Eczema care: Top 10 tips

Eczema care: Top 10 tips

Tips for caring for your child with eczema.

Be safety conscious

Babies and young children will be very slippery when bathing with moisturisers. Always supervise them in the bath and lift out using a towel. Pat (not rub) dry.

Use appropriate moisturisers

Appropriate moisturisers are available on prescription. Ask your family doctor to prescribe – depending on the severity of the eczema, some people will use one pot of moisturiser per week.  Your doctor can also write up an eczema management plan for your child.

Avoid skin products with soap, detergent or fragrances

Look for products which state 'soap-free, fragrance-free, suitable for eczema'. Do not use bubble baths.  Often the same cream that you have been prescribed as a moisturiser can be used as a soap substitute.

Don't put hands in the moisturiser

Remember not to put hands in the tub of moisturiser as this increases the risk of infection. Use a clean spoon to scoop out onto a clean plate or paper towel. Some people put the moisturiser in a pump bottle but make sure the bottle, spoons etc are clean when doing this.

Don't share towels

Don't share towels as this can spread skin infections.

Avoid getting soap on the skin when shampooing hair

To avoid getting soap on the skin, lean over a hand basin or tub to rinse off or wash the hair at the end of the bath to avoid sitting in the shampoo in the bath water.  You don't need to shampoo hair every day.

No bath?

If showering, put moisturiser on first then get in shower to rinse off.

Minimise scratching

Minimise the risk of scratching and causing more damage to skin: keep nails short (yours and your child's) but use a nail file instead of clippers or scissors; provide cotton gloves/mittens and socks to protect skin against scratching especially at night. A plastic bag filled with ice cubes next to the skin can help to relieve itching.

Clothing and bedding

Rough fibres irritate skin with eczema and some people find lanolin in wool can irritate. Find a fabric that works such as 100 percent cotton fabric, and use for clothing, bedding including blankets and bedspreads, and as covers on vinyl or leather car seats and kitchen chairs/sofas. Remove name/brand tags from clothing to prevent irritations to neck.

Keeping cool

Eczema affects the ability of the skin to control body temperature. People with eczema often feel hot, and heat can make eczema skin feel itchy. Keep your child's bedroom cool and well ventilated especially in summer, and the bedding lightweight.

This page last reviewed 25 February 2016.
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