How To Manage Eczema

Eczema
A Little Background

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by extra dry skin, with red, rough patches that are super itchy.

I want to discuss this “hot” topic because, as we know, it’s been getting colder each day. I can feel the winter getting so close. Thus, eczema is slowly appearing.

Disclaimer: Before I state my opinion on this matter, I would like to clear out that I am not a health expert nor a medical doctor. All the information that I’m about to share is from my very own experience with years of battling eczema, and also from my research and nursing background.

We Had The Worst Eczema Experience

Around December of 2013, 3 months after my son was born, these red patches appeared on his face. Being a first-time mom in a cold country, I had no idea what it was. My son kept on scratching it until I noticed that it was getting worse. The next thing I know, it already spread on his back and legs. His cheek looked so raw and painful and would bleed sometimes. We came to the point that we didn’t bring him outside anymore so people won’t see him. That’s how devastating eczema did for us.

Eczema
My son with eczema on both cheeks.

Thank God for monthly check-ups, I then knew it was eczema, and that it is very common to Asian babies born in cold countries like Canada. 

What Causes Eczema

Eczema is a skin asthma. The risk of getting this skin condition is very likely if you or your family has a history of asthma. My mom’s side is asthmatic. No wonder why my son has eczema. Allergy runs in our blood.

I did countless research about eczema online, which made me aware of the routine that I need to consider and the things that I need to avoid in order to manage the skin allergy. Every year my son gets eczema. It keeps coming back every winter. With those years that we battle to keep it minimized, I found a working solution. It does not fully eradicate the condition, but it keeps the itchiness and red patches from getting worse.

Eczema is mainly caused by the dry atmosphere during the cold season such as winter, exacerbated when the skin is not properly moisturized. If you understand this, congrats, you are halfway through kicking this heck out of your baby’s body!

Understanding the Nature of Eczema

To simplify, here is my “formula” for the cause and solution of eczema: Dry environment = eczema. Eczema + proper skin moisturizing = relief

Let’s focus on proper or should I say, STRICT moisturizing routine + right moisturizer which are the holy grail. Over the few months after my son’s eczema flared up, we went through countless lotion brands, concentrating in hypoallergenic ones. That includes top-to-toe wash and laundry detergent. We even have him consumed a hypoallergenic formula up until he was a year old.

Eczema

The Routine – How To Manage Eczema

After 5 years of all the interventions and considerations, these are my highly suggested routine to properly manage eczema and hopefully to keep it minimized to the lowest level:

  • Wash your baby every night using a hypoallergenic baby wash soap.
  • Only pat-dry the baby’s skin with a clean towel.
  • Do not prolong the drying process (maximum of 1 minute). Make sure that you don’t totally dry the skin. Leave lots of moisture on it and immediately spread plenty of lotion all over the body, even the areas without patches.
  • Use thick lotion only. I highly suggest Cetaphil brand. It works awesome!
  • Do not be scared to cover your baby’s body with lotion. Trust me, the dryness will just eat it. So make sure there’s enough to last for hours.
  • Every time the baby’s skin gets wet, lotion it up RIGHT AWAY. That is the holiest grail of all when it comes to managing this bastard. If it gets wet with pee or anything that is not plain water, wash it first or wipe with a damp cloth then lotion it up immediately. Your friend here would be – wet + lotion immediately.
  • Do not let him scratch the affected area as much as possible. I bought a “special swaddle” for this called Woombie. It worked like wonders!
  • For the areas that you can’t put lotion on such as around the lips, use an edible counterpart. I highly suggest virgin coconut oil. We went through 3 big tubs already since my son was a baby up until now that he’s 5 years old already.
  • The crotch/bum part can be challenging as well as it gets wet from pee all the time. I use coconut oil as a barrier to this. Apply coconut oil every time you change diapers. My son never had bum rashes because of this routine.
  • Do not just put lotion on the dry skin, prepare it first by wiping/patting with a damp cloth. This way, the “lotioning” works. Otherwise, it’s just like eating a candy with the wrapper on.
Key Point

Wet skin is moisturized skin. The idea is that you have to trap the moisture into the skin, thus you apply lotion. Now you get my point why I suggested a thick kind of lotion, fragrance-free of course. A well-moisturized skin is 80% eczema-free.

I hope I am very clear in explaining the main idea about eczema and it’s proper management. I tried my best to keep it simple and informative but if in case I missed a point, do not hesitate to ask away in the comments below. 

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