Manage Mild, Moderate and Severe Eczema | ReadySetFood – Ready, Set, Food!
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How to Manage Mild, Moderate and Severe Eczema

The best approaches to eczema management differ depending on how severe your baby's eczema is. Learn how to treat your baby's mild, moderate, or severe eczema. 

Eczema affects 10 to 20% of babies and children. Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, can be found on the scalp, face (cheeks, chin), neck, trunk, between the elbows, behind the knees, on the wrists, ankles and feet.  Eczema can appear on a baby as early as 2 months old. 

In addition to keeping your baby’s skin moisturized, there are many lifestyle tips to help manage your baby’s eczema-- from ideal clothing to wear, bath advice and how to handle a sunny day with your child’s sensitive skin. 

Every child’s eczema looks different -- cases can be mild, moderate or severe. Depending on a baby’s eczema, parents can manage their child’s needs differently.  Babies can have a range of systems and mild atopic dermatitis, moderate atopic dermatitis and severe atopic dermatitis should be managed in a step-wise approach depending on how severe it is. Of course, treatment should be under the advisement of a medical doctor or provider. 


A visual guide to mild, moderate or severe eczema


How to treat mild eczema: 

Bath Support: Bath support should consist of bathing the child one time a day using warm water for about 10 minutes. 

Post Bath Support: After the bath, apply moisturizer to seal the water in the skin so it feels less dry and itchy.

Scalp Support: Use T/Sal or other medicated shampoos two times a week or daily to control flaking in the hair.


How to treat moderate eczema: 

Bath Support: Bathe the child two times a day using warm water in the morning and evening for 20 minutes. 

Post Bath Support: Once bath time is finished, gently pat away water and immediately (within a few minutes) apply a moisturizer or skin medication to damp skin.

Scalp Support:  Special shampoos such as T/Sal or other medicated shampoos should be used two times daily for scalp needs.  It’s possible the child may need topical steroids (0.1% Elocon solution or DesOwens lotion after each shampoo).

Steroid treatment: Steroid use should always be managed under the care of a doctor. Read here for more support and information on how to use steroids.  Parents can apply steroids such as Desonide 0.05% ointment to the affected areas on face, underarms, and groin after the morning and bedtime bath. They can also use triamcinolone 0.1% ointment to severely affected areas on the body.  Furthermore, DesOwen ointment 0.05% can be applied to less severely affected areas on the body after bath for 7 days and after that an assigned two days a week. Moisturizers or ointment should be applied to all other areas after morning and bedtime bath and the entire body after the mid-day bath.

Wet wrap support: Your child can wear wet socks followed by dry socks (on hands and feet) after each bath for at least two hours. Read here for more information on wet wrap support.


How to treat severe eczema: 

Bath Support: Bathe the child three times each day in warm water first in the morning, then at midday, and finally, 20 minutes before bedtime.  If the child has severe eczema on the face, then use a wet face cloth with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth to help heal eczema or rashes on the face.

Post Bath Support: After the bath, gently pat away water and immediately (within a few minutes) apply a moisturizer or skin medication (topical steroid) to damp skin. Read here for more support and information on how to use steroids. 

Scalp Support: Children can benefit from T/Sal or other medicated shampoos that can be used two times a day for scalp needs. It’s possible the child may need topical steroids (0.1% Elocon solution or 0.05% Temovate Scalp applicator) after each shampoo as well.

Steroid treatment: Steroid treatment should always be managed under the care of a doctor.  Children can be prescribed Desonide 0.05% ointment to the affected areas on face, underarms and groin after morning and bath for 7 days straight, and after only on Saturdays and Sundays (or an assigned two days a week.)  Triamcinolone 0.1% ointment can be applied to other areas with skin eczema for 7 days straight, and after only on Saturdays and Sundays (or a predesignated two days per week.)  As mentioned, it is important that moisturizers or ointments are applied to all other areas after morning and bedtime bath and the entire body after the mid-day bath.

Wet wrap support: Have your child wear luke warm cotton pajamas or wet underwear followed by dry pajamas after each bath for at least 2 hours. Your child should also wear wet socks followed by dry socks (on hands and feet) after each bath for at least two hours. Read here for more information on wet wrap support.

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

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