Learn how to give a baking soda bath to soothe baby eczema with this step-by-step guide.
Daily bathing and regular moisturizing are essential parts of caring for your baby’s eczema. If your baby’s eczema tends to flare up and needs extra care, though, adding baking soda to a bath may help give your baby the needed relief. In fact, the National Eczema Association recommends a baking soda bath as one type of special bath that may help soothe the skin of people with eczema.
Read on for our step-by-step guide to preparing and giving a baking soda bath for baby eczema.
Note: Always ask your baby’s dermatologist before starting to give baking soda baths. They will let you know how often you should give baby this special type of bath
Why Baking Soda For Baby Eczema?
Baking soda has several properties that are beneficial for baby eczema. As the National Eczema Association shares, baking soda is an effective way to soothe the skin and relieve the itchiness that eczema causes. But the benefits don’t stop there.
Baking soda has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so it helps clean off bacteria (including bacteria that may aggravate eczema).
And since baking soda is also anti-inflammatory, it may help fight against flares.
On top of all those benefits, baking soda gently cleanses baby’s skin and leaves it soft as it soothes.
Giving Baby A Baking Soda Bath
Follow these steps to give baby a baking soda bath.
Remember to talk to your baby's dermatologist before you begin.
- Run a bath of lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water, as water that’s too hot could dry out baby’s skin and might make flare-ups worse.
- Babies don’t have fully developed skin, so repeated hot baths dry out babies’ skin more easily compared to adult skin.
- Use a bath thermometer to make sure the water is between 97℉ and 98.6℉. This is usually the most comfortable bath water for a baby eczema soak. Don’t let the water get warmer than 98.6℉.
- Add the baking soda to the bath.
- If you’re using the big tub that’s half-full of water, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to baby’s bath.
- If you’re using a baby bathtub, add 1 teaspoon to the bath.
- Don’t scrub baby’s skin.
- Scrubbing could irritate the eczema and make it worse.
- Instead, scoop the baking soda water and gently wash baby’s body.
- Let baby soak in the baking soda bath for 10 minutes (and no more than 15 minutes).
- After they soak, gently rinse them off with clean lukewarm water to remove any residual baking soda.
- Remove baby from the bathtub and pat them dry to leave moisture on the skin.
- Don’t rub --- that way, you won’t irritate baby’s skin.
- Apply moisturizer to baby’s skin within 3 minutes after the baking soda bath.
- Moisturizing the skin right away helps seal the moisture from the bath into baby’s skin.
- If you wait too long to moisturize, the moisture from the bath will escape and your baby will lose out on the bath’s benefits.
Learn more about eczema and bathing from Dr. Mark Boguniewicz, pediatric allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Health:
Baking Soda Paste: Another Eczema-Soothing Option
Another option to soothe baby’s flare-ups with baking soda is by applying it directly to the skin as a paste. The National Eczema Association recommends this treatment for the same reasons they recommend the baking soda bath.
But just like with the bath, be sure to ask your baby’s dermatologist before starting to apply baking soda paste.
If your dermatologist has given the okay, here’s how to make and apply baking soda paste:
- Mix baking soda with clean, warm water.
- Aim for a thick and mud-like consistency. You’ll want a paste that you can apply to a flare-up without it running off.
- Apply the paste to baby’s flared-up eczema areas. Leave the paste on for about 3-5 minutes.
- Gently rinse off the paste with lukewarm water.
- Apply moisturizer to all areas where you applied and rinsed off the paste. This will lock in the benefits of the paste treatment.
For more on giving your baby a bath when they have eczema, don't miss our guide to baby eczema bathing.
Also, be sure to read this guide to baths for eczema babies with more special types of baths that can help soothe eczema babies' flares.
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