It was winter, so the appearance of a dry skin rash on
my toddler didn't surprise me. The heater was sucking the water out of the air
in our house, and we were all a little itchy. She was obviously uncomfortable,
and we slathered her down in lotion every chance we could get. But when
eventually there appeared a round red spot on her stomach a little larger than
a quarter, I was concerned. We finally took her to
the pediatrician and got the diagnosis: our little baby has eczema.
never dealt with any kind of skin issues myself, I felt a little panicky at
first. I knew precious little about
eczema or how to treat it in babies, and I kind of hated the idea of using
prescriptions if there was a chance it would clear up on its own. But now that we
have used the prescribed steroids and the worst part of her rash has cleared
up, we'll be looking for natural ways to help her skin heal and to prevent such
an outbreak in the future.
First, it's important for me to know exactly
what it is I'm fighting, and what causes it. Unfortunately, the exact cause of
eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) is unknown, but according to the National
Eczema Association, "Many doctors think eczema causes are linked to
allergic disease, such as hay fever or asthma." That being said, there's
not much I can do to prevent my kids from developing eczema. I can however do
several things to help minimize flare-ups, and shorten their duration when they
If you suspect the air in your home might be
a little bit dry, do not hesitate to pull out your humidifier. Even if you don't
believe the air is dry, it still doesn't hurt to add more moisture. Using a
humidifier is a quick and easy way to minimize the occurrence of eczema.
You want to help your baby's skin maintain a
high level of moisture, but if you're hesitant to use lotions because of the
chemicals they may contain, coconut
oil is also an excellent option.
A little dirt won't
hurt your baby. Taking too many baths can actually dry out the skin, so don't
bathe your baby too often. Give her skin a chance to maintain the natural oils
that get stripped away in soap and water.