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One bath a week only - does it help with ezcema?

20 replies

dinny · 23/12/2004 20:36

DD is 2.5 and her recently-appearing ezcema is gettign worse. She has a bath every night at the mo (with Aveeno bath oil and then cream). Seems to be making it worse. Should I cut her baths out?

OP posts:
OhComeLetUsADiorHim · 23/12/2004 20:38

Personally, I don't notice ds' eczema getting any better if he misses a bath. Some people say that the best thing to have in the bath is just creams or oils. We wash ds with aqueous cream, and then immediately apply his hydrocortisone and Unguentum Merck cream.

Sorry, not much help I know.

kinderbobsleigh · 23/12/2004 20:42

Do you dry her before you put on the cream? Putting it on when she is soaking wet and then just popping her pjs on top of her still wet skin is a wonderful way of sealing in a bit more moisture. Cream must be applied within 3 minutes (source; eczema society)to be effective, after that skin has dried out.

Could she have a shower. Ds has been heaps better since switching to 2 showers a day as he gets wet (for the cream as described above) but doesn't hang around.

Make the water cooler?

Also could try adding some glycerin to the cream as this retains and holds moisture.

Eowyn · 23/12/2004 20:43

Water makes my eczema worse & as dd seemed to get the odd dry patch (never mind that she hates bathing) I only bath her once a week. Nowadays she just gets an occasional patch on her face, which is one bit that gets regularly cleaned.
Don't know if it's all coincidence tho.

KristmasBear · 23/12/2004 21:43

My DS is allergic to bananas which resulted in him having ezcema and I only bathed him once a week when it was bad and it seemed to help. Now he doesn't often eat bananas and is ezcema-free. Try it and see if it improves.

Gobbledigoose · 23/12/2004 22:52

Dinny, my bf says her kids' eczema has got much better now she only baths them once a week and she only ever uses aqueous cream to wash and to cream up afterwards.

When they've been swimming she showers them thoroughly and creams them up with acqueous again.

Christmassbee · 23/12/2004 22:54

Message withdrawn

SmokedSamN · 26/12/2004 00:21

Ds1's excema got a lot better when we reduced the frequency of baths. Used to use Oilatum, Unguentum M etc but now we just use 'Little Me' bath milk and Green People baby lotion afterwards. I'm trying to avoid creams based on petroleum products (which most of the prescribed creams seem to be).

happymerryberries · 26/12/2004 08:58

Well, it didn't help mine when I was a child. We only ever bathed once a week and I had awful eczema on my legs.

pantomimEDAMe · 26/12/2004 09:53

There are two opposing theories - one that water aggravates eczema so baths should be infrequent and one that cleaning the skin daily helps clear eczema so bathing frequently is good. Guess different people suit different methods. But if the skin is very inflamed and infected, bathing with oilatum or something in the water to stop skin drying out, and creaming while skin is still damp, does help. Ds seems to benefit from a daily bath with eczema products, FWIW.

gothicsanta · 26/12/2004 14:27

FWIW different types of exezma respond in differnt ways for example some you can use creams for otehr types respond better to ointment dd's is better without bathing regularly or if she does plain water and then cream. best to try over a month or so adn work out what is best for your child

noddyholder · 26/12/2004 18:09

Worked and is still working for my ds

Wifeof · 26/12/2004 19:03

My dd has had bad eczema since this summer and the house we have bought only had a shower until 2 weeks ago. We've now had a bath installed and I'm bathing her with Dermo 660 (from GP) then cream after - huge improvement over showering twice a week with Dermo shower gel. As her legs were the worst I think soaking in the emollient has definitely helped.


dinny · 28/12/2004 20:00

DD has had only one bath since I posted and it seems to have made gher skin much better...touch wood it lasts. Thanks, everyone.

OP posts:
lockets · 28/12/2004 20:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

ozzie333 · 30/12/2004 03:18

With eczema, it is helpful to ensure that the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate (or sodium laureth sulphate) is not in your personal care, soap, shampoo and conditioner products. It is a skin irritant and denatures protein in the eyes of young children. The ingredient is even found in very good children's products. I can put you on to products that don't contain that ingredient. Please ask me or email me at [email protected].

bunny2 · 30/12/2004 19:28

dinny, we bathe ds once or twice a week using absolutely nothing but water. We then cover him with diprobase ointment. This regime seems to suit him and his skin is very good now. We have, over the last 4 years, tried every approach including bthing twice a day and using every bath additive available but, for us, less is more. We found Aveeno was an irritant as were all the other prescribed emolients. Once you find a routine that suits your dd, just stick to it.

ChicPea · 30/12/2004 23:30

Have been told by two Dermatologists that bathing 1-2 times per day and washing with an emolient - definitely not a detergent - is beneficial as it removes scuff and bacteria from the skin. Apparently (sp?) bacteria that cause eczema thrive on dry skin conditions.
I bath DS every evening, wash him with doublebase at the moment, cover him in Diprobase. Use gauze that I throw away afterwards and not cotton wool to wash/rinse him with. Was told if I use a cloth that I must boil wash it afterwards. Also, if using an emolient from a pot, must not dip hands in, must use a clean spoon to scoop out stuff to avoid introducing bacteria.

Good luck.

Eaney · 31/12/2004 00:31

When my boy was about 18mths I was introduced to the joys of wet wrapping. Essentially this is the application of a steroid followed by a wet bandage followed by a dry bandage. I think the idea is that the steroid gets into the skin quicker when it is wet. The only part of him exposed was his face. He even had a special hat. Instictively I thought this was not a good road to go down as I had eczema on my hands at the same time and water really irritated it. I took a risk and gradually reduced the wet wrapping and steroids. I then reduced his baths to once a week.

Bacteria does not cause eczema but it can cause nasty infections. This is why it is a risk to reduce bathing but I kept a close eye on his skin and he never got infected.

He is 5 now and still only has one bath a week or a very quick shower and he will usually scratch for a day afterward so I truely believe that water or additives in the water irritates some eczema. I have read that a water softner can work wonders for people who are sensitive.

Hope this is of some use.

minkmama · 31/12/2004 20:37

sorry if i end up repeating anything anyone has already added but i didn't have time to read the thread!

ds1 suffered badly since he was about 6mths and now he is just over 2yrs we have managed to eradicate most of the eczema. he sees a homeopath, is moisturised often and has a bath everyday with epaderm as a soap.

we had to use wet bandages of a different sort for a long period. these were called 'viscopaste' and are essentially bandages covered with a zinc paste that aids skin rejuvination. you then wrap gauze and a tubi-bandage to hold it and we left it on overnight. the next day the skin would have healed substantially due to the zinc and non-scratching. unfortunately you have to see a skin specialist to get hold of this and it can be expensive but the help it provided was invaluable.

we also installed a water softener which is also pricey and i'm not entirely sure how much it actually helps. we had expected miracles as everyone who had one said we would notice the difference immediately. i do notice that my own skin which is normal is not as dry afterwards but tbh, if you can afford it it is worth doing just to get that extra help but be warned that it may not solve the problem to a great extent.

HTH, i know how heart-breaking it is but it does ease up over time!

shrub · 31/12/2004 21:00

looking at previous posts i found bathing my ds1 once a week or even longer in warm water and adding a bag of unrefined sea salt and running porridge oats (for natural wheatgerm/vit e) really helped. a lot of mumsnetters mentioned how when they have been on holiday and let their children bathe in the sea the eczema disappeared. green people or weleda are brilliant - organic, no chemicals, especially weleda childrens chamomile baby oil. we also used something called sk cream as recommended by sunday times columnist susan clark and author of what really works for kids. you can get it by mail order direct from the lady that makes it called margaret evans tel. 01526 832491, cost about £10 and we ordered the lanolin free version. we have had no more eczema - don't know if it was the combination or one of these things that helped but it cleared up in about 8 -10weeks and we have had no more eczema - i still put the salt in the bath.

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