Baby eczema is such a challenge! My daughters eczema was mild compared to my sons. He was born in 2012 and within two months had eczema. He has a terrible patch on his face for about 6 months as well as several patches all over his body. I eliminated all of the problem foods from my diet while I was nursing without much success. I tried several different supplements and creams. I quit nursing when he was 12 months old because I thought there might have been something I was eating that was causing him to breakout.
When he was about 15 months old I started realizing that although he did break out from food, primarily dairy, eggs and wheat, he skin was also very sensitive to what came into contact with it. For example, one day my daughter spilled some milk and it got on his leg. His leg immediately broke out into hives.
Soon after this we installed an air purifier in our house to remove airborne allergens, dust mites and chemicals. We saw an improvement. He broke out less often and less of his body had eczema on it. Then we cleaned our carpets with a very safe carpet shampoo and got a new vacuum, again his skin improved. His skin was doing very well right before we went to see family at Christmas. They have pets and a lot of dust. While we were at their house he broke out terribly and began itching his hands and feet constantly. We had to cut our stay short. It took a couple of months after that to get his face cleared up. His hands and feet remained very itchy. I had to leave footed pajamas on him all of the time to keep him from itching his feet raw. His hands were too hard to cover so they were covered in little scratches.
Cheryl Lee MD Skincare
A friend told me about Cheryl Lee MD sensitive skincare. I looked into it and was impressed. My husband said, "Why don't you just go see her?" So I set up an appointment and took my son to her. I was very happy with her knowledge of the best current research to treat skin conditions.
She said that he had eczema but that he also had a condition called ichthyosis congenita. His little palms and the soles of his feet have a lot of extra lines in them. You can see in the picture of his feet. What this means is that his skin barrier is super weak and subject to allergens and bacteria entering and irritating his skin. Clinically he has eczema and contact/atopic dermatitis.
She recommended a bleach bath every other day to get rid of the staph in the skin. She could tell that my son had staph because of how scabby his hands were. When he scratches the skin barrier is compromised so the staph can get in skin. She also said to do vinegar baths every other day and to spray a diluted vinegar on his skin twice a day to keep the skin pH down. The dilution for the vinegar spray is 6 parts water to 1 part vinegar. When the skin pH is low enough the lipid barrier is stronger and the bacteria can't flourish. She prescribed steroids just for the first week or two to get the rash better faster.
She also recommended her True Lipids 1% Hydrocortisone Barrier Cream and her True Lipids Relieve and Protect Ointment. I used both twice a day for a couple of weeks along with the baths to clear up the skin and now I only use a homemade vinegar gel along with the Relieve and Protect Ointment. I occasionally use the Hydrocortisone Barrier Cream if Trey eats something he shouldn't or gets exposed to something that makes his skin break. His hands are definitely getting softer, not as dry and less sensitive which is great progress!
I also really like the Ceramide Cream, it is ultra moisturizing and really seems to help rebuild the skin barrier.
If your child is very rashy and scabby you may want to consider bleach baths. They are only temporary and not needed for maintenance unless the skin gets really bad again.
1/4 cup of bleach for a full bath
1/8 cup of bleach for a half bath
Add the bleach to the water after the bathtub is filled. I sometimes use a clean washcloth to gently exfoliate dry skin and scabs.
Vinegar baths help acidify the skin. Dr. Eberting recommends 6 cups of vinegar for a full bath in a normal bath tubs and 3 cups of vinegar for a half bath. I buy the inexpensive white vinegar by the gallon and it works great. I don't think you can do too many vinegar baths. My little guy got diarrhea from drinking too much kiddie pool water so he was in the tub about 4 times a day for 2 days. I dumped vinegar in every bath and his skin was so much softer by the second day.
The below information is from 2012, please read above for more recent information that I have learned about eczema.
Many small children suffer from baby eczema. Both of my children started breaking out in rashes from the time they were one month old. I have tried so many things, some with success for a time, but I never could find a permanent solution.
I wasn't willing to resort to steroid creams. I have used them when I have been desperate, but knowing the awful side effects I only used them very rarely.
My story really started in April of 2010. I was desperate to clear up my little girl's oozing cracking rash on the back of her knees. I bought some cortisone cream and an all natural eczema cream. I used them in combination for a week while keeping her off wheat. We generally follow a wheat free diet but we are not perfect. Her rash did clear up but it looked unnatural.
I quit rubbing the cream on and as I suspected the rash came back with a vengeance. It was much worse and I believe the cortisone cream weakened her skin. For about a month after that I let her eat whatever was around, including sugar. The rash just got worse. After a wedding in June where people kept commenting on her legs, I decided I would have to find a solution.
As soon as we got home from the wedding, I got on Google and found an amazing website that really inspired me. This woman had the worst eczema I had ever seen. She recommended not eating wheat, sugar, or dairy. We had done all of those but never all at once. She also recommended certain supplements to take, most importantly enzymes, probiotics, and chlorophyll/spirulina. I would also add L-glutamine to this regimen. L-glutamine helps heal the stomach lining and that helps prevent undigested food from leaking into the bloodstream and inflaming the skin.
I got on Amazon and bought a box of Five-Lac (my favorite probiotic) and some Kidzyme (an enzyme, probiotic, L-glutamine blend). I also bought some kid greens but my kids wouldn't drink them. A few weeks after my children were on the diet I began to see improvements in their skin.
I did some more research and found a study that showed that bathing in bleach baths helped cure eczema. I didn't want to put bleach in my children's bath but it did get me thinking.
The idea with the bleach is that once the skin becomes compromised bacteria and fungus can get in the rash and make it worse. If you kill the pathogens, the skin can heal. It made sense to me so I started applying a product called Staphoseptic to their skin. Again, I saw improvements but they also leveled off.
Finally, in October, after 4 months of dedicated diet, supplements and research my sister told me that Barefoot Butter cleared up her 6 month old baby's eczema. Barefoot Butter is a product that I used to make for cracked heels. My 22 year old sister and my 16 year old sister had previously told me that is also cleared up their eczema, but I hadn't tried it because I had formulated it for cracked heels and didn't think it would work on baby eczema.
I tried the Barefoot Butter and I couldn't believe how well it worked. Within three of four days the rash was completely gone! I definitely know that the supplements and diet were critical in this healing process. The enzymes were necessary to help my kids digest their food so that it wouldn't enter the bloodstream undigested. The probiotics were essential to kill candida and build up good bacteria.
Additional Helps for Eczema
Since I wrote the above information, I have discovered many other things that I can recommend.
i found a wonderful article with a video that I thought was fabulous that talks about wet dressings. Here is the link. I tried the wet dressings on my babies dry, itchy skin and was amazed at how soft and moist his skin was. The article talks about using cortizone which I don't recommend and i am not sure how safe the lotions are, but the technique is awesome.
It works for two reasons. First, it keeps the moisture on the skin for much longer. Dry skin needs moisture to heal. Second, the wet dressings pull heat away from the skin for several hours at a time which soothes irritation and prevents more flareups.