Eczema Not Getting Any Better ...

Updated on May 03, 2011
M.M. asks from San Pablo, CA
27 answers

Hi moms,
I have a 20 month old boy that has had eczema since he was a baby. It's mainly on his legs, arms, rear end and back of the neck.. ok, almost everywhere. Well we have tried a lot of different products and they only help temporarily and come back as soon as we stop using it.
I have tried: Cetaphil, Aveeno, Aquaphor (currently on it), use Dove unscented soap, has 100 % cotton bedding, ...
I don't think it has anything to do with food or the detergent that I wash his clothes with (ALL unscented detergent). Recently his ped recommended to use 2.5% hydrocortisone for 1 week and then continue with Vaseline or Vani Cream. That whole week that he used the hydrocortisone, his skin was like a baby, SOFT and no bumps. And best of all, he wasnt uncomfortable, but as soon as I took him off the hydrocortisone, eczema came back.
I really don't want to use anything stronger on him for longer periods of time because I don't want his skin to be sensible to it.
What product has worked for you guys that you didn't have to use permanently?
I know I will always have to keep his skin hydrated with creams, but I don't want to have to worry about his eczema so much

Thank you

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, my daughter has the same thing and what's worked for her finally is Vanicream, from walgreens, it's over the counter, and it takes some time, she was allergic to aquaphor(lanolin), and this works well. It's lanolin free and fragrance free. Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Try infant acidophilus from the health food store or wholefoods, it's in the refridgerator section. It takes about two weeks to see a difference but it significantly helped my baby when he had eczema on his face. The lady at the health store told be that it is a sign of allergies and that acidophilus helps to increase the healthy bacteria in the stomach and combat skin reactions.
Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

He has an intolerance for gluten. Remove it from his diet. His symptoms will disappear and you won't have to use the creams.

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

Hi M.,

What doctors don't tell you is that Ezcema is systemic. It works from the inside out. No cream will help if the toxicities in his little body are not removed. Unscented detergents are still ladened with synthetic chemicals that absorb in the skin. Dove unscented soap is also toxic. Just because it is better than say, Dial, doesn't mean it's good. My Dad had ezcema ALL his life, 87 years, and when I learned all this we got rid of it....forever. He's 92 now and his skin is like a healthy baby's skin. We put him on an absorbable multivitamin (absorbable is a MUST) and started using non toxic products for him and around him. The detergent is the big thing as is the soap. His diet was not too bad but bad enough to not allow the skin to heal. The nursing home where he lives actually uses him as the "show" patient for care as he's a picture of health apart from being bedridden.

Please don't use the cortisone cream or the vaseline. They only exacerbate the problem. Cortisone will relieve symptoms temporarily but will add toxicities as well as weaken his bones. (Yes, even topically, steroids decrease bone density and lead to osteoporosis. I know, I was a young victim) Vaseline clogs the pores and is simply a diesel byproduct that adds grease not moisture. There is a lotion I can recommend that will give him comfort as well as heal from the outside if you want something topical.

Please don't give up hope.I've seen it completely healed. It's fixable. I've seen it over and over. Please get in touch with me if you want more info or specifics. Nobody wants a little one to suffer.

God bless,


3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Try Florasone. Got it at Pharmaca, but could probably find it other places. It is like Cortisone, but is not a steroid cream.
Our son has same skin issues and we are pretty sure it is not a food allergy. This stuff works. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

Coconut oil is an anti fungal. Get the extra virgin kind that looks like lard in the jar. It melts at 70 degrees so when you apply it, it will melt with your body heat.
Coconut oil is so, so, so healthy for you! He is old enough to eat a little off a spoon too, because exzema starts internally and then comes through the skin. So, oil on the outside and oil on the inside.
Avoid any product with petroleum or petrolatum, these products don't let the skin breathe, and only hydrate short term. Plus it's very bad for your body.

You can change detergents, because ALL could be irritating him. Even though it's unscented, he could still be sensitive to the chemicals. I recommend Charlie's Soap. It's amazing, and absolutely the safest detergent I have ever used. Try making your own cleaners to eliminate toxins from your home. I love the book, "Green Up Your Clean-Up". It has great recipes and tips! I also recommend the brand BioKleen over any other brand. I buy some products online at You may even be able to get the coconut oil there too. I recommend Nutiva or Tropical Traditions.

You could also try cutting certain foods out of his diet. Wheat is a HUGE allergen and exzema is often a result of wheat or dairy sensitivity. Some people don't have a sensitivity to wheat or dairy individually, but DO have problems with wheat and dairy combined.

I hope you find exactly what works for him! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

As other posters have said, you need to take a closer look at all the cleaning products in your home. Unscented laundry detergent is a start but you also need to nix the fabric softener - they are the worst, worst, worst. Use vinegar where you'd place fabric softener (for the whole family not just baby's clothes - he leans against your shirt, right?). not only will he not have a reaction to vinegar, vinegar helps to remove any soap residue left in the clothes. do a double rinse on all laundry (or at least anything related to baby). also consider trying a different unscented detergent - I cannot tolerate Tide in any form - instant rash. All free and clear works well for our family. Also NO dryer sheets.

My son had mild eczema when he was younger, he still gets it on occasion if we're not vigilant. He does really, really well on California Baby Super sensitive shampoo and body wash. he cannot use anything else except aveeno baby (even children's organic shampoos cause a flare up). eucerin cream (not lotion) was the best for outbreaks.

Green up the rest of your cleaning supplies. best would be to move to vinegar and baking soda for most everything and not use commercial cleaners at all. Remove any plug in air fresheners, don't use a spray either (my son has a horrible reaction to these). no one who comes into your house regularly should be wearing anything with a scent (no perfumes, colognes or overly scented hair sprays, etc). you need to probably look at what is used on your hair and body until you have this under control (i.e., use the same cleansers you use on him or burts bees, etc).

also, this is a systemic reaction - antihistamines are good for getting the reaction under control to start with a clean slate - talk with the doc about the best one to use. for my son, a few days on zyrtec was much better and faster than any topical steriod for getting rid of an outbreak with fewer scarier side effects. hydrocortisone creams are NOT the answer - they will thin the skin with repeated use.

you do need to look at food (although this wasn't my son's trigger). dairy tends to be the big one and I would consider taking him off all dairy for one to two weeks to see if things improve.

you need to be seeing a dermatologist; pediatricians tend to treat the symptoms not the cure the problem.

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi sorry to say but diet plays a major role in eczema, you can search the world for creams and lotions but until you change his diet they will all only be temporary solutions. Sugar, preservatives, colorings, flavorings and possibly wheat all contribute to eczema. Try modifying the diet for 1 month and you will see. You will also see great improvements in temperament. Make sure to give mostly whole foods, fresh fruit and veg and try no wheat just rice or gluten free pasta or quinoa is amazing. No packaged foods and limit cheese. Apply pure extra virgin coconut oil to the skin. Good luck


answers from Biloxi on

I have had eczema most of my life - it comes and goes in various places. My son had bouts of it as a baby/toddler also. I used Eucerin on both of us - it hydrates well. I also do use hydrocortisone cream - but I agree, I wouldn't want to over use it on a 20 month old.

You may have to take your son to a dermatoligist - when I was a child that is what my parent's had to do, and my son has seen one also. Since they are specialists the sometimes have more options.

Other than that, we used Aveeno baths, non-scented detergents, and glycerin soaps to soothe the skin.

Good Luck and God Bless



answers from Denver on

My girlfriend has one child that has just terrible eczema as well as a complete gluten intolerance. She cut out the gluten and the eczema got markedly better then she started using the adult face moisturizer from Arbonne on it and it goes completely away. I know that she has to always use it to keep it away.

I had eczema when I was a kid and my mom said I just kind of outgrew it eventually but my dad still struggles with it in his 60's. There is a chance you may have to always deal with your daughter's eczema it's just a matter of finding that one product that controls it.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Try using the Aveeno hydrocortisone. It is pretty expensive for a tiny tube, but it worked very well for my daughter.

Also, I know you said you don't think the eczema has anything to do with food, but you might want to try eliminating a few allergens for a week anyway just to see if it makes a difference. I would recommend eliminating dairy and nuts. It's not too difficult, because there are quite a few convenience foods and restaurants that can help you get by for a week. (E-mail me if you would like a list of foods and restaurants.)

Good luck to you. I hope you can find a good solution.


answers from Dover on

Have you considered other products in your home that he may or may not come into direct contact with? Soap, body/bath wash, shampoos, cleaning products....they all have chemicals/irritants in them, some worse than others, and many contain carcinogins (even the baby or child versions). Breathing the odors (that even closed containers give off odors) can cause both skin and lung irritations. I don't personally have eczema but I know a few people who have experience with it and they changed the types of products in their home and used Renew body wash and lotions. It made a difference for them. I have switched to and my asthma and allergies have been much better.



answers from San Francisco on

I understand your concern. I would get him on some healthy water and some enzymes to clean his system and you will see the difference.

If you need more help email me.

N. Marie
[email protected]



answers from Minneapolis on

Oh do I have experience in this area! My older DD had severe eczema when she was a toddler and preschooler. The best advice her pediatrician gave me was this. Immediately following bath or shower (which should be no longer than 10 mintues) pat skin dry and apply hydrocortisone ointment or vaseline. That window of time when the skin is soft from bathing or showering is a golden opportunity to lock in the moisture by applying a little ointment. I also have her shower after swimming (as chlorine and heat or weather changes are a big trigger) and apply vaseline behind her knees and in the folds of her elbows and in between her thighs. When we do this regularly, no flare ups. When we get lax, she starts rashing again. Also, I do not apply sunscreen in her affected areas. We tried aquafor, vanicream, and many more products on the market, but the ONLY thing that she doesn't react to is hydrocortisone ointment and vaseline. Good luck!



answers from State College on

We recently started using my leftover Lansinoh Lanolin from nursing on my daughter's really rough spots and it really, really made a huge difference over night. Just wish I would've found this out a year ago!



answers from Washington DC on

Aveeno Baby Calming Lotion
Installing a whole house water softner



answers from San Francisco on

My son had thet same problem when he was a baby. We got a prescription cream from our doctor, I think the brand is Fongura (sp?). But after we used it for a few days, eczema was gone and only came back occassionally. He is now 4 and no longer have eczema.

A lot of babies who have eczema also had cradle cap (not sure if this is an issue) but for that, we used the California baby calendula cream (you can get it from target). After a few days, it was gone and never came back.

Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

This is good and all natural:
"Boericke & Tafel Florasone Itches & Rashes Cream."
It is a natural alternative, to Hydrocortisone cream.
You can find it at Whole Foods, or natural food stores, or online like at Amazon.
And yes, you should not use, Hydrocortisone creams for long term. It is not good for the skin.

Now, my Mom gets Eczema. But ONLY when she eats Oats or Citrus. If she avoids it, she does not get flare-ups.

So, you need to consider, what triggers it.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi M., I know you have already received a lot of good responses, but I want to make sure to let you know about my experience. When my son was 3 month old he started to have eczema and by 9 month we had figured out what the root cause was and he has been eczema free ever since (he is now 4.5 years old). He is allergic to SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which is not only found in all detergents even unscented ones, but in tooth paste, dish washing liquid, body creams and cleaning products. Once we realized that this was the issue, we transitioned to a detergent free home and ever since his eczema is gone. So you might want to check on that again. Also we are only using vanicream with him. We decided to use Calben Soaps which are all detergent free.
Please check out the web site This web page helped us to identify the eczema cause for our son.
Good luck and all the best,



answers from Denver on

I agree - milk or something he is eating may be the culprit (was in my son's case). We changed to formula as a baby and rice milk vs. cows as a toddler. He's 3 now and can drink milk with limited reaction. What finally helped was a steroid cream - however, it will continue to come back if he keeps ingesting whatever is causing it. I'd talk to your ped about the potential cause and ask about the steroid ointment (prescription only)


answers from Sioux City on

My son has nearly always had eczema. I am sure it is an allergy of some sort because it goes away when he is on antihistamines. We found that he can't have baths or showers as often as most. He usually hits the shower twice a weeks and then the shower can't be very hot. He uses Aveeno lotion all the time and hydrocortisone when it flares up.



answers from San Francisco on

I use products from Melaleuca and they really work! Check out this link for their Renew products.
If you'd like me to send you a PDF, please contact me with your email address. I'd be happy to send it to you.
You can also request information from this website: www.SwitchingStores.Info and I will be happy to contact you personally.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, my friend's baby had very bad eczema also and it turns out that it was due to allergies with certain foods, as soon as they stopped feeding the baby these foods (eggs, wheat) the eczema went away immediately and stayed a way, just a thought to look into that as a possiblity?



answers from San Francisco on

So sorry about this. We too had a struggle with our younger daughter having eczema. Her pediatrician suggested hydrocortisone cream and yes that cleared up the rash, but I knew that it was only covering the symptom and not getting rid of the cause. As mamas are saying here, what shows up on the skin is a response to an imbalance or upset that is happening within the body.

Finally we discovered that our daughter's little body was reacting badly to gluten and so we removed gluten from her diet and the eczema disappeared. I feel lucky because I know it isn't always this straight forward. She's been a gluten free girl for a year and a half now.

I've heard that sometimes people grow out of these sensitivities. Every once in a while we've let her eat a little gluten and within a few hours she's scratching her skin; so we're sticking with gluten free for now.

Very best to all of us!



answers from San Francisco on

My sons have both had eczema in a variety of places. My poor younger son had it on his face from about 3 months to 20 months. Triple Cream worked best for us for simple maintenance. If it got bad, we'd use some cortizone but usually this cream kept the skin soft. Then one day, it was just better. Not 100% gone but like 5% of what it used to be and we didn't change anything in his diet or how we washed. Who knows! Here is the link to the product on Amazon:



answers from Dallas on

Have you had him tested for allergies? Like another mom said eczema has an underlying cause. My two year old has had eczema since he was 6 months old. He would break out horribly and had massive dry itchy spots. Aveeno products have helped the best to attempt to soothe and control it, but he was still breaking out. We talked to his pedi and he sent him for a blood test to test for most common allergens. He tested positive for slight allergies to cats, low allergy to dogs and a few other indoor allergens. We made the decision as a family to re-home the cat, which we thought might be triggering the outbreaks (she was a long haired tabby and shed like crazy). Our childs comfort and well-being was most important. We had the entire house's carpets thoroughly cleaned, and within a few months of the cat being gone, his eczema improved dramatically. We found out what was causing it and fixed the problem. Now at 2 years old, his eczema is almost non-existent. He might get a dime size spot every now and then but it goes away quickly. I use the the dye free detergents on ALL of our clothes and continue to use Aveeno Baby creamy wash for his baths and Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream to keep his skin moisturized. I really suggest you talk to your pedi about allergy testing or see an allergist if you haven't already.


answers from Los Angeles on

I struggled with my daughter and eczema her first two years of life. We did steroid creams with bad flair ups, but it was just always lingering (mostly behind knees and all over legs). She was a formula baby and when at age two, she lost interest in cows milk as a large amount of her daily calories, it went away. She eats cow based dairy, but it just has not been a problem since getting off regular daily doses of milk. Maybe look into a cows milk alternative for a week and see if it clears up. I have heard, and it was true for use, that most eczema is actually a dairy allergy.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions