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Baby Eczema - Advice Please

(21 Posts)
Sycamoretree Tue 05-Feb-08 10:36:09

My DS 5 1/2 months has had persistant dry patches of skin on the sides of his face since birth, and also on the tops of his shoulders. We used olive oil to start with, but it didn't make any difference. They are obviously bothering him as he now scratches mercilessly at them - often they bleed. We have been using aqueous cream, which keeps it under some sort of control, but how long should I allow it to stick around before I go down the hydrocortisone (sp?) route...I don't want to, but he's had it for coming up to 6 months, and I kind of think enough is enough....any advice?

BITCAT Tue 05-Feb-08 13:11:19

Bless doc gave me some liquid paraffin in white soft paraffin ointment it's a very greasy ointment and have you tried oilatum with you can put in bath also, i don't know whether can use them for 6mth old but could ask chemist or gp about it. The ointment is great because it really puts lots of moisture back into the skin and can help with the itching!!

Sycamoretree Tue 05-Feb-08 14:38:58

Thanks BITCAT - Yes, he has oilatum for bath on prescription already and also a prescription cream which is like Oilatum but in a giant pump action tub. Just wondering whether I need to take him back now for something more powerful, but I know GP's are reluctant to give steroid cream for babes....just can't bear to see him so red raw. What happened to peaches and cream?!

Drusilla Tue 05-Feb-08 14:41:08

Try Aveeno - worked wonders for us and lots of others on here say the same thing. Also be aware that Oilatum and some aqueous creams have lanolin in them then which can often irritate eczema. Oils won't actually moisturise the skin, they only stop more moisture being lost from it.

MegBusset Tue 05-Feb-08 14:43:03

There are loads of threads on here about eczema, have a search and you'll find lots of advice

Hydrocortisone is fine to use on babies, as steroids go it's very weak. Certainly better than letting the eczema go untreated. If emollients aren't working then yes, you need to go back to your GP to try something else.

Also aqueous cream is not recommended for eczema as a lot of babies are allergic to it.

MegBusset Tue 05-Feb-08 14:43:51

Drusilla: Oilatum doesn't have lanolin in. E45 does, though.

Drusilla Tue 05-Feb-08 14:44:12

I would also try bathing him in plain water for a week or so and see if that makes a difference. No soap, cleansers or bath additives of any kind. Petro- based creams and bath additives like parrafin and diprobase etc seem to make some people worse as well.

Teuch Tue 05-Feb-08 14:44:46

HV said 'let's tackle this now!' and we got bath stuff, plus ointment, plus tights/bodysuits to put on once slathered in ointment.

Also, cut out any other bath products - not necessary.

We did the slathering on twice a day - wore his bodysuits (dry-wraps) all the time for a week or so, then at night only for a month and it really cleared up.

He gets the odd patch and dry elbows/knees, but we just slather in oilatum.

MegBusset Tue 05-Feb-08 14:45:08

Sorry to keep contradicting you Drusilla blush but bathing in plain water will strip oils from the skin, that's why you need to add Oilatum or similar.

Drusilla Tue 05-Feb-08 14:45:20

Sorry about the oilatum - I thought it did have!

Drusilla Tue 05-Feb-08 14:46:42

Try plain water and see!! The only thing that worked for us is plain water and aveeno. Have had eczema all my 37 years so am only trying to sugges things that work for me and lots of others

MegBusset Tue 05-Feb-08 14:46:59

You might find the Eczema Society website helpful, they sent me a long list of all the emollients available.

systemsaddict Tue 05-Feb-08 15:09:34

You have my sympathies. Ds has eczema, we went down exactly the same route - olive oil (useless), oilatum, an emollient (Cetraben to start with), felt we weren't getting anywhere, scared of steroids, starting to feel v. frustrated and upset for him as it got worse and worse. Then saw a GP whose daughter had eczema who was v. patient with us, and joined National Eczema Society, and felt much more empowered! We have it under very good control now but it took trial and error over a few months to get the right stuff.

So here's my understanding FWIW, developed over the past year and a half: You can't 'cure' eczema, but you can normally get mild to moderate eczema under good control, with a combination of using an emollient cream (plain moisturiser - there are loads of different kinds) that suits that particular person on a very regular basis (several times a day), using a bath additive (again one which suits that person), working out triggers and avoiding them, and using steroid cream short term, for flare-ups. I was far too wary of this - hydrocortisone 1% is generally considered v. safe and it would have saved ds a lot of suffering if I'd been readier to use it. Aqueous cream makes many people with eczema worse, there are lots of other alternatives.

Our regimen is: Aveeno oil in the bath (a tip from Mumsnet; Oilatum makes it worse for him), baths only twice a week (they caused flare-ups for him more often, but many benefit from daily baths), Diprobase on his body at every nappy change, emulsifying ointment on his face at every nappy change and face wipe, all clothes and sheets washed in Surcare detergent (and we send a muslin and blanket washed in Surcare in to nursery for him to sleep on there). No shampoo, soaps, cleansers. Washable baby wipes for nappy changes, non-scented baby wipes for nursery. Hydrocortisone 1% for the odd flare-up, we keep using it for 2 days after it clears to promote the final stages of healing. Nails kept short to avoid damage from scratching, and always covered up with a poppered vest so he can't scratch his chest. Vests go on inside out because the seams irritate his shoulders.

Sounds hassley but tbh we have just got completely used to it all now, it's just part of looking after him, and so much better than feeling so sad and stressed for him with his itching, bleeding skin. You wouldn't know he has eczema now, and it had got quite bad - open flesh on his chest and cheeks. But it took a lot of trial and error and observation of what was and wasn't working to get to a routine that worked for him, and this routine may change in future as his skin matures and changes.

Different creams and oils suit different people and different people have different triggers. You can get lots of recommendations for different emollients and bath additives on Mumsnet and elsewhere, but talk to a GP with experience of eczema and you can get a plan of action together and review what's working and what's not. (Don't do what I did, and pay for the creams when you can get them on prescription - they're expensive!)

Oh and a lot of them grow out of it eventually!

Sycamoretree Tue 05-Feb-08 15:24:50

Thanks everyone - cetraben is the cream we have been slapping on, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. I wonder also if the dentinox shampoo we have been using for his cradle cap isn't helping - we've also been slapping vaseline on that as it seems to be the only thing that really helps (am sure the shampoo makes it worse). The Aveeno tip sounds worth trying, so I'll go for it. Is there one type for all, or a special one for younger/baby skin?

The patches on his face have been gradually coming down from the side of his face by his ears, down his cheeks, and more of less meet his mouth now. I think I will go to GP for some hydrocortisone to get his face under control.

systemsaddict Tue 05-Feb-08 15:39:30

That dentinox shampoo definitely made ds' skin much worse. I had to learn the hard way that even things which said 'very gentle' on them weren't! His main trigger is detergent of any kind, so we can't use anything, though I'm tempted to try some of the special eczema-friendly shampoos now that he's a bit older. For the cradle cap (which he had badly) we found lots of moisturiser + just combing out the flakes got rid of it most effectively. Also found it quite therapeutic! if a bit gross grin

I think they do do an Aveeno cream for babies, not stocked everywhere, but AFAIK (?) the bath additive is suitable for everyone - we just use the standard one anyway. Got that on prescription too but had to ask GP for it as health visitor couldn't prescribe it, too expensive!

intravenouscoffee Tue 05-Feb-08 15:58:58

Hiya, just found this thread. DD is 6 months and has had dry skin from birth but over past 3 months has been getting patches of eczema on her face like you describe. Took her to GP a couple of weeks ago as one of the patches had got infected and she prescribed steroids as well (for the non infected parts only). DH has eczema himself and was horrified that GP had prescribed steroids for her face as he'd always been told never to use his steroid creams on delicate skin so we held off using them and tried applying baby aveeno several times a day but to no effect. Finally persuaded him the other day to try the steroids (only hydrocortisone 0.5%) and the differnce is fantastic already. I'd try the GP route as emollients will only get you so far and can't actually settle a flare up in most cases. Also, baby aveeno not currently available in this country but you can get it on the internet at

Sycamoretree Tue 05-Feb-08 20:12:00

Thanks for the internet tip - will get ordering today for the baby aveeno.

veromartos Sat 18-Jul-15 16:51:34

my 6 weeks old baby had all her face with eczema. after used e45 for a couple of days i read here about diprobase cream.
now i,m using diprobase and for the bath oilatum, nothing else! just want to share that it was like a miracle. just after two days the red skin in her face has disapeared and she is not crying anymore for the itch and disconfort

MoreSnowPlease Sun 19-Jul-15 05:41:58

We completely cleared up our sons very stubborn patches of eczema within a few weeks by giving him probiotics. Even a month or so of steroid creams didn't work but the probiotics on their own did!

pinklady2 Sat 21-Jan-17 15:31:38

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bitofacow Sat 21-Jan-17 15:39:55

Don't be scared of hydrocortisone cream. My ds had very bad eczema and I resisted hydrocortisone creams. I heard an interview on radio 4 with a consultant dermatologist and he said he sees loads of cases of infected eczema because parents don't use hydrocortisone. This can lead to illness and scaring. It is rare that hydrocortisone has bad side effects.

I started slapping the hydrocortisone on, the eczema improved and eventually disappeared.

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