Eczema All over Including Scalp

Updated on January 19, 2013
I.N. asks from Spokane, WA
17 answers

I have a 10 month old, who has eczema for a while now, it sucks i treid everything but what seems to bother him more is his scalp he sleeps really bad at night and i am almost due with my second one i need him to be a little more relieved and myself too. i bought t gel extra strength that controls redness itching and flaking but afraid o use on the little child, and the oils dont help it makes it worse! any MOMs have any ideas i would be happy with any advice! PS i tried hydrocortisone cream and aquaphor and doctor seems to think its fine and will go away !!!

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answers from Hartford on

I think it might be time for you to consider an Elimination Diet. It's highly likely that it's a particular food or foods causing the eczema as an allergic reaction. All the topical treatments do is treat the symptoms, and even then they don't do a very good job but can make things worse.

My best advice is to talk to a pediatric gastroenterologist and a pediatric nutritionist.

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answers from Denver on

this is a histamine reaction - meaning something is causing his immune system to react.

unlike a poster below - I'd try all of the below at the same time - you said you need relief fast - you don't have time to do the step by step - not w/ a new baby soon! so, you won't know the cause but you will be getting sleep!

Start by seeing the doctor - unfortunately you will likely need meds to get things under control - insist on seeing a dermatologist - they do a better job with eczema. this is your mantra, "he is not sleeping because of eczema. therefore, I am not sleeping. I will have a new baby. we have to fix this." repeat as often as needed. ask if there is an antihistamine you can use - it worked faster than any cream I tried on my son, but he was about 30 months when things started. Then:

1. change laundry detergent to all free and clear or a "natural" that is unscented. Dreft is not appropriate - the scent in it may cause a reaction (did w/both my kids). Tide is the worst ever, even the so called allergy free. I have to sleep in long sleeves and pants if I'm in someone's house and they use Tide - even if it's only one night.
2. STOP using softener and dryer sheets RIGHT NOW. Rewash all of his clothes and bedding twice. Yours too - he's against your shirt all day, right? the dryer balls (the knobby "seen on TV" ones) work really well for static if you keep natural and man-made fibers separate in the dryer - I hang the man-made stuff all over the house in the winter.
3. use white vinegar in the rinse water of the laundry - put it where you'd put softener.
4. use only California Baby sensitive baby for shampoo/soap. it's the only one my son could (and can still at 11 years) tolerate. the organics his sister uses cause flare ups.
5. remove ALL cleaners in the house with any scents. Dishwashing detergent, lysol, bathroom cleaner, etc. use baking soda and vinegar only for a couple of weeks. for dishwashing use an unscented (or naturally scented) natural product.
6. remove any and all air fresheners and candles. the chemicals in those artificial scents wreak havoc on my skin so my kids have never had any long term exposure but it could definitely be a culprit.
7. those were the easy ones - foods are a lot harder. I'd try to think about where you were at w/solids when the eczema started - go back to that point for a couple of weeks and start adding one thing back at a time.

good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

CeraVe- until he can be seen by the doctor. Aquaphor is good and a hydrocortisone cream-but please call the doctor before using anything on your baby-not just now but always. Take care!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Eczema is usually an allergy to something. It could be food, environmental, ect. My son got mild eczema from dairy...your son's cause sounds pretty extreme. I would cut out the usual food culprits (dairy, wheat, soy, ect) and see what happens. You need to cure eczema at the source, not just treat it because you will see behavioral ramifications like having trouble sleeping.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My mom went through this with my brother in the 70s and 80s and the only thing that would work was Avon skin softener, the kind in the little jar or pot. It didn't help my daughter though. She finally figured out he was allergic to soaps and perfumes of any kind. He can ONLY use original scent Tide.

My sister went through this with my niece and nephew. They were both allergic to milk products. He outgrew it by the time he was 3, she took until she was 10.

My daughter had it so badly on her bottom and hips that we went to three pediatricians a naturapath, a chiropracter, and a dermatologist. Not to mention a lot of online research. No medicines, creams, prescriptions,baths, diaper brands, detergent, etc. worked. We took her off of milk because we ran out and her brother had goat milk and she liked it so we kept buying it for her. Her skin cleared up but we didn't think much of it since it was summer and she was naked all the time. I gave her a bottle of milk one day from McDonalds on a road trip to grandma's. 3 hours later her whole butt was broken out. We have not let her have cow milk since and she is ezema free.

All of these issues in my family were resolved by taking away milk except for my brother who still drank milk and still had eczema. He was stubborn!
I would cut any and all cow dairy from his diet. If you are formula feeding, then he needs to go on dairy free, not just lactose free because it is the milk protein that is probably doing it. We had to use Alimentum for them. I know others use Nutramingen, I honestly dont' know the difference.
If you are breastfeeding, then get some formula while you get all the dairy out of your system. I couldn't have any while I was pregnant or breastfeeing because they reacted so strongly to it!!

I hope that helps your little guy. It really did my family; there is a lot of research out there that connects milk and skin conditions. Even vets are talking about skin conditions in dogs and cats from food allergies because its so connected.

I hope this helps you. it really is where I would start if I were you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Call your pediatrician. The only thing that helped my son was prescription strength hydrocortisone ointment. You might want to consider seeing an allergist, too. Most of the time it's caused by exposure to something the baby is allergic to, whether it be food, dyes, or fragrances. For my son, it was all three. Plain baths- no soap. No lotions, oils, or creams. Only fragrance/dye free on the skin. Free and clear detergents, dryer sheets, etc. No bleach. Keep his fingernails trimmed so he can't dig at his skin. This will help prevent infection.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You need to find out the root. Could it be food? Detergent? Our doctor said DD's patches needed to be kept moisturized and we used Eucerine, but if it's all over and he's not sleeping, I think you should talk to the pediatrician. Make sure it's not something else, too, like a yeast infection or ringworm or whatever.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

A friend of mine just said that Aveno shampoo, bath (the stuff that makes the water look cloudy/milky, and lotion were the magic key for her 18 month old. Not sure if it will help for your little guy, but I hope so! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!!

Eczema is typically a reaction to an allergy. Change ONE thing at a time to find out the problem behind the eczema - laundry detergent (you might need to use Dreft or even baking soda...

believe it or not - the creams you are using on him might be making it worse. I said MIGHT as you don't know what is causing it. If you use something and it only makes it worse, then he is having a reaction to it. So find the base/root of the problem...if it's food....

If your son is breastfed - keep a food log to find out what you are eating that makes the eczema worse.

If he is bottle fed, then you will most likely need to change your formula.

Contact your pediatrician. Work with him/her to try a prescription strength hydrocortisone cream.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

All of the advice to get to the root of the problem is great. In the meantime, to help his current symptoms, I just read an article with a recipe for eczema relief that is completely natural. It might be worth a try with your little one. Here it is: 1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal, 3/4 cup coconut oil, few drops of rosemary oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grind the oats into a flour consistency (use a blender, food processor, or similar) and set aside. On a low heat melt the coconut oil until liquid, add rosemary oil (this ingredient is optional), add oats and mix until well blended, add olive oil and mix well. Remove from heat and pour into a storage container. Allow to harden (may take a few hours)l Apply to effected area as needed.

I'm not a doctor, just passing along what I hope will give your little guy relief. Keep looking for a cause, but in the meantime this may help his symptoms.



answers from Madison on

I know he is little but a naturopathic doctor will test him for allergies--most likely food (it's a simple blood draw). Cradle cap--which is what the dryness of the scalp is called in babies--is almost always caused by an allergy, whether it's food, environmental, chemical/pesticide/preservative, etc. If he has gluten intolerance, then gluten in anything--to include shampoo or soap--will keep irritating his skin. Ditto for being intolerant or allergic to oats and using Aveeno, as one mom posted.

Until you get to the ROOT PROBLEM of what is causing the eczema/cradle cap, you won't get it to stop/go away.



answers from Eau Claire on

I have this problem too...for 'really bad' patches we were prescribed a steroid creme by DS's pediatrician, but I use this sparingly. I use the hydrocortisone extra strength w/aquaphor when I first notice a breakout...and use a lighter moisturizer everynight. Use a CREME, not a lotion.
For his scalp...use Head & Shoulders (or any dandrift shampoo) during his bath (also a suggestion from my ped). Just rub it in when washing scalp (my kids didn't have hair lol) and let it sit for a minute or 2, then rinse it off. Be sure to rinse it all and not to get it in his eyes! Then I'd put a little baby oil on his scalp right after bath, let that sit for a couple minutes, then comb out any flakes. Only took a day or 2 to clear up, and then I just continued to use the head and shoulder to keep it away. They outgrew the cradle cap, but both still have pretty dry skin and the one tends to get eczema outbreaks every now and then.

I don't use any bubble bath and like Aquaphor baby bodywash.

As some mentioned below, I also changed out detergent to Tide Clear & Free and don't use any softeners.

I haven't tried any allergy testing yet or cutting out dairy, but may eventually.

Good luck!



answers from Portland on

my daughter had an unexplained rash that started at her diaper area and crept up her back. ped. thought it was yeast so we tried an antifungal to no result. turns out it was food allergies. she was reacting to eggs and dairy that i was eating. once i stopped eating those, she was fine. eventually she did outgrow her allergy to those but she still tends to have dry skin, bumpy in places. i do not know if there is a link but FWIW, our family tends towards autoimmune diseases (thyroid and celiac).

we didn't have to use the hydrocortisone cream once we cut out those foods. it's not good for their skin in the long run anyway.



answers from Houston on

The Eczema Cure would be a great book for you to read. Whatever problems are going on inside the body (mainly the gut), shows up on our skin. Wheat and dairy are probably huge triggers for him. Even if those foods don't show up on an IGe allergy test, they could be IGg, or other types of reactions/sensitivities. Eliminate for a month and see how it goes.



answers from Boston on

My son (now 11) has eczema to his's an allergy thing....if you can get him tested (I don't kow if 10 months is too young--I really don't remember)...I was using Aveeno products when he was a baby per the recommendation of his pedi until I found out that he was allergic to oats (yes, oats) and that the Aveeno stuff was actually aggravating the situation...he also had an issue w/casein(milk protein) and we switched over to rice milk for the longer time and is now back to cows milk on a limittted basis. His allergist recommended Vanicream and hydrocortisone and that seems to help and using free and clear detergents and no oat products has helped alot (but it hasn't gone away totally all the time)...Good luck



answers from Dallas on

My husband deals with flaky scalp and the only thing he has tried that works is Selsun Blue shampoo. It stinks bad because it has sulfur in it, and I don't know if it is safe to use on a baby or not. However, nothing else he has tried on his scalp works.


answers from Milwaukee on

We are all natural like Ellen and I agree with her but wanted to add that when it gets really bad we need a strong RX from the derm to get it under control. The lowest I go is 2.5% hydrocortisone with an RX. Once it's more controlled I use coconut oil and Aquphor.

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