Posted by Johanna Schoeffert

  1. DAILY BATHING - As hot water often acts as an irritant and further dries out the skin, many parents avoid bathing babies with eczema on a daily basis. However, bathing helps soften hard, crusty skin, sloughs off loose scales and removes dirt and the remains of previous treatments, providing an ideal base for the application of new creams and lotions. Have quick, warm bathes and pat the skin dry afterwards.
  2. STEROID CREAMS - Use Steroid creams strictly as the GP or dermatologist has recommended. Apply sparingly 20 minutes before the emollient or moisturiser to allow the cream to soak in.
  3. HYDRATION - A moisturiser of emollient not only hydrates the skin, making it far more comfortable for an eczema sufferer, but also provides a physical barrier to prevent allergens and irritants from passing into the skin. Eczema sufferers are very prone to dry skin, so twice-daily moisturisation is recommended.
  4. APPLYING CREAMS - Apply creams gently. Always apply creams in the direction of the hair growth to avoid inflammation of the hair follicles. Don't rub or over stimulate the skin unnecessarily.
  5. DIET - Some experts recommend that eczema sufferers undergo food allergy testing, as some foods such as dairy, wheat and eggs, can trigger a flare-up. Make sure your baby's diet is as varied as possible from the age of six months, and opt for foods free from additives, colourants and preservatives.
  6. HOME ENVIRONMENT - The everyday household environment can trigger a flare-up. Be particularly mindful of pet hair and dust.
  7. EXTERNAL TRIGGERS - Extreme weather conditions can cause a flare-up. Luckily the Irish climate means that we rarely experience extremely cold or hot days. Likewise sand and chlorinated water can irritate the skin.
  8. FABRICS - Natural fibres, such as cotton, are most comfortable for eczema sufferer’s. Wool and man-made fibres can irritate the skin.
  9. DETERGENTS - Use non-biological washing powder and avoid fabric conditioners with phosphate.
  10. COSMETICS – While cleansing and moisturising are crucial, look for cleansers and creams gentle enough to use on aggravated skin. Ask your doctor to advise and avoid fragrances.