.

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

We use Goldbond medicated lotion on our 20 month old. He has sensitive skin & eczema but it doesn't bother him.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I prefer to use more natural products with my little one. I personally don't like things that have petroleum products in them. Although they do keep the moisture in, they have been found to have cancer causing chemicals in them. Arbonne is good product line if you want to go that route (I do not sell it and have no stake in the company) but it expensive. A natural coconut oil works very well. Depending on the temp it could be solid or liquid, but either way you would just rub a little on. I've also heard that evening primrose oil works well (you can find that at any health food store). Hope that helps.

S.G.

answers from Washington DC on

My 12 month old daughter has eczema and the hydrocortisone prescribed worked wonders for her arms and the backs of her thighs! Although, she has a mild case I do not use the cortisone on her face. The best thing that has worked for me is vaseline. We lather her up with it and it keeps her skin moist. Aquaphor is thick but it does nothing but break her out as her skin is very sensitive also. Try vaseline and lather it on very well.....It did wonders for our daughters skin! Especially with the winter drying the skin out! God bless you!

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L.E.

answers from Washington DC on

My little one also had excema, and it still pops up occasionally when the weather is really cold.

My first suggestion is to figure out the root cause of the eczema, and deal with that. In our case, it turned out to be food allergies (wheat, milk, beef and banana), plus she is a generally very sensitive person (to weather, heat/cold, meds, illnesses), etc. If you haven't tried allergy testing, I would suggest (easily done, blood test and/or skin test, and should be covered by your insurance).

I use "Gentle Naturals Disney Baby" Baby Eczema Cream as soon as I see it starting, adn it seems to help (but it doesn't help the really bad eczema).

Good luck. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. L., mom to 2 girls, one of whom has food allergies and other challenges.

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S.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Wash with plain water and try Aquaphor. Steroid creams will cause discoloration over time.

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K.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I use a aveeno lotion for babies every day and use the cortisone when it is really red/cracked and cauing issues such as itching.

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Our daughter was a little younger than a year when she developed mild eczema.

Our pediatrician wanted to confirm it was eczema and not something more serious, and he sent us to a dermatologist.

She recommended 2 products to keep the skin hydrated:
1. Aquaphor
2. Vanicream

You can purchase Vanicream at any pharmacy-though you may need to ask for the pharmacy to order it for you. It's a very mild but thick lotion and has done the trick famously for our daughter (now 22 months).

We did not use hydrocortisone because she responded so well to the other products.

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R.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My 1year old has excema and the doc recomended plain vasaline, that has worked better than anything else. Be sure to do it right after bath too. Hope this helps.

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L.O.

answers from Norfolk on

Hydrocotisone cream is exactly what I use for my son'e excema. I also used vaseline on his cheeks to keeps them extra hydrated and it cleared right up. His doctor said pile it on at night and it really worked. Use only nonscented products for fewer breakouts but I was told keeping his skin hydrated is the best thing to do.

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L.J.

answers from Dover on

When my son was about your son's age, we had the same problem. The pediatrician said the same thing as your doctor. I took him to a dermatologist and she gave me a prescription to put on the dry places. She also told me several other things to use and not to use. First-no fabric softeners of any kind-not in the wash and not in the dryer. Second-use a detergent that's free of dyes and perfumes. I had been using Tide w/ bleach and switched to All Free and Clear. Third, she told me to go to Walmart and buy the tub of Cetaphil creme. Lotions, she said, can actually be very drying so I should only use creme. Fourth, no special baby washes, etc. She told me to pour some Johnsons baby shampoo in the tub and let him splash around in it for his bath. When he got out I would put the Cetaphil on him. Within a couple of weeks, it was amazing the difference making those changes made! He's 12 now and sometimes it still feels like his skin is sandpaper, especially on his legs, but he doesnt have any red excema spots. Also, i dont know if your doctor mentioned it, but excema in small children is sometimes an indicator of asthma. The first time our son was diagnosed with it was when he was in 2nd grade. He has only had a couple of attacks and at his last well check the doctor said his lungs sounded great. Hope this helps! (We arent that far from you- we are on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This snow and cold weather doesnt really help the dry skin!)

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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Extra virgin coconut oil. You will be amazed.

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L.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi Victoria,

I use this on all of my kids, newborn -8 yr old. Baby Balm by Badger. This stuff is awesome and especially for sensitive skin. http://www.badgerbalm.com/pc-398-12-baby-balm.aspx

You could also try Lansinoh(the stuff in the purple tube that you put on your nipples).

Good Luck!

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

a not too hot or too long bath and VASELINE! tried and true!

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L.A.

answers from Chicago on

My son had eczema too when he was a baby,I used citaphil lotion,aquaphor cream..Safe to use daily too..
Even regular vaselin does wonders for dry skin..

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Meluleuca has a product called Renew™ Intensive Skin Therapy that works really good with excema. $9.99 for 8 oz. but I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in his condition. Check out www.melaleuca.com You have to be a member to order the products yourself, but I could place an order for you if you want to try it out. Let me know if you are interested.

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T.H.

answers from Washington DC on

My children who are now 2 and 3 both had and continue to have the same problem. This is going to sound a bit corny but I use A & D ointment on there spots at least three times per day. I actually use walmart's generic version of the A & D ointment as it has everything but the price. Please let me know if this works for you as it has been working wonderfully for mine and I use it occassionally on my dry spots as well. Have a blessed day!

Very Respectfully,
T. Hockett

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M.W.

answers from Charlottesville on

I just went to dermatologist with a young child. He recommended Cetaphil lotion which is easy to find over the counter. He was also reassuring that the hydrocortisone cream at a low dosage would not be absorbed by the body or cause changes in skin. But the cetaphil lotion made a huge difference almost immediately.

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