If your kids have eczema you know how frustrating it can be to deal with! Trying to prevent a baby or toddler from scratching their skin is nearly impossible and not knowing exactly what causes it is extremely frustrating!!!
Also many African American and biracial kids have sensitive skin that is prone to drying out. Since my children are biracial I have to be more aware to keep their skin hydrated. This was hard for me initially because my skin is not prone to drying out so if I don’t remember to moisturize, it’s not a big deal. That’s not the case with my mixed babies.
Both of my children have eczema although how much it bothers them and when it flares up seems to be different for both of them. I was put through the ringer when my daughter was a baby and started showing symptoms of it.
I noticed she had a patch of skin right above her foot that was a lighter color and she would scratch it a lot. When I took her to the doctor, initially they told me she had ringworm and prescribed something for that.
Of course that didn’t work and she ended up scratching it more. In an effort to keep her from scratching it I would put gauze on it and then a sock over it. The scratching was getting worse and she would often scratch it when she was sleeping. One time when she was napping she got through the sock and gauze and scratched it til it bled!
(Notice the one sock that covered her eczema patch, which she always wore)
We went back to the doctor and the patch had become infected from her scratching it so much. So now she was on antibiotics and then they decided to try steroids for eczema.
Well the infection went away and the steroids seemed to work but her skin became a lot lighter where the patch was. I thought maybe it was from her scratching but then her doctor referred us to a dermatologist to make sure it was eczema.
Of course it was and we found out that the steroids were actually bleaching her skin! So we finally she was given a prescription cream that made the patch go away and eventually her skin returned to a normal color.
During this nightmare of a time dealing with her eczema I went through a lot of trial and error with various eczema creams and body washes to find one that wouldn’t aggravate her skin.
Eventually my son got eczema as well, but his was nowhere near as bad as my daughter’s, as he didn’t scratch it. But his rough patches seemed harder to get rid of with any cream I tried.
Of the many creams I tried, most either weren’t moisturizing enough or didn’t seem to help the eczema go away. But I finally came across Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm and this has worked the best for both of my kids! Right away I noticed a huge difference in their skin, it was softer and the patches were gone! I do have to use it daily to keep the eczema at bay for my son.
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Because eczema is so common in biracial children, here are some tips if you’re struggling to keep your child’s eczema under control.
- Do not take daily baths! I know in every parenting book I read it talks about the nightly ritual of bathing your child to peacefully put them to sleep…well unfortunately that is out of the question for you. Your child should have a bath a couple times a week if necessary with warm water, not hot! Hot water will aggravate their skin as will frequent bathing. It sucks any moisture out of their skin. I was actually told lukewarm water is best but my kids most of the time won’t get in a lukewarm bath so I make it warm and keep their baths down to twice a week unless they are incredibly dirty and need an extra bath.
- Find a good body wash that will not irritate their skin. I’ve gone through so many washes and the one I like right now that is gentle on their skin is Cetaphil baby wash.
- Find a good cream that will moisturize their skin. There is a difference between lotions and creams as creams are thicker. I found that lotions did nothing to keep my kids skin moisturized so I always have to use creams or balms. Again, my favorite one that has worked the absolute best is the Aveeno baby eczema therapy nighttime balm.
- Sometimes an over the counter cream won’t work and your child might need prescription ointment to get their eczema under control. I think my daughter’s was to the point that she needed a prescription to get in under control and once it was, I was able to use over the counter cream once I found the one that worked for her.
- Use detergents with no fragrance, (even Dreft has fragrance!) so you need to find one that says free and gentle or free and clear. I’ve used several and don’t necessarily have a favorite as they all seem to work well getting their clothes clean and don’t irritate their skin. The one I use for my kids clothing most of the time is ALL free & clear.
- If you are unsure if your child has eczema or you don’t like the medicine they are on, get a second opinion! I wish I would have asked more questions from the doctor along the way, but now I know in the future to ask questions!
Eczema can be a pain (literally) to deal with. It’s frustrating for both you and your child. But these tips are a starting point to help your child’s skin begin to heal.
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