Eczema Help

Updated on March 16, 2008
B.P. asks from Lutherville Timonium, MD
26 answers

My daughter (2-1/2 years old) had been dealing with eczema this winter. We've been to the pediatrician and he suggested both a hydrocortisone cream as well as a few other changes (different soap, lotions, not using dryer sheets, etc.) that might help the problem. These changes seem to have helped. Since this is the first time we're dealing with this and I know it's such a common problem, I was just wondering what others may have tried and been successful with (specifically soaps, lotions or other non-medical things that helped). Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for sharing what worked for you! I'm now armed with a list of things that other people have had success with so I have a good starting point as I go through the trial and error of what will work for us. So far, we've been able to get relief for most of the patches (with one stubborn one still remaining, but much less itchy)! Dove soap, an Aveeno lotion, hydrocortisone (only as needed) and some laundry changes are helping so far. Oh, and keeping my daughter's fingernails VERY short! :-)
Thanks again, everyone!

Featured Answers

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T.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I would highly recommend Arbonne products. They have a wonderful baby line. I actually know a teenager who had terrible eczema and she started using Arbonne products and her eczema has cleared up.

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L.J.

answers from Washington DC on

I use to have eczema when I was a child and we found that any citrus foods would cause it to flare up. Just a thought and Eucerine lotion works well.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I watch a little girl who suffers from the same thing. She has it the worst on her legs. So her parents put 2 pairs of paints on her and lotion goes on every change or bathroom use.

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L.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi B., i feel your frustration. My family has suffered from eczema forever. :) I'm praying that my twins don;t get it. I can tell you from our experience, that creams and lotions provide temorary relief for us. what i found that has worked for me is good ole hydrogen poroxide. My eczema used to flare on and off all over, mostly my hands. Any little detergent, strongly perfumed lotion, even doing dishes would send them into a frenzy. About 2 1/2 years ago i was at wits end, the lotions weren;t working and it was even getting under my fingernails, i recieved an email of all the great thing Hyddrogen peroxide was good for, and i put some in a spray bottle, supposedly for blood stains.. lol.. and in a moment of desperation, i sprayed it all over my hand... needless to say a couple days of that and 2 1/2 years later it has not come back.. knock on wood.. now i did notice that excessive peroxide over dried it.. i don;t have a specific amount to tell you.. i do know it has worked for my brother who had it worse than me on his feet, now my mom it works but comes back.. then again she can't keep her hands dry. she's an obsessive compulsive cleaner :)

hope this helps..

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S.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Look at any diet changes. I also suggested fish oil and probitics for kids.
Aloe for the skin and any natural or organic lotions. You may want to consult a Naturopath.

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N.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm not sure if you have tried the baby products from Arbonne International. They contain no mineral oil, wax, alcohol, dyes or perfumes. I would love to send you a free sample to try for 4 - 5 days, no obligation. I know many people with eczema who have been able to successfully use the plant based products. The baby sample includes a hair & body wash, body oil, body lotion, diaper rash creme and sunscreen. [email protected]____.com

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I see that you have had many responses, but couldn't help but to add one more! This was a huge issue with my baby and the only thing that gave her relief was Arbonne ABC. We were able to toss out all of the prescription tubes immediately! It is a pure, safe & botanical product that has a 0 hypoallergenic rating. My daughter has not had any outbreaks (other than if somebody washes or wipes her face) since we started using it. I loved it sooo much I signed up and now my entire family uses their products. Don't let my working with the company push you off. It is a great product and worth researching.

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C.T.

answers from Washington DC on

My son has eczema which started at around 4 months old. It is sort of like your own little science project trying to find out what works. I bathe my son 2-3 times a week in warm water for at least 10 minutes to moisturize the skin. When I get him out I rub him down with Eucerin within 3 minutes of getting him out of the tub to lock in the moisture. I've used aquaphor, vaseline and cetaphil but have found Eucerin to be the best for him. Whenever he gets a red, raised area, I add hydrocortisone to the area as well. I only use this for flare ups. His skin looks great now. I think the trick is working quickly to get the lotion on when he gets out of the tub. We also only use hypoallergenic, fragrance free products on him. I use a soap made by Aveeno for bathtime. Cotton clothes are best for him too. ...and of course the same goes for using laundry detergents that are fragrance free and dye free. Good luck:)

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P.K.

answers from Norfolk on

anything with an EFA,essential fatty acid greatly helps the skin. I will do some research and get back with you!!
And ask someone else that knows lots!!
P.

My son has bad bumps onhis arms so I bite into a primrose oil cap and mix it with baby oil, and I think it's really going to help him. Soon!!

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

B. -
I am not sure if you have ever heard the term "A healthy inside leads to a healthy outside?"
To fight the problem of eczema we had originally switched all our cleaning products, laundry products and body care products to Natural products. That seemed to work for a while and then stopped working. So, then we went to Strictly Organic made products. That too work for a while, but the problem still came back.
I was reading a site one day that talked about controlling acne through the things you eat and that some things can actually set off certain reactions in your body - eczema, weight gain, Acne. So, I researched this a little more and began to understand that our gut is really the center for a lot of things for us. A healthy gut will = a healthy body.
So, we began a cleanse program with our children where we replace a breakfast with a shake packed with the Right essential nutrients, digestive enzymes, minerals, carbs, protein, over 272 vitamins. Now, while we have only been on these products for 40 days, I can not guarantee that it won't come back... BUT....
The key to life is nutrition and the right nutrition! So, if we are putting the right stuff in, then I would have to imagine that we will remain free of the problems until we stop. Which we don't plan to do for a very long time!
So, you may want to check her diet. See what things cause more of an outbreak than others! It’s a long process, but at least you might be able to pinpoint some things.
For us, we ran the quicker route and decided to do it all through Nutritional cleansing and Great products for the kids and us as well. But, I realize that not everyone is like we are and wants to experience fast results and relief organically. Some else gave the advice of Fatty Acids and Omega 3’s and they are definitely on the right track with that advice! But there are more nutritional things to look at as well.
HTH..
Jenn
Mama to Bryce~10 Austin~7 Taylor~2
Always feel free to private message me if you would like more help!

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L.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi B.,
My two girls, now aged 7 and 5 both developed eczema when they were about 18 months old. There didn't seem to be much rhyme or reason behind when their out-breaks happened, but it was regular enough that I couldn't even leave for a day trip without taking the cortisone with me just in case. Sometimes it was bad enough that I had to use a prescription cream containing steroids which obviously is less than ideal.
Well, almost exactly a year ago I switched my home over to naturally based products and got rid of everything containing harsh chemicals - this includes a change of laundry detergent, dryer sheets, household cleaners, air fresheners and even things such as shampoos and body wash which when I did the research, I discovered have a surprising number of harmful chemicals including skin irritants.
The main reason I did this to begin with was for environmental reasons, but after a couple of months it occurred to me that neither of my daughters had a single outbreak of eczema since I got all those toxins out of my house. Here we are a year later and they are still eczema free.
Give it a try. I had tried everything and this was a wonderful unexpected bonus of my effort to go green!
If you need any advise about which products to use, just send me a message and I will be glad to help because I know it is a nasty problem.

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K.R.

answers from Richmond on

Hi B.,
Your daughter sounds like she might be suffering from possible allergic reactions to her enviroment.
Detergents and soaps that you buy at the grocery stores to wash your clothes in and bathe your children in contain too many toxic chemicals for young sensitive skin. That's why I recomend you switch out what you are using in the laundry and in the bathroom for non-toxic products that do not contain these harsh additives and chemicals. I can also recommend a wonderful intensive skin therapy lotion not available in stores that will work wonders on your daughters irritated skin.
Please see my add in the business section for a business I call "Pure and Simple". My contact info is there, and I can get you started using non-toxic products to do your laundry and bathe your daughter with. I am confident that by changing these two things, you can releive her painful and itchy condition. This has worked for so many, and it can work for your family as well. Wishing you good health...
K.

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter had eczema from head to toe at about 3 weeks old. She is 4 now and we finally have it under control. This is what we do:
-wash all clothes in all clear-double rinse some things
-no dryer sheets or perfume
-100% cotton clothes
-after bath load her up with vaseline or aquaphor
we have encasings on her bed and pillow availabe through National Allergy
-We use hydorcortisone on hot spots and even were prescribed a medicated cream..triamsinalone..not sure of spelling
-the cream helped alot to get it under control then we stopped using it. But we needed to get it under control to begin managing it.
-have your child tested for food allergies(my daughter ended up having a lot which she has now grown out of-still peanut and shellfish though)
-WE use a soap and shampoo from whole foods market-helped alot
or aveeno with no sent.
-don't wear wool and carry her against you can irritate her
good luck

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S.N.

answers from Washington DC on

My little girl is nearly two and has had eczema and sensitive skin since birth. Now all of the suggestions from the other moms are great. Especially the suggestions to use organic products and cleansing the body. However, if you've never been into all organics products before, it can be a life changing experience and will require lots of research and trial and error with different products. I haven't made that switch yet, so if you haven't either, i will share with you some store bought products that are 100% fool proof. They work , hands down. Use all sensitive skin, dye free , perfume free laundry detergents. They even have a formula for dryer sheets. try All free and clear. Also Downy has a formula for fabric softner and bounce has one for the dryer sheets . On her skin, I like Baby Aveeno creamy cleanser for younger babies and Tone soap for older babies. It keeps the skin moist and is gentle enough for a child with sensitive skin. One the face use Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and there is also a moiturizer.... Those two for the face. Now moiturizers and treatments for the rest of the body.... When there is a bad eczema rash, a little hydrocotisone oitmnent , not cream. It's store bought, no perscription needed. The oitment is better than the cream. After the out break clears up, use Eucerin calming cream on the body, every single day. This is the regimen that my entire family uses when there is eczema and it works every single time. You will but these products over and over forever. Unless of course you go organic , which i'm sure is best, but like i said that requires research. Maybe something to think about. but if you need relief now... HERE IT IS. GOOD LUCK

P.S.

Also a good idea to have your child allergy tested to try to find out what causes the out breaks.

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi I've had eczema all my life as well as my 2 daughters now 12 & 13. Different things work at different times of the year for different. I really like aveeno oatmeal baths. Eucerin and vaseline are good as well. Something that you can order at the pharmacy without a prescription is called balnatar. I may have mispelled it but I swear by it. Its a liquid that can go into ur bath water. You can also mix it with vaseline. Its fast acting. It doesn't smell the best but its worth it. When my youngest had it on her scalp really bad I mixed some with her shampoo. Hope this helps.

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K.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi B.,

First, I am sorry to hear that your daughter is having a hard time with eczema. I have two little girls, and both have had alot of agony from eczema. I want to tell you that it is very possible, as mentioned by others that there are food/seasonal allergies, so if you have not had her tested it is well worth the while to make sure. Neither of my girls get their allergies to food from us, but as both myself and my husband have seasonal allergies the girls are going to have either food or seasonal most likely- which, they have both.

I have spent alot of money, and time trying prescription, over the counter, high end cosmetic/bath products, organic and natural products and oddly enough two very different things worked for my girls.

My oldest (also 2-1/2)has a moderate to severe case that appears patchy and rough in spots or specific areas of her body that lasts all yr. does best with California Baby products, they are organic, and seem to work best. You can order them offline at their website www.californiababy.com or you can find their products at Target, the sensitive baby wash, shampoo, massage oil and cream are excellent but truthfully, even the ones that have essential oils work well without irritating her skin. The price may seem a little high, BUT a little goes a long way- promise!

My youngest 1-1/2 has eczema all over, it cracks and bleeds, and has all the Drs puzzled with remedies other than hydrocortisone. I chose another route and have had tremendous success! I use a product called Moisture Therapy Extra Strength Cream. I sell AVON, and this is where I got the product. One night out of curiosity I put some on my younger girl as nothing else was working, and litterally within a few hrs I could tell a HUGE difference. It is very reasonably priced, and if you are interested I can help with ordering it. If it doesnt do exactly what you would like, then you can return it. The final step I took was switching (as also mentioned) to a green laundry detergent -Ecos is the name and they sell it at Ukrops Grocery, or you can get it at the healthfood store. One last thing...My old Ped mentioned trying to place a cap of olive oil in my girls bath, it helped for a short while, and seemed to relieve the symptoms so it may be worth a shot for you. I hope all this helps and that your baby gets some relief! Congrats on your second, I am due with #3 in April!!

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

It could be an allergic reaction. Perhaps talk to your pediatrician about giving her a little bit of benedryl or claritin.

For temporary relief, I found that Aveeno products work well on my kids. They have a lotion called Avenno Calming lotion for Eczema that worked wonders in a matter of days!

Meg

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D.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi B.,
My son is 4 and has had eczema since he was an infant. There are many factors that contribute to eczema. It is partly an overactive immune response to allergens-like pollen,mold,food allergies etc. For some it is inherited, like my sons. My advice for what worked for him is 1)see if frequent bathing her is helping her skin or drying it out.When my son had bad flareups I bathed him every other day unless it was during pollen season in which he had to be bathed from head to toe to wash off the pollen.2)definitely get rid of detergents that have a scent or smelly cleaning products 3)watch for flare ups after she is given a new food, especially dairy products.4)I use cetaphil cleanser or burt bees baby wash to wash him 5)to moisturize him I use Renew lotion by Melaleuca-look up on the website and aquaphor by eucerin. The aquaphor is very close to petroleum jelly but has a water content in it. I put renew on first and if there are any dry patches I put aquaphor on those. 5)whatever you do be diligent about keeping a soft nail file around and keep her nails as low as possible-check her nails at least 3 times per week 6)for itching regular hydrocortisone is the lowest strength over the counter,but it is better if you dont have to use a steroid at all. Try to keep the itch scratch cycle from occuring by keeping her moist-the dryness is what makes her itch. You could possibly avoid the hydrocortisone if she doesnt scatch.Lastly if all these things fail get a second opinion from a pediatric dermatologist at your local childrens hospital.I hope this helps. D. mom of Lena 6 yrs and Donovan 4 yrs

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J.C.

answers from Dover on

Hi B.,

Congrats on baby number 2 that is exciting! And not to mention your new little one will be here soon. Well good luck and best wishes.

Anyway, sorry to go on about that but it is truly a blessing. I to have a 2 1/2 yr old that suffered with eczema until I started using this lotion called RENEW and the RENEW baby oil. In 3 days the bumps were about gone and my little girl was not itching her self until she was bleeding. It was a god sent and I do mean that. We tried all the other lotions from like Happy Harrys and then started using a prescription that the doctor gave us. But I did not want to use that really b/c it has steroids in it so I searched high and low and found this RENEW and I love it not only for my little girl but also for my husband and myself. Even my skin feels like it did years ago and I love that!! You can request more information at www.urfuturematters.com I think you could give it a try!! Best of wishes with the new baby and finding something that works!

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M.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

Hi B.,
My now 8 year old had severe eczema when he was younger and the allergist tested him and he was allergic to soy. After we removed the soy from his diet the eczema went away. He is now able to have soy again. Your daughter could be allergic to something she is eating. Perfume and dye free detergents are great and the hydrocortisone always worked for us. We never found anything else that worked that I can share with you.
M. B

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My little girl (6 mo old today) has struggled with eczema and extremely sensitive skins since her second week of life! It's awful. It's started just in her diaper area (with mini blister like things), turned into nasty cradle cap and then spread all over her body. The doctor first recommended cortisone cream as well which helped a little bit at first, but nearly every week she gets these awful flare ups (for no apparent rhyme or reason) in her creases, chest and face and it can get so bad that her skin bleeds and scabs. The doctor since prescribed mometasone cream (aka Elicon) and although it clears it up in just a few hours it has bleached her skin. She's Puerto Rican and has beautiful olive skin like her daddy except now on her little legs she has bleached spots. I feel awful about it but what else could I do? I just try to be careful and only use that medicine (steroid) when extremely necessary.
Otherwise, I give my daughter 2-3 luke warm baths a week. I only use cetaphil skin cleanser on her body. As soon as I get her out of the bath I pat her dry lightly and immediately massage her all over with cetaphil cream. Sometimes in her creases if the eczema starts to come back I use aquaphor (like a vaseline) and that helps. Sometimes we put the cream on her morning and night and we also keep a cool mist humidifier in her room (to combat winter dryness). These regular baths and the cetaphil have helped to keep the eczema at bay or at least more mild.
Every other soap I've used has irritated her skin (Johnson's, Arbonne, Burt's Baby Bee) and I'm too nervous to try anything else especially b/c I myself have never had skin problems before and have no prior experience with this.
Good luck!

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B.D.

answers from Norfolk on

Hello B.,

My daughter has some skin issues this winter also. I tried all kinds of different lotions and baby soaps. I found that the Burt's Bees works best! It is a little pricy but lasts a long time. I use the baby wash and the lotion. It did wonders for her skin!

Good luck, BD

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S.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter has had Eczema every since she was born we have been using hydrocortisone and it clears it right up.Far as lotion there is nothing that works for her but vaseline and it helps her skin keep moist.

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A.H.

answers from Dover on

Aveeno makes an awesome "baby lotion" that helps relieve some of the Eczema symptoms. They also make a great "wash" too. I use both of these products and it helps get through the dry seasons. Hope this helps!!

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P.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My son also has it and our dr said not to use hrdrocotisone or anything with it in it, we use dermasmooth and it is great, it is basically an oil you put it on them at night. If you did not want to use a medicated one there is also a nother one ovver the counter fragrance free oil. We also use senstive skin dove.

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A.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi B..

I have a something that I know WILL WORK. and you can see a difference within a day or 2 without any steriods.
I work for a company called Joy USA. and we sell eco-friendly all natural hair and skin products. Our website is
inkomfe-usa.com. If you like what you read online you order online and use my code when you purchase 1006 or please give me a call ###-###-####
Our products are dermatoloicaly recommended and is great for any age and skin type.

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