Several months ago, Jimmy and I noticed red patches on Henry’s legs and ankles that seemed to be rather itchy. After an appointment with the pediatrician, she diagnosed Henry with eczema and made a recommendation to visit an allergist. I called right away and was happy to be squeezed into a cancelled appointment the following week; I feel like specialists always have booked schedules!
We met with the allergist who did a full synopsis of Henry’s first year of life including when he started eating solids, if he had any reactions to any foods, if we had pets, when we moved to the suburbs etc. Then, we were directed to a room where Henry received 4 sets of allergy testing including both environmental and food. Luckily, after 15 minutes, Henry left with only a few red circles on his back and NO ALLERGIES! The allergist suggested the following tips to help ease the eczema on Henry’s body:
- Use lukewarm water only – avoid hot or cold water. Do not use bubble bath, as it can strip the skin of natural oils.
- Avoid washcloths, rubbing, scrubbing and overuse of soap.
- Use only mild skin cleansers like Dove (unscented), Tone, Caress, Basis or Neutrogena. We currently use Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap for Henry.
- For very dry skin, CeraVe cleanser is a good alternative to soap.
- After bathing or showering (short showers only), pat dry with a towel. Do not rub.
- If using prescription creams or ointments, apply to red, itchy areas before moisturizer.
- Apply moisturizer within three minutes after bathing, before skin is completely dry. Apply to wntire body. Good moisturizers include CeraVe Cream, Nutraderm, Moisturel, or Vanicream in warm weather and Eurceein Cream, CeraVe Cream, Aquaphor or Vaseline in colder weather. Creams or ointments work better than lotions.
- Repeat moisturizing frequently, especially during the winter.
- Do not wear tight or rough clothing. Wool clothes and new clothes can be irritating. Wash all new clothes before wearing. All Free / Clear is a good detergent. Avoid fabric softeners.
- BONUS : Place a lukewarm wet sock (or arm sleeve) on the affected foot and cover with a dry sock. This locks in moisture and is usually used with children with severe eczema.