Dermatitis and eczema means that your child’s skin is irritated because it is dry and itchy. It may also be red and scaly, sometimes with little blisters or thickened skin. It’s not hard to imagine how this will cause her to be very unhappy, especially at night.
Most dermatitis is caused by sensitivity to detergent or skin products, occurring in an individual who has an underlying predisposition. For example, Atopic Eczema may occur if there is a family history of allergies such as asthma or allergic rhinitis.
Tips to help ease your baby’s discomfort:
- Rinse your baby’s clothes well to remove detergents and fabric softeners
- Avoid the use of soap, rather wash your baby with aqueous cream
- Avoid bubble baths, and perfumed baby products
- Add water soluble bath oil (not baby oil) to your baby’s bath water – it ‘moisturises’ the water
- Avoid wool or synthetic fabrics next to the skin – try to dress your baby in 100% cotton clothing
- The same applies to bedding. Use cotton to prevent your baby from getting too hot – it will make the itching worse
- After a bath, dry your baby well
- Keep the skin well hydrated with appropriate body moisturisers (ask your pharmacist for advice)
Be prepared for dermatitis and eczema to be a long-term condition that needs ongoing management.
In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe an anti-histamine to reduce itching.