My Son Has Sensitive Skin

Updated on January 27, 2008
N.N. asks from Lehi, UT
18 answers

My one year old has very sensitive skin. Sometimes it is worse than others, the worst being really itchy red patches behind his knees. At best he still usually has bumpy skin on his arms and legs (not soft like most babies) and red cheeks. I've tried different baby washes and lotions. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

My son had that same problem. His doctor gave us steroid creams, but I was uncomfortable with using them. After much trial and error, this is what helps the most:

1-rub COCONUT OIL (i buy it at WildOats)into his itchy patches after baths/once or twice a day til it heals
2-switch to a laundry detergent like "ALL-free"...something made for sensitive skin/do the extra rinse cycle
3-pay close attention to food allergies.
4-baths 3-4 times a week with NO SOAP or bubbles. (use Cetaphil when you need to clean him)

good luck



answers from Fargo on

My oldest step daughter has a severe case of eczema called atopic dermatits. She was hospitalized for a week to get it under control. The doctor at Mayo clinic said to give her daily baths in an oil called Robathol. Which has helped tremendously. We also use the great value brand of eucerin when her skin is really dry. she has a prescription of hydrocortizone cream for the really bad spot and it clears them up quickly. We were told not to use any of the other products the others have mentioned but if they work for you go for it. This also works for my 3 month old. good luck I hope you find something that works!!!

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answers from Benton Harbor on

Best thing I found was Johnson's Soothing Naturals in the green bottle! It's about $5 a bottle but it's the ONLY thing that totally calmed my sons sensitive skin! Now the whole family uses it and it is, by far, the best lotion I have EVER used!



answers from Wausau on

Unlike the others, I'm going suggest that maybe your son has keratosis pilaris, a condition in which the dead skin cells do not slough off but instead get caught and accumulate around the hair shafts of the arms and legs--specifically the back of the arms and the thighs, and sometimes on the cheeks. My older daughter has it, and it gets worse in the winter; in fact, it has been so bad that her ten year old cousin told me she was sorry that my duaghter had all of those mosquito bites. And like your son, my daughter only had baby soft skin for a very short time.

I would talk to his doctor about it, but don't use creams or ointments on the rashes because these will make it worse. Most of the products out there are for adult use. About the only things that work on my own are lots of scrubbing with a loofah, a homemade olive oil and sugar scrub, and lotions with a lot of lactic acid--none of which I would suggest you use on, or do to, a baby. Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi N.,
Im work with Herbalife and they have all natural products. We have an amazing product thats nuriofusion mostisture mask. My brother has had eczema most of his life and could never find something that would work for long periods of time. He loves this. Its made with vitamins for your skin and hes had amazing results with it. I use it on my baby all of the time. I love that it doesnt have any colorant, scents, ect in it. Heres a link to look at it.
We also have a aloe line that is very healing. You can order that through me and I can ship it directly to you. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you, S. W.



answers from Grand Rapids on

This sounds exactlly like what my son has...and started at that age too. Its called eczema. The Drs. recommended Cetiphil - I used the baby wash and the tube of cream - and did that help a little, but he still had problems. (NO type of johnson/johnson, gerber or anything like that will help - infact it willonly make it worse)
The biggest help I found was going natural. Natural Products dont have the harsh chemicals in them that regular over the counter stuff do.

Visit your local health food store, or you can shop online at, and buy organic and natural. Get something that is for made expecially for
BABIES senstive skin...for my son Burts Bee's did the trick. I use their bar soap and appricot oil for a mosturizor. (and you can get that in other stores too, Ive seen in many pharmacies and Meijer and Target.)

Also, how often are you bathing him? It is VERY important NOT to bath his every single day. The water only dries out his skin more. You also may want to give him showers once in a while instead of baths. And a biggy is to be sure that you dry him VERY WELL...maily in joints.

And one more piece of advice that helped with my son was putting a cool mist humidifier in his bedroom.
I hope these ideas are useful for you and your I said they all really helped my son!
Good Luck.



answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter has had the same issue since she was 3 months old, it sounds like ezcema. Its very easy to treat with a prescription cream/ointment/lotion. Most of the over the counter creams arent made for children so its not recommended. I even tried herbal remidies, but her lotions are what help her the most, elidel, betamethazone. Alot of the times it will flair up due to an allergy. so you can also use softer clothing detergents, dreft being my personal favorite, johnson&johnsons or washing hair and skin and watch diet excluding certain foods one at a time. :)



answers from Omaha on

Ok I know this sounds a little strange but I discovered this when I was pregnant. I too have sensitive skin but lotions and things never really bothered me until then. I figured out that I am allergic to mineral oil in lotions. I have also found out that it can be difficult to find lotion without mineral oil in it but Johnson's baby lotion (the pink bottle) does not have mineral oil in it. Good luck. I hope it helps. I know what it is like to have so many boys.



answers from Saginaw on

My son also had difficult skin at an early age and our doctor suggested we don't bathe him unless he needed it. Once a week he got his bath and if his skin was really irritated I added a cup of baking soda to the bathtub. I just used plain Johnson's baby wash and didn't use lotions and his skin stopped looking so irritated. You may want to try Aveeno products, the oatmeal is very soothing.

I learned much later that my sons skin problems were actually related to his allergies and after getting those under control his skin improved greatly. Its too early to worry about allergies for your child, but if it persists it is something you may want to discuss with your doctor.



answers from St. Cloud on

The Melaluca Company has an amazing lotion called Renew. You would be shocked at how well it works! They also have a bath oil that I have put on my son when he gets out of the tub. No more dry skin! And it is natural!



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi N.,
It sounds like eczema. If it is stop using any lotions or baby washes with scents. Use a baby wash like Cetaphyl and after taking him out of the bath immediatly put on a lotion. I have tried many. Some that are the best are Aquafor (pretty greasy), Cetaphyl (not to greasy). I have found what works best for my son in Soothing Naturals. I put it on him twice a day. My ped. prescribed a hydracortazone cream to use if it is iching. Good luck.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

My 2 year old son is the same way and always has been! And now my daughter (6 months) is the same. Makes for bad diaper rashes too...
The best I have found has to be ordered online - but it is so worth it. has baby products that are all natural, smell wonderful, soothe my babies skin, and I LOVE it!

Hope that helps!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I'm going to agree with Christine that it sounds like eczema. I like Aquphor to clear it up (it is greasy, like vaseline, but if you put it on at night, it won't ruin his clothes). I've started using an Aveeno Babies brand of bath wash and lotion designed for babies with eczema called Soothing Relief. It's really thick and creamy. I put it on RIGHT after a bath (never drying off the skin) and only bathe my daughter every other day.

If you can't seem to clear it up with OTC lotions/creams, you can take him to the doctor for some prescribed creams. We used to use Dermatop which is just wonderful.



answers from Green Bay on

Sounds like what my son has. His dad has those same problem areas. I know that it sounds funny, but I use Desitin Creamy on his cheeks and just rub it in good. I only give him a bath or shower every 2 days instead of every day. This schedule is also backed up by my pediatrician and by a doc from the Today Show that I saw last week. You also need to remember to rub a good cream on him after bathing or showering. I use Cetaphil that is sold in the tub. Do not use the other choices of packaging that Cetaphil comes in. You can buy this right on the shelf in a pharmacy area. I get mine at Target. Also, try to start giving more showers and less baths - especially at this time of year. Also, a humidifier is a must! A combination of these things really helps!



answers from Wausau on

Hi N.. My kids AND my husband all have very sensitive skin. We struggled for years until we totally converted our home over to safer products - laundry, cleaning, etc. A lot of the typical over the counter and prescription remedies have some scary side effects, are expensive, and not necessary. It has made a HUGE difference for us! I can make some reccomendations for you. Let me know!



answers from Des Moines on

My kids have sensitive skin. My oldest has ezcema. Do not use any soaps or lotions that are sented if you can. The soap is hard to find. We used only Aveno Products. They are in a tan bottle. You can get baby kind and adult kind. We used the baby soap and the adult lotion. The baby soap in in a tan bottle with blue labeling. It is slightly sented. The best "adult" lotion is the 24 hour, tan with green lettering. Do not buy the generic kinds, the are not the same. We all use the Aveno lotion including my husband. Any other good thing to use is Aquaphor, its really think like vasoline. That probably won't cure the issue but it will help. Your doctor can prescribe something. There are many types of prescriptions. I think we had several. The best was Elidel (spelling).

If you use hydrocortizone, you can only use that for a certain peroid of time. I think only a week. And you should not use it on the face. And a steriod type of cream can only be used for 2 weeks at a time.

I was also told not to use Drift (the baby laudry detergent) or laundry soap with sents. I only used Tide Free.

It could also be related to allergies.



answers from Pocatello on

hey N.,
My husband and daughter (3yr) have Eczema. I use aveeno. have you tried it? It really soothes and my daughter doesn't itch hardly at all any more. It doesn't have fragrance of other stuff that irritates. and I really think it works.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

I have been battling with my son's (he is now 16 months old)sensitive skin since birth. My pediatrician kept telling me it was normal and he was too young to have him tested for allergies. His poor little skin was just awful. He cheeks often would ooz. Not to mention sleepless nights. After trying every product on the market and all the "home" remedies as well as prescriptions I finally got my doctor to pursue allergy testing at 9 months. They did a RAST blood test on him to find he WAS allergic to our cat (which our dr. had told us was unlikely previously), peaunuts and eggs. All of which he was getting through my breast milk. I had know idea. We then were lucky enough to get into U of I Children's Hospital in Iowa City with Dr. Fasano for more help. She was absolutely wonderful in helping us to learn how to manage his allergies and atopic dermatitis (eczema) AND asthma. This was all very new to us because no one in our famlies has food allergies. It was the last thing we suspected. Every child responds differently to allergies and the remedies that are supposed to help. His skin has gotten better, however it is a daily battle on managing it. It is not easy. We tried several different things and have found that a daily antihistamine, lots & lots of aquaphilic, at least 1 bath a day (with no soap) help. And ofcourse what all the other moms are suggesting about the fragrance free products around the home. We were told in the beginning to only bath him as necessary..this did not help. Another Doctor suggested (after warning me that she was going to tell me something other doctors have told me not to do) daily baths for 10-15 minutes because it is one of the only way for their little bodies to get moisture is the water from the bath...and then trap it in with a cream like aquaphilic immediately after. This really did help.

Sorry this was so long and winded. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else. This has been an awful experience on the child and you because you feel so helpless when nothing works. I am just glad it is something we can manage.
Good luck.

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