The cold, dry air of winter makes it difficult for skin to retain moisture. This increases the likelihood baby’s skin will dry out and with that comes itchy and irritated skin.
Exacerbating the outdoor climate is a drier indoor climate with artificial heat blasting from air vents. What’s more, traversing between the extreme cold of the outdoors and into the heated indoors can truly shock a child’s skin, causing a flare up.
Infant and toddler eczema can be overwhelming to manage, and yet the busyness of the holiday season certainly can compound that stress.
Fortunately, there is hope found in preparation and management, said Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Michael S. Spicer.
Equip Yourself with a Proper Moisturizer and Use it Often
The best remedy for infant and toddler eczema when temperatures sway to extremes is to be ready and prepared. Keep your child moisturized in advance and be sure to have sufficient stock - in house and transitional (car, purse, or baby bag) - of the moisturizer that works best for your child’s delicate skin.
“Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize,” Dr. Spicer says. “Keep a tube of moisturizing cream in your bag so that if notice your child scratching, you can put some cream on to help soothe the area.”
Dr. Spicer recommends Épicé Therapeutic Moisturizer, the lotion he formulated especially for infants and children who suffer Eczema and its most common form, Atopic Dermatitis.
It was during his Pediatrics and Dermatology internship Dr. Spicer first felt compelled to create a solution for children suffering greatly from this debilitating skin condition. His special formula has successfully helped hundreds of eczema sufferers.
“I prefer a more natural approach using aloe as an anti-inflammatory, safflower seed oil, shea butter and cocoa butter as moisture retainers,” Dr. Spicer said of Épicé Therapeutic Moisturizer. “Dimethicone is much more tolerable than petroleum in protecting the skin from environmental irritants and weather changes.”
Apply Moisturizer about three or more times throughout the day. Once in the morning before dressing, and again midday to refresh the impacted area. If you plan to take your child outdoors, apply a third time for protection. Also, another application is necessary after an evening bath.
Prepare Your Indoor Climate and Living Space
It may be wise to utilize a humidifier to moisten indoor air and help prevent your child’s skin from drying out, and consider using it in your child’s room and the main living space.
Many parents prefer type a cool-mist humidifer over the warm mist variety for a couple of reasons:
1. It saves on electrical use because water is not heated prior to dispersal.
2. It is generally safer, as heated water could cause a burn in the event of a spill.
Consider using a humidifier in your child’s room and in the main living space.
Avoid Eczema Triggers
Many external factors can irritate skin and cause an eczema flare. Be aware of the winter variables that impact your child and take steps to avoid them. Also, educate yourself about common triggers, of which you be unaware.
Here are a few:
Avoid scratchy, raw fabrics, like wool, should be avoided. Consider a soft, breathable cotton fabric.
Avoid overheating. Excessive heat can cause perspiration, and both heat and sweat can often trigger an eczema flare.
Be aware of certain foods. Consider diet and certain foods as contributory factors to eczema flares. If your child has a flare, track foods consumed and be aware if these foods cause future reactions. If so, avoid them. Cow's milk, peanuts, eggs, and some fruits are common dietary triggers, experts say.
Avoid certain cleansers. Soaps, bubble baths, bath salts, can irritate and dry out skin. Avoid these and loofah or similar type bath scrubbers and cloths.
As far as bathing, Dr. Spicer says it is ok, but it is absolutely imperative to moisturize within a minute or two after a bath to prevent evaporation of moisture from the skin.
“It is this moisture loss or trans-epidermal water loss that can trigger itching and subsequent scratching that can make eczema worse,” Dr. Spicer said.
While these are but a few suggestions, they cannot replace the advice of your physician. It is important to consult with your doctor about your child’s condition.