Baby W has had eczema pretty much since birth. Early on, it was very noticeable. He had it on his face, back, stomach, arms, and legs! I wanted to take pictures all the time, but his eczema would show up in nearly every picture! So, I started asking around about what to do about it...because it is a fairly common thing in newborns. We were told only to bathe him every 3 days so that his skin would not dry out, and to use Aveeno Creamy Wash in the tub, and to use baby lotion all over every day.
Well, unfortunately none of those things seemed to help out very much. So our pediatrician prescribed DermaSmooth which is an oil that we were to put on Baby W from head to toe twice a day. This seemed like a miracle worker! It worked practically overnight. We weren't too thrilled about how greasy and messy it was, but it cleared the skin up quickly. Our pedi also recommended that we go to an allergist just to make sure the eczema was not being caused by an allergy.
At the allergist, we found out that Baby W was allergic to peanuts! Well, the DermaSmooth was peanut oil based...so we had to stop using it (even though it seemed to help). The allergist prescribed a new cream (Aclovate) and a cream to use when the eczema was not visible called Vanicream. Both of these work great as well, but the most valuable tip from the allergist was "soak and seal."
He said most people think giving baths daily dry out the skin, but actually if you:
- soak in the tub for 15 minutes and then wash (with Vanicream soap and shampoo)
- (We constantly use a bucket and pour water over Baby W to keep the water on him)
- take them out and pat them dry
- apply Vanicream (or other lotion) all over within 3 minutes
then the skin stays very hydrated and the eczema will heal! We use this soak and seal method every night. Our instructions are to apply the Aclovate to the trouble spots in the morning and after the bath, and apply the Vanicream all over two other times a day. It really works! You wouldn't know that Baby W had eczema by looking at him.
Most pharmacies have Vanicream behind the counter if you ask. Our goal is to get to the point where we don't have to use the prescription cream at all, and only use the Vanicream.