Which isn’t to assume it will make your baby’s eczema go away, but if you’re anything like me (scales, big eyes, cute blue fins) when it comes to trying to soothe and help your baby’s eczema – yes, I have spelled that word incorrectly every time I have written it thus far because I always think there is an x in it – then you will try anything.
Those who know or care about eczema know the dos and don’ts… I use super super sensitive, organic baby washing detergent for all of Sonny’s clothes and bedding. QV in the bath. I use super natural balms and creams (my own Go-To Exceptionoil really helps, but more on that later). And I am mental about his body temps, because, like his papa, when he gets hot, oooooh, does he gets rashy. After bathtime especially – he’s covered in red splodges, all over his back and trunk. And eczema is exacerbated by heat etc etc.
Sonny’s had eczema since about three months old. This is extremely unremarkable; eczema is very common in babies. It got real bad when we were in Greece and Italy because of the heat, has been consistently bad back home, but got even worse when we arrived in NYC the other week, which was a surprise, because it was snowing. I put it down to the being too hot indoors all rugged up, and sweating and gnashing around in his cot with jetlag for a few nights. But that’s just a guess.
Anyway. It started to get bad. Spreading and cracking and flaking off his body and horrible. We started to get panicked; was it a yeast infection? OHMYGOD IT’S A YEAST INFECTION. No, hang on, wait, didn’t our friend’s baby have something like this and it was fungal? Should we be using something other than the earnest organic eczema creams I was using? Did we need to see a dermatologist? Can you tell we’re first time parents? Does my panic look big in this?
So, we did what any self-respecting parent did, and Googed.
Next day we bought some cortisone (0.5) cream which DEEPLY DISTURBED ME. I don’t even use cortisone when I have a rash. We also bought some new eczema cream, Aveeno being the random pick.
Husband is a man who knows about rashes because he’s had around 4638 of them, and doing the post-bath ritual that night he said, ‘I just think we need to get back to using the powder.’ I agreed, although I didn’t think it was really doing much – surely the thick moisturising creams and oils were far more beneficial? Anyway, it’s a cornstarch powder, from Gaia. We have used it on and off, and that was probably part of the issue, not sticking to one treatment for long enough to see if it was working.
‘Kay, let’s do a night of just cream and powder and see what happens before we try those the nasty ‘roids,’ I said.
We did, and within two days our boy had perfect, juicy, gorgeous baby skin again, the likes of which we haven’t seen on him for months. In fact, ever! He has never not had some rash on his trunk or back. Oh, it warmed our hearts ever ever so much! He looked like a god damn Huggies TV ad baby.
We’re not sure which exact thing did the trick, but here’s what we did and have been doing, both in cold NYC and now back in warm Melbourne, should you wish to try it on your sweet little eczema baby….
- A tepid bath with a few drops of Go-To Exceptionoil (a blend of over 10 beautifully hydrating, nourishing, completely pure oils). I know you’re meant to use QV etc but I found it wasn’t nearly moisturising enough. Very dry skin needs oil and moisture.
- Dry him off completely.
- Apply Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturising Cream all over the body – not just the affected areas. (We do this in the AM when dressing him also.) This is not for sale here in Aus, but you can buy it here, or maybe try buy their Baby Soothing Relief Cream, which has similar if not exact same ingredients.
- Remove damp towel, and just have him on the bed/change table.
- Apply Gaia powder generously all over the affected areas.
- Pop on PJs.
- Kiss a lot.
Here’s what he looked like before, but not at his worst…
And two days later…
And the day after that.
Pure stinkin’ peaches and cream. Ahhhh.
you can also increase their intake of essential fatty acids, obv they need to be on solids to do that.
The other thing that makes a huge difference is less frequent baths. Babies don’t actually get that dirty so they don’t really need a bath every day. My kids had mild eczema and it cleared up pretty quickly after we cut back on baths.
Also, as much as I’m not a fan of cortisone going hard with it at the first sign of a flare up is better than trying to avoid using it and the eczema setting in and then needing to use it anyway.
Eczema or not, Sonny is a delicious baby. I’m glad he’s feeling better (and that you are too because of it). I don’t have a baby yet but love your blog all the same. Happy NYr/Crimmas! Xx
This sounds exactly the same as my baby girl and I feel iv tried every trick in the book! Thank you for the new tips can’t wait to try:) just wandering of the 0.5
Cortisone does any damage as I had been using it a lot after it being recommended to me, I have stopped now to give her skin a break but hoping it hasn’t done any lasting damage!!
I’m definitely trying the Gaia powder on my little lady! Poor lamb has had eczema since she was 2 months (it was a stinking hot summer when she was born too, not helpful). Any day over 25 degrees makes me panic, her back and belly always flare up, and so do her red itchy fatty folds! I thought I was just suffering from ‘mild’ first-parent hysteria and tried everything, so glad it’s not just me! Found Aveeno to be the most effective too. The GP-recommended cortisone made me feel sick to the stomach. I took it to the next level and visited a paed, who got me onto Dermeze (pure paraffin, a thicker jelly-like consistency of QV bath oil), which worked overnight, so we lather it on every night after her bath. But the wriggler is so greasy and slippery it’s near impossible to get her dressed so the powder you’ve rec’d may just save the day! Thanks for the hot tip, Zoe!!
I use different products but the same regime! we love MOO GOO and curash family powder, they both work a treat. We want to avoid the roids to, if we can. I’d also like to avoid tiny teeth chomping on the milk makers and leaving the house with a tiny persons snot smeared on my t-shirt.
Great post Zoe. A subject that’s not given enough air time!
For those struggling with eczema, don’t forget to rule out an internal cause, as well as treat externally. My little girl is nearly 7months old and she first started showing signs of eczema at 2 months. She was typically flaring on the stomach, back, behind her knees, on the inside of her elbows and on her forehead. My lovely GP recognised the signs of what could have potentially been an allergy to dairy. I whipped her off to the allergy specialist quick smart, had her skin tested and low and behold, she tested positive to a dairy allergy. I cut dairy out of my diet (she’s breastfed) and the eczema cleared up within four days. The ‘cradle cap’ on her head was actually dermatitis, so treating for cradle cap was never going to work. It went away almost instantly. We were frustrated using nearly every treatment cream for eczema from the chemist and nothing had the same effect as cutting dairy completely from my diet.
In addition to this, we’ve found the following invaluable in managing the eczema (which tends to flare in the summer months):
– Epaderm. A paraffin ointment that she gets slathered in twice a day. The key with keeping eczema at bay is creating a barrier on the skin which helps to minimise the itching associated with any flares. We also use it as a body wash in the bath, along with QV flare up bath oil. We also slather her in it before hitting the pool – keeping the barrier in tact is key. Purchase in 500g tubs from the chemist.
– Infrequent baths. Now she is eating solids this is getting a little more difficult, but we did try to keep baths to an absolute minimum in the early days.
– Patting, not rubbing to dry her after a bath.
– Cortisone creams when required to control flares and minimise the break outs before they are difficult to control. I know care must be taken when using these creams, but the specialist was absolutely adamant that people generally underuse rather than overuse and that use was vital to controlling a flare before infection could hit.
Like yours, my husband had the same skin issues as a baby and to some extent, it still requires some management now. He grew out of it and we’re hoping she will too, but for the moment there are two people in this house unable to eat dairy – and ironically, he’s not one of them!
Much love to you and your precious bub x
Family members with eczema and eczem-atic babies swear by the hypoallergenic cream made by a local pharmacist. You can find it at David Hosking chemist on Keilor Rd, Niddrie (near Essendon, in Melbourne). He does a range of different creams and every time I’ve been in there he’s been busy consulting personally with people with all sorts of skin issues, from keratosis pilaris to cracked heels. He also chooses to stock golliwogs in his shop, but that’s a whole other matter. The hypoallergenic cream works.
Thanks for your post. As a first time mum with a chubby bub in central queensland rashes and red skin is something we’ve become well aquatinted with from early on. Like you’ve said we try and keep our little one as cool as possible considering the crazy heat and humidity here at the moment, and we use moogoo moisturiser. In fact it is our current baby/mummy/daddy/face/body/everything moisturiser and it does the trick! (I had just run out of your very useful face cream) We try and apply it at night though after her bath because otherwise it just is too hot and sweaty for the little chook if we put it on during the day. Her gorgeous little roll folds still present a problem though so I am keen to try out the gaia powder you’ve recommended. Thanks Zoe!
PS If you have any recommendations of nappies for bubbas with thunder thighs they would also be much appreciated……. (our little squid is almost 4 months old, 8 kilos, in crawler nappies and getting red marks at the tops of her legs because those thighs just can’t be contained! Tried a few different brands so far but so winner yet…)
Have you tried comfy bots?(coles), they are really great. Although my baby has her dad’s scrawny chicken legs so I cant tell you if they are good for delightful chubba thighs.
Hey Sarah 🙂 we did just try comfy bots and they were pretty good but still cutting in at the top of her thighs so now we are trying out the other coles brand ‘little explorers’ and they have a stretchy side/waist bandy bit that seems to be working a bit better 🙂
Cornstarch or cornflour is a miracle remedy! I first heard of it when I was still in hospital after having my daughter. A midwife suggested sprinkling a little cornflour in each fresh nappy to help conquer nappy rash. It worked like nothing else. Much better (and cheaper) than talc.
My daughter is now almost 10 and still suffers from eczema (there is no pattern – it’s on and off, all year). My mother-in-law suggested a good amount of cornflour in the bath, and like magic, it works.
I’ve recently discovered cornflour is softer and lighter (and squeaky-er!) and made from corn only, while cornstarch is often made from wheat – it doesn’t seem to have the same effect. You can buy it in bulk and put a good cup or two in the bath. In a couple of days, your child’s skin should be perfect!
Oh, Sally. Great tips!
I’ve suddenly developed acute eczema in my mid twenties, despite me being a creature of habit so there’s nothing ‘new’ in my routine to have caused it. It comes and goes but gee is it annoying, especially in the Perth heat! Never thought to look in the baby aisle for help so will definitely give these products a go.
Hi Zoe, thanks for the great tips. I have a 6 month old daughter who also suffers from eczema and have tried every baby cream on the market! I found the MooGoo products worked best for her. But will try your Go-To Exceptional Oil next time she has a flare up.
One of my babies had really bad eczema. Some wise woman told me to put rolled oats in the foot of a stocking, tie the stocking off and then hang the stocking from the faucet on the bath with the foot of the stocking down so the water hits it as you are running the bath. Then as you bath bub, leave the stocking hang in the water. It helps soothe the skin.
I always found Gaiia lavender to be brilliant for my babies (although their excema was never brutal)
I had childhood eczema that turned in to occasional adult eczema. Rashes, scaly patches, constant itching. At its worst, the skin on my fingers would crack and bleed to the extent that I couldn’t straighten my fingers without pain.
The only non-prescription body moisturiser that doesn’t cause flare-ups for me is sorbolene. I’ve used aveeno on patches when it flares up, but sorbolene has been my everyday hero since I was a kid. Plus it’s cheap!
Probiotics! Since taking them myself, adding to her milk and sprinkling on her breakfast we have not had any eczema since (and like your little muffin, she got it pretty bad in early months). Lots of research out there about gut health and eczema (I had to have antibiotics and then a week later her ezcema flared up badly). Moo goo also amazing amazing stuff! Will try the powder if we have another outbreak. Thanks!
Gaia powder is the best! I’ve used it on both my babies, Jo other baby powder compares. I’m lucky I didn’t pass on my atopic dermatitis to them, Ive suffered with it on and off since 3 months old. As someone else mentioned, probiotics make such a huge difference, gut health is everything when dealing with eczema. La Clinica soothing cream is a great moisturiser as well, I use it on myself as well as the kids.
Fat baby rash bahahahahahaha
On another note, my little toots who is 9 months old had shocking eczema which even go infected and weepy once and he needed antibiotics just randomly cleared up!
Like your Hamish, I’m the queen of the rash (I assume he’s the King) I have eczema, allergies (I was THAT kid) so knew what worked best for me and applied that knowledge (and yes I do find your oil is excellent) but then in the busyness of having 3 kidlets, one day we realised we’d not done the ritual on the babe, then we watched and magically with us doing squat, his skin turn all perfect. We’ve got through summer with not a single outbreak. So I suppose perhaps the moral of the story – these babies of ours sometimes just grow out of things!
My little bun had a dry type eczema – which wasn’t clearing even with a hardcore steroid cream. It wasn’t until I finally went to see an allergy specialist that we found out that regular steroid cream is best for ‘wet’ type eczema, and he needed an oil based ointment, not a cream. That did make it heaps better but it kept coming back, so she suggested an antibiotic cream which totally nailed it and it hasn’t been back since. He had it on his cheeks for a good (i.e. horrible) 6 months. I can’t believe we didn’t find the answer sooner!
hello! my baby has the exact same issue, dry and kept coming back. may i know what ointment or cream did you use to resolve the eczema? thanks!
Thank you Tracey for sharing your experience.
‘wet’ type eczema: does it mean a watery discharge? What is the name of ‘oil based ointment’?
My son is 3 months and has eczema on his cheeks, elbow, knees.
thanks for this post! I live in the US, and I cant seem to find the powder you are referencing. Also though, doesnt powder absorb moisture? wouldnt that be bad for the dry skin? my 4mo has really bad eczema on her cute little face and im trying everything to control it! any ideas on things for their face? thanks for your help!
I’m also in the U.S. And like you my baby has a kind of dry-like eczema case on her cheek. I was wondering how yours is doing and if you were able to find a solution??
I’m starting to panic here!
I read all you baby tips while I was pregnant with my little bug, and when I read your eczema post I was all “well, this one isn’t relevant for me as me and my partner have never had eczema. My babe should be A-OK.” Boy was I wrong! My gorgeous little man is covered with rash and I have come back here to re-read your tips and look at the pictures of your adorable babe with the splotches, then to look at the improvement so I can have proof before my very eyes that this insidious, nasty eczema won’t be plaguing my baby forever, despite the fact that NOTHING IS WORKING. I have yet to try your tips…so hopefully my little guy will soon be back to his delicious itch free self. Anywho…can you please repost the images for my viewing pleasure?
My 5 yr old son has atopic eczema. He skin gets too itchy n there is blood n clear discharge oozing out. Have been using steroid creams prescribed by the dermatologist. But it’s not helping. Most of the moisturising lotions don’t suit him. Will try using cornflour n oregano oil.
I used the following to treat severe excema or nappy rash for all my babies and it worked within a day – healed the raw looking chapped red skin within 24 hours . Simply mix about 2 or 3 tablespoons of any cornflour into 2 egg whites which You need to whisk till stiff and fluffy and then form into a nice thick paste . Apply and leave for a few hours and then wash and repeat . Usually after the second application it would have cleared up but the skin will be a bit dry and apply your favourite cream to moisturise. This really works miracles . .
Can i just put cornflour and water? Because my daughter she allergy to egg
Hi, I am ordering everything mentioned above ! but don’t think you specified (unless you have elsewhere) which washing powder you use for Sonny’s clothes – could you please share this? Cheers, Jenny
Hello Zoe, I’m with Stacey — could we please see those photos of Sonny again? I wish I’d seen this post back in 2014 but I didn’t have an eczema-inflicted baby back then (just two snot-inflicted toddlers!). I’d love to see if Sonny’s eczema is anything like my little girl’s — having a long history of eczema myself surprisingly has not helped us manage hers at all, and I’m really at my wits’ end!
[…] of the above routine before settling on this one, including using Gaia powder as outlined in Zoe’s great post, but we found this dried up her skin and so she’d wake up screaming from (I’m […]
My new born has eczema a year ago when he was first born – I used the Made from Earth Valencia Orange lotion on it – its super gentle, and my baby has sensitive skin, and i worked well on his eczema. He had another breakout 6 months later, but we just applied the Made from Earth again, and it was gone in a week. Hope this helps!
Your comment here..my son started showing d red flare and dry patches of skin since 2 months and now getting worse by the day. I use hydrocortisone cream anything the breakout occurs but I knw is not too good for him. pls help….it hurts to see mu cutie suffer this. I cant even wear him short sleeves again.
My son has been suffering from eczema for many years now on his legs. Although he is lighted skin he legs had several spots of discoloration. I ordered foderma serum and within a few days the difference was very noticeable. Thank you for an amazing product. The color on his legs are starting to get back to normal as well.
My younger daughter had really bad eczema. I applied various treatment but not get effective result. Your treatment effect better than others. Thanks author
Foderma serum has cleared up my girls eczema like a dream! It’s thick and creamy, just like you want for itchy skin! My oldest gets red patches and this helped them clear up with in days!!
Where did you buy the foderma serum from in Aus? My daughter has been suffering from severe eczema since she was 6 weeks old and now at 5 months we do not seem to find any cure despite visiting a dermatologist.
Hi I wanted to know what is the best fresh milk for a two year old child who has eczema?
hi I wanted to know what is the best fresh milk for a two year old child who is suffering from eczema?
what is the best cream and oil and the cream which can be applied for my 2 year old son?
My newborn had horrible eczema all over her face, ears, and neck. She cried so much and constantly scratched at her face. After reading about foderma serum, I decided to give a chance this serum, and I’m so glad i did! Within 2 days her eczema was 90% gone. TWO DAYS! She doesn’t fuss near as much now, making for a happy baby AND mommy.
Where did you buy the foderma serum from in Aus? My daughter has been suffering from severe eczema since she was 6 weeks old and now at 5 months we do not seem to find any cure despite visiting a dermatologist.
Zoe- thanks so much for the blog! I have just discovered it and am enjoying every cheeky sentence!
I have been looking at an Aussie brand called MooGoo (yes they are very quirky and cute!) that do natural skincare products , including for bubbas. Have you used them at all? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on their products, any chance you could review a couple?! Thanks! 🙂
My daughter has terrible eczema behind her knees and inside of her elbows and on her face. She was miserable scratching all day and breaking it open. We used so many different lotions for eczema and NOTHING helped!! We put foderma serum on her 2 times throughout the day, and before she went to bed. We noticed a big difference after 2 days of use and within 5 days it was completely gone!!!
I have continually used the Foderma eczema serum on my son with the delicate skin problem (and I swear by it!) He solely often has flare-ups (typically middle summer and extremely dry winters). This summer I attempted this occurrence, treatment for the primary time and was superb how briskly his occurrence went away. I applied the foderma serum before bed one evening, and once he awoke – his flare up was fully cleared.
Chickweed paste is a must for me. My mum’s a nurse and she used it for my siblings as they had eczema terribly including sensitive areas around the eyes. She also used it as a nappy rash cream. I now use it when I get allergic reaction which causes an eczema type rash on my eyelids. Thursday Plantation is the brand I’ve tracked down.
Our pediatrician recommended foderma serum for our baby’s excema and sure enough, it worked in only a couple of days. I use it on my hands as the winter is causing them to crack and bleed. Also, there is no scent which is great.
Great article. I am in my 50’s, post-menopausal and now have super sensitive skin. I suddenly developed eczema/contact dermatitis in my right underarm and 2 weeks later, the left underarm sympathized and mirrored the right underarm condition. Have been trying so many products for over 4 months to no avail (really worried and depressed if it turns to inverse psoriasis) until I read your article. The Gaia powder indeed dried and calmed both the under-arms skin (itchiness and burning gone), gave it time to heal and showed promise of recovery just after a week’s use. I now have added bepanthen to this regimen (before applying the powder) and it’s all looking good again. My self-confidence is back and smiling again. Gaia powder is a keeper:) Thanks so much for your sharing your experience and posting this article!
My oldest son has had eczema off and on for years and whenever it flares up we apply eczema treatment of foderma and it helps within a couple of days. The dramatic difference as other lotions we had tried had basically no effect for him at all. Highly recommend for people with eczema.