Baby Has Dry Skin? Eczema?

Updated on March 12, 2008
R.H. asks from Rathdrum, ID
33 answers

I have a 5 1/2 month old son. About a week ago I noticed a small rash-like area on his tummy. Since then it has spread to his shoulders and back. It's patchy and rough. I don't know if it's just dry skin? I usually bathe him everyday, so I don't know if it's just too much bathing. Or if it's from the COLD weather. I live in North Idaho and it's been quite cold lately. He's only outside on the weekends, so I'm not sure if the cold weather would be causing it. What is baby eczema? Does that sound like what he has? I would appreciate any suggestions, advice etc. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

At my son's 6 month appointment, his pediatrician confirmed that it is a mild case of eczema. We've been doing baths every other day instead of everyday. I have been using the Aveeno baby products and they seem to be helping. I apply the lotion twice daily. His pediatrician also suggested putting 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of olive oil in his bath water. Apparently this helps the skin absorb moisture and lotion. We haven't tried that yet.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter has eczema and still does to this day...she is now 27...but what I have found out is that eczema is also a sign of a milk allergy...when she lays off of dairy products...her skin improves greatly. She is not lactose intolerant...just allergic to dairy products.

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S.G.

answers from Spokane on

Try also putting baking soda in the bath water, it balances the Ph. About 3 tablespoons of baking soda in about half a baby bath full of warm water works for me. I also use something called Renew lotion which has worked wonders.

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L.E.

answers from Seattle on

Hi I am new to this site as of today ( 1-24-07 ). I had to respond to this. My daughter who is now three doesn't get these spots anymore. However she did all the time when she was little. I could ONLY use Aveeno products on her. As long as I continued with the Aveeno body wash, lotion etc. they would stay away. I hope this helps!

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R.D.

answers from Sacramento on

R.,
I feel obligated as a fellow Mom to tell you that the ingredients in Aveeno Baby are quite harmful. They may very well be causing the excema to worsen.
I know of a few products that would greatly benefit his skin condition, as I use it on my 11 month old son, Logan. He has also been diagnosed with excema and my husband has severe psoriasis.
Please call or e-mail me and I'd be more than happy to share the information I know with you.
Talk to you soon,
R. Donahue
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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E.K.

answers from Honolulu on

I tried EVERYTHING (except steroids). The two wonders for me were #1 I used this cream called Calendula, Comfrey, Coneflower Cream. It's made by this company called Eclectic Institute. It literally cured in about 48 hours. It's all natural too. I also use it for diaper rash. It's amazing. I have since referred two others two it and they love it so much they never returned my cream! I also now bathe him with Cetaphil. I lather him up dry with the pump (cheapest at Costco) and then it just rinses in the bath. I still use baby wash on his hair. Good luck.

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N.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Lovely stuff. Our son had the same problem, only on his face. Most docs (we had more than one because of moving and being military) recommend the Eucerin (at the store with all the other lotions). It's hypo-allergenic and all that good stuff. You can buy small size portions of lotions that don't have any added perfumes and advertise for sensitive skin. You can try all the baby lotions minus the perfumes. When our son's didn't seem to get better with anything else, we were given Elidel (but there is conflicting beliefs about potential side effects, so I would only consider that if the docs really believes that's best). I finally found a pediatrician who agreed with me that my son had allergies and started giving him Zyrtec and it helped A LOT with the skin. So, maybe he has allergies. Consider changing what you're washing his clothes with and don't use fabric softeners. Their skin can be pretty sensitive for a while. Good luck!

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A.F.

answers from Portland on

It could very well be eczema, a lot of babies get that. You can try something as simple as buying some Eucerin lotion. It's an unscented, thicker lotion that I use on my son. If that doesn't clear up or at least improve greatly in a couple of days, eliminate scented products from your house. This includes laundry detergents, soaps, etc. Make sure you don't put bubbles in his bath - this would really dry out his skin. My son loves bubbles, so we just use a little Johnson & Johnson shampoo which is sensitive enough. Even if it's not Eczema, he might have sensitive skin, so scented products might just be irritating him. Kids typically outgrow this, so it's really nothing to worry about. Just make sure you mention it at your next Dr appt.

Best of luck!

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A.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Yeah, that sounds like eczema to me too. My son has it too, and we noticed it when he was 6 months old. His doctor prescribed a lotion mixture of Lubriderm and hydrocortisone. We put it all over his body 4 times a day to keep him hydrated. Also, when it breaks out really bad our doctor told us to give him Benadryl for the itchiness. He also told us not to use any scented products, and to use Johnson's Head to Toe Baby Wash for his bath. We bathe him every other day (or sometimes less often if it's really bad) so his skin doesn't dry out too much.
I would definitely suggest asking your son's doctor about it. Also, be cautious of other allergies that go along with eczema. My son also has asthma-like symptoms during the cold weather, and his doctor said this is common in kids with eczema.
My son will be 2 in a few months, so hopefully he will outgrow this at some point. Not all kids outgrow it though.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.:

Eczema is actually a symptom of an allergic reaction. Instead of treating the symptom, I suggest you cure the cause. Yep, you can now cure allergies, not just treat them.

My suggestion to you is that you visit NAET.com, order and read the book "Say Good-Bye to Children's Allergies" and make an appointment to consult with an NAET certified doctor. I go to Dr. David Karaba in Fullerton and absolutely love him. My 11 month old grand daughter and 10 year old grand daughter also go to him. His phone number is ###-###-####. One of the wonderful things about NAET is that for children or the infirm, they can be treated through a surrogate, i.e., you. Here is the description paragraph from the book information.

"Say Good-bye to Children’s Allergies
By - Devi S. Nambudripad, M.D., D.C., L.Ac., R.N., Ph.D.

In Say Good-bye to Children’s Allergies, Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, the developer of NAET®, will help you understand your child’s illness and will assist you in finding the right help to achieve better health for your child. This book will show you how certain commonly used products in your foods and environment can cause health problems in your child; how you can test your child in your privacy of your own home using the Nambudripad’s Testing Techniques described in the book. This book will educate you how your child’s health problems can relate to allergy, a traditionally under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed condition; and, how allergies can manifest into myriad symptoms that might seem unrelated. The author also provides remedies for mild conditions of common childhood ailments arising from allergies and how to find help in assisting your child find the right help for serious problems such as, asthma, hay-fever, common colds, sinus problems, milk allergy, peanut allergy, sugar allergy, hives, gastritis, vomiting, colic for newborns, ear infections, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, bronchitis, drug reactions, and many other conditions. Dr. Nambudripad explains how allergies are often the underlying causes to pediatric problems and how NAET® testing procedures and NAET® treatments can offer relief from these allergies. The book is supported by NAET® practitioners’ testimonials and patients’ success stories."

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C.K.

answers from San Diego on

My 4 year old has had eczema almost since birth. The doctor recommended a lotion for sensitive skin (I use Lubriderm)everytime he is bathed and whenever the eczema shows up, I use Desonide (prescription required) until it goes away. His eczema is quite stubborn, but yours might only require a 1% hydrocortisone ointment which is available OTC at any drugstore, generic brands are just as effective as name brands
Good Luck

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V.D.

answers from Seattle on

eczema is very common is babies and they most often grow out of it. both of my kids have it and it presents about the same as you described. my son is 2 1/2 and his eczema seems to be going away already. its not harmful, but you should still take him to the doctor to get proper medication.

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B.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

my son has the same thing the doctor told me to get aveno its for eczema, and we also put him on claritin for babies and also give him 2 baths a day and always put aveno on him you would want to keep his skin moisterized as much as posible... since ive been doing this it been going away..

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B.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

My 14month old has had eczema since he was a couple months old. I also use aveeno creamy body wash. At times when his skin seems to be super dry, I put baking soda in his bath. Also, his bath water is luke warm and I do not let him soak in the soapy water for to long. Patting his body dry after his bath helps and then I grease him up with aquaphor(made by ucerin) after his bath which helps to keep him moist. He also his seen an allergists. Has your son seen one? After getting blood work done, the allergists informed us that my son was allergic to dairy, wheat, eggs, and peanuts. now that we know, he avoids these foods altogether and his skin has been fantastic with little to no break outs of eczema. Hope this helps.

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D.N.

answers from Medford on

Often dry skin is caused by the use of heat indoors, common in winter of course. A bath every day for a 5-6 month old is fine. Are you putting lotion on him after his bath? I do this after my son's bath every day so he has no dry skin. Also, when my son was much younger (he's 14 months now) he had some dry red patches as well, sometimes on his face from drooling, other times in various places. The pediatrician wrote a prescription for a great rash cream that I would just dab on the red spots and they would go away in no time. Perhaps you could ask your doctor about this rash? and see about getting some cream for it.

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L.L.

answers from Seattle on

I agree that it does sound like exzema, but it could be that what you are bathing him with is irritating his skin. Sometimes things like that can happen suddenly. It could also be bathing a lot and extra cold. I know that when it gets cold there it gets really dry. I used to live in Post Falls, so I know right where you're at. I would make a doctor appointment if it doesn't go away..just to be safe.

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B.D.

answers from Portland on

I would suggest that if the rash doesn't clear up soon you have it checked. There are so many things it could be that wouldn't take chances. Start with lotion to help the dry skin and see if it helps. You'll know when it's time to call the doc. Good luck B.

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L.C.

answers from San Diego on

You can also try applying a body oil after the bath. No Baby Oil- just pure grapeseed or apricot oil is best. This helps the skin retain moisture. And if he's not getting dirty, think about bathing him even less frequently or just doing a sponge bath as the full bath will contribute to his dry skin. Also, for some people, avoiding soaps and shampoos with sodium laurel or laureth sulfate in them clears up the eczema. You can get a cheap one at Trader Joe's or any health food store should carry one.

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Vitamin E and lots of it. my brother used to get eczema so bad that he'd have to buy vitamin E pills and break them open and rub on his skin with a little water to relive the itching. lots of lotions have vitamin E and I know the vasaline has lotion with it. in fact I have sensative nerves and the only lotion that works so far is vaseline and I'd look into a nutragina lotion with vitamin E they work the best but very expensive. but worth it belive me.

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A.V.

answers from Spokane on

It does sound like excema, both of my kids have it, although my son (now 5) seems to have outgrown it. I would bring it up to your doctor next time you see him/her, but its not really much to worry about. What I do know is that it usually runs if families and it can be a sign that he will have allergies later in life. I use something called Natures Miracle baby excema cream and that seems to be working for my daughter. You can by it at any drug or grocery store in the baby section, by the lotions. A teal colored bottle. They also have an excema baby wash that also works pretty well. The cold weather can make it worse as can bath water that is too hot, or being alergic to something in the environment. My doctor also recomends the Eucerin cream although I have had more luck with the other stuff. If it continues to get worse there are prescription products that are safe for babies.

Good Luck!
A.

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A.T.

answers from Spokane on

It sounds to me like it's eczema. Frequent bathing and cold weather are also big irritants to eczema.. as well as using bath water that is too warm. Eucerin cream works really well for it, outside of a doctor's prescription. Also, they will recommend (probably) that you try to cut down on bathing him. I'm sure the extent of the rash will determine how much they recommend you bathe him. My oldest boy has eczema and I only bathe him once a week. Outside of that, it's lite sponge baths and a LOT of lotion. He's also been put on a steroid cream that is mixed with eucerin. I hope you find that helpful!

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D.G.

answers from Portland on

It does sound like eczema but without seeing it I couldnt say for sure. You should bring it to your Pediatricians attention just to be sure. Both of my sons have eczema and this time of year really makes it worse. Also a bath everyday can make it worse too. The soap and water actually is really drying so if he doesnt need a bath every night you could try and do it every other night until the rash clears and just be sure to use a good soap followed with a good lotion. I know of some good natural soaps and lotions I can tell you about that work great. Aveeno has also started making a great baby wash and lotion for eczema that works well.but lotion 2-4 times a day until the rash is gone and 2 times a day everyday to prevent its return has become our daily routine. Good luck.

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R.O.

answers from Las Vegas on

My son had eczema since he was 3 months old all the way up to a year. He had it really bad on his face and the doctor said that by a year he might outgrow it.Around winter ime he gets dry patches of skin or his sking feels like rough sand paper. I give my son a bath everyday also and maybe that also dries out the skin. I know the doctor also suggest the dove bar that is hypoallergenic and no scent. But what I noticed is the key is after you bath you'r child immediatley mosturize the skin with lotion. I use Eucerin it works but I dislike the way it feels. It is greasy. But it works. Good luck.

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S.C.

answers from Medford on

Hi R.,

When my three were 6 months old,one of my boys Ben got a terrible rash right before Christmas Picture Day. :)
Anyway, I attributed the rash to using one of those "Lavender, Calming Nighttime" bath washes. I stopped using that and went back to good old J&J no tears head to toe wash. Also like previous posts have said, we use the "Free" laundry detergents just to avoid a possible reaction to the perfumes. etc.

I would still get it checked by your Doc to be safe. By the way Ben has outgrown the rash and hasn't had one in years.

Good Luck

S

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K.O.

answers from Portland on

If lotion does not help it, I'd take him in. Your pediatrician can diagnose it. You never know if it is a contagious rash or even possibly an allergic reaction to something. Possibly a change in dryer sheets or detergent can cause this as well. Again, your doctor can diagnose. Stuff like this just has to be seen to know for sure.

Good luck!

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi R., i don't know the cause of exzema i have 2 cousins that had it as babies (in Boston). They are now 18 and do not have it anymore. But i know there is a great product that is botanically based it is from a company called Arbonne International (from Switzerland made in Irvine, CA)they have a baby line. The baby oil you put on at night and the lotion during the day. I know of someone who used this because their child had eczema, if you want her # let me know, T.

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H.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello R.:
Congratulations on your first born boy!
I have 2 grown boys myself. To bathe babies everyday is good, but some times the soaps we use, since are not natural or organic have harsh chemicals, that after a certain time or sometimes inmediately, depending of our sensitivities could causes allergies on our skin. I will recomend you to use a Organic and natural soap. This is the brand i use and they have a special line for babies:
http://www.drbronner.com/main.html
it's called Baby Mild and these are the ingredients:
Baby-Mild: liquid soap
Unscented: No Essential Oil
A mild, smooth soap for sensitive skin (but still be sure to keep it out of the eyes).
Ingredients: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut & Olive oils (w/ retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

Bar soap:Ingredients: Saponified Organic Coconut, Palm & Olive oils (w/ retained Glycerin), Water, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Salt, Citric Acid, Vitamin E
Their organic lotions are also wonderful.

Another product me and my friends had great results with eczema and irritating skin is an 100% pure Aloe vera Jelly and Aloe Vera and Propolis cream from this company:
www.foreverliving.com

I use their products too, with this company you have to buy throu a distribuitor, but you can order online as a retail customer, you just have to mention who referred you to it.
i am a distribuitos so if you feel you want to give it a try, please use my name H. Guerrero and my ID# 001002264216
to order,
They have a 30 day money back guarantee. I recommend applying the Jelly ( which is basically Pure Aloe vera Gel) first and when it's absorbed apply the Propolis cream at least twice a day, the results are amazing.

But it will still be important to use regularly an organic soap such as Dr Bronners. Another product i think it's important too use is a natural detergent, regular detergents have very harsh chemicals that stay in the clothes and end up being a cause for allergies and skin irritation too. Trader Joes has some good ones, as well as Dr Bronneres and Forever Living Products (Forever Aloe MPD it's called)

I hope this helps.
Best regards
H. Guerrero

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S.E.

answers from Seattle on

I use a product that is AWESOME and i Can send you a sample if you want to try it it is completely safe and I use it on my babies skin after they are in the bath, it is AWESOME....

LEt me know if you are interested in a sample, even if you do not use it that is okay I will give you one anyway, there is also another product that I have used but it is really greasy when put on, but maybe that is what is helpful I am not really sure, it is called Baby Eczema cream, it comes in a blue bottle and has a little bit of pink on it, You can buy it where all the baby formula and baby products are in any grocery store as well, that has worked but I only put it on my girls if their skin does get that flare ups, but the product that I use now is WAY better and does not leave that greasy feel to it....it is also really soothing as I use it for myself.

My name is S., I have two daughters ages soon to be 3 and

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S.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Sounds like you've gotten some great advice from many. The only thing I would add is that I use Lansinoh(Lanolin) on my kids' dry spots. Even Eucerin burned my son's face and the lanolin is the only thing I found that doesn't. It's also safe for babies as it's intended to help a mom when she starts nursing(nipples), and doesn't have to be washed off.
I usually can find it at a chain store, although sometimes you have to ask the pharmasist.
Good Luck:)

S.

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A.R.

answers from Reno on

Hi R.,
I have a 13 month old who has had eczema since he was 2 weeks old. I also noticed the dry rough patches on his shoulders and face. Just like you mentioned. At that time everyone was telling not to use lotions and powders that baby skin doesn't need it. Hah! Thankfully, we had our 2-week checkup and the pediatrician said it was clearly Eczema, and we needed to treat it. My husband and mother-in-law have both suffered with Eczema their entire lives.

So, here we are in our second winter, when it seems to get worse, and what we have been doing is using Aveeno Creamy body wash at every bath (once a day) and also using the Aveeno bath soak that is a blend of oatmeal and oils. Now, there are only something like 6 little packets of stuff per box and it does get pricey. We also use the Aveeno creamy lotion or Natural Care Eczema cream every night all over his body. We never rub him dry we always pat him and get the lotion on as quick as we can after exiting the tub. We also use hydrocortizone .5% on the actual spots or when we feel the roughness coming back to the frequent spots.

For us this routine has been the only thing that keeps him Eczema free. I notice a huge difference immediatly when not following or using the frangrance free Aveeno line of products. Even the Johnson & Johnson Naturals line didn't help us.

We also have to wash all of our clothes in All 'Free and Clear' liquid soap and free of dyes and fragrance Downy liquid and sheets.

Like most have mentioned Eczema in babies is very normal. You will find a routine that works and know what to use on his skin. Our ped did warn us about the fact that some kids who have Eczema may also be at a higher risk for allergies and Asthma. Always check with the doctor about any concerns you have. It took him 3 seconds to look at our son and now we take care of it.

Good luck!
A.

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S.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi R., I am a Consultant with Arbonne International. We have a fabulous line of Pure,Safe and Beneficial Skin Care Products for everyone including Babies. I would be more than happy to send you a sample of the Baby Care-I have seen it work wonders! Feel free to check out my website: www.sharonfoot.myarbonne.com.

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L.W.

answers from Portland on

I have an 8 year old who had severe Eczema when she was smaller. It has since tappered off. Usually it appeared in the bends of her knees and elbows, sometimes just random patches. It is very dry and rough. She uses a prescription called Elidel it is non- steriod, so safe to use on her face. Oatmeal lotion seems to help, with bathing limited to every other day. Keep the water warm, not hot because that tends to make it worse. Applying unsented hypoallergenic lotion twice or three times a day helps. Hydracortisone works if he scratches at it because it becomes inflamed and causes a burning sensation.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,
That really sounds like eczema. I have two children who have hereditary eczema which is a lot worse than just baby eczema. My entire family has dealt with it and we have found that corn oil is very helpful! Bathe your child with Dove or Caress bar soap and pat-dry the "rashy" areas. Apply corn oil instead of lotion. You should see the rash go away in about three days (or three treatments). After that, you can use the corn oil method if and when the rash comes back and it will help almost instantly. Good luck!

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M.J.

answers from Spokane on

My daughter is seven and has not outgrown it yet. In addition to Aveeno, we have found that Bath and Body Works Body Cream is her best friend. It only takes her a couple apps and she is yummy soft. But we have to constantly use any treatment or she turns into a lizard again.

Someone told me once that Paul Mitchel's Tea Tree conditioner works for an excellent eczema lotion. I have never tried it on her though.

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