There is no cure for eczema and it can be very uncomfortable. It is really important to manage eczema properly to prevent flares and infections.
Everyday management for a baby or child with eczema includes:
- A short bath or shower daily with a non-soap wash or oil.
- Applying moisturiser at least twice a day on the face and body, including straight after having a bath or shower. Apply moisturiser as many times as you need to.
- Avoid known triggers and skin irritants such as soap, perfumed products, overheating, over dressing and prickly (synthetic) fabrics where possible.
- Bleach baths should be used as directed by your doctor or nurse practitioner to reduce the risk of infected eczema.
When there is an eczema flare, your doctor or nurse practitioner may recommend the following:
Medicated Creams or Ointments
These are known as topical steroid (cortisone) and non-steroid creams or ointments. Topical means you put it on the skin.
These creams or ointments will be prescribed by your doctor or nurse practitioner and should be applied to the eczema as soon as there is an eczema flare (redness, increased itch, dry rough areas). Don’t wait until the eczema is severe before you start treatment.
If a steroid cream or ointment is prescribed, use the cream or ointment as prescribed by your doctor or nurse practitioner, making sure you use enough to treat the eczema properly.
These creams or ointments should continue to be used until the skin feels smooth and the eczema has completely gone.
If you are worried about using a steroid cream or ointment, talk about this with your doctor or nurse practitioner so they can reassure you that they are safe to use.
Wet dressings can help to put moisture back into the skin. Your doctor or nurse practitioner will provide information about when and how often to use wet dressings. Information about how to do wet dressings is included below.
How to do a cool compress
A wet chux type towel can be used as a scarf around the neck — only knot the towel once and do not leave this on when the child is sleeping or going to sleep.
You can also use a wet chux type towel or beanie on your child’s head – do not leave this on when the child is sleeping or going to sleep.
Wet disposable towels in a bowl with cool water and bath oil (if recommended). Hold the towels on your child’s face for 5-10 minutes and then apply moisturiser immediately after removing the wet towels.
Other medications such as oral antibiotics (antibiotics given by mouth) and antihistamines may be advised by your doctor or nurse practitioner.