Ava, Beauty Boosts

Our Battle With Eczema: Tips To Try

Ava had terrible eczema when she was little, and spent much of her first six months covered in cream, with her hands in little mittens. We couldn’t avoid getting it in her hair, so she always looked like she was using wet-look gel.

Ava EczemaYou can just about see the eczema on her face, but it looked worse in real life. By this time we’d just about got it under control, provided we never skipped the goop.

It took an awful lot of trial and error and many tears (on my part that I couldn’t help her) before we found solutions. I’m certainly not an eczema expert, but I am (now) an expert on Ava’s eczema.

If your little one is suffering with their skin, hopefully some of these ideas may work for you too. Even they don’t, it might reassure you that there is hope and you may crack it one day.

My brother (another red head) had the worst eczema when we was little, and is still plagued by it now. He used to be allergic to milk, so he used to have Soya milk on his Weetabix. In those days, you couldn’t get pre-mixed milk, so my mum had to mix it up like formula. One day, probably when she was desperately trying to get me and my sister to school, she had enough. She chucked a few scoops of powder onto his cereal, and pouring hot water over it. It looked disgusting but Pete still gobbled it all up. Well done to mum for finding a much-needed shortcut!

Anyway, I had been forced to give up breastfeeding after a very bad bout of mastitis landed me in hospital. The doctor prescribed Nutramigen powder for us to try instead , in case she had a milk allergy. It smelled pretty bad. I don’t know how we managed to get her to drink it. But it made no difference, so we went back to normal formula and tried bath additives and creams.

Bath Additives to Battle Eczema

We started by using Oilatum in her bath. Then we got some great advice:

Tie a handful of oats in a quarter of a muslin cloth. Hold it under the tap when running the bath. Keep squeezing it, to get all the oaty-goodness out. We tied up the muslin with a hairband (with no metal fastening), and used it to wash her, instead of a washcloth.

It works brilliantly, and was no where near as greasy. We still do that if she ever gets another bout of eczema. If you try this, do a little test on a small area of their skin, in case your child has a reaction.

muslin and oats

Shampoo That Won’t Make Eczema Worse

Like many new babies, Ava also had cradle cap, so I (with some trepidation due to her sensitive skin) used Dentinox shampoo. It worked well, and didn’t seem to make her skin any worse. It also smells of roses. We used that for about three years, and also used it on Thea. Then I thought I’d try a new brand that I spotted in Boots. It seemed like the Childs Farm products were more natural, and had fewer ingredients. The lack of an apostrophe in the name does upset me though! Fortunately, they work brilliantly, and we’ve had no flair ups since we started using the shampoo. Now Ava’s hair is so long, we need to use conditioner to give us a fighting chance of dragging a comb through it! The Childs Farm one also works well, and now we’re on to the bubble bath as well.

Childs Farm

Creams to Sooth The Effects of Eczema 

We tried an endless supply of emollients and prescribed steroid cream, with no luck. We finally hit on a particularly greasy cream called Epaderm which we used for quite a few months. But then, spurred on by the success with the oats, and at the suggestion of a fellow eczema mummy, I tried Aveeno. It’s brilliant, and so much lighter than the greasy creams we’d been using before.

Aveeno

Sun Creams That Don’t Cause Eczema Flare Ups

The one good thing about eczema is that having sun cream put on has never bothered Ava – she’s so used to being slathered in lotion! We haven’t hit on the perfect sun cream yet, but Nivea Sun Kids Pure and Sensitive Spray SPF50 is the best one we’ve tried.

nivea sun

If you’re having problems with eczema, take a look at this NHS page and talk to your Health Visitor or Doctor. We were referred to the dermatologist and they were very helpful. Many different creams can be prescribed, so start with these, as buying all these lotions can get expensive! In our experience, it’s a case of trying different things until you hit on something that works. Oh, and a note on baby wipes, we only use Huggies Pure wipes as they are fragrance-free and don’t irritate sensitive skin, unlike some other brands. We get them from Asda though, as they are normally cheapest there. Good luck and if you have any other tips, please let me know!

40 Comments

  1. Colin Thomas

    5th September 2016 at 6:32 am

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! Aside from the products, I strongly believe in identifying the triggers that would cause the eczema flares. After all, prevention is more than half the battle won. Do look out for the wider environmental factors like temperature and humidity to observe for any corelation with the severity of the flare-ups. Hope this helps!

    1. Becky Pink

      12th September 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Thanks Colin, I agree finding the triggers is a great point, thanks for your advice!

  2. Spencer

    28th January 2016 at 5:51 pm

    My son had eczema too. Along with numerous creams and ointments, I also installed a water softener in our home despite the fact that we had soft water. That seemed to help control his flare ups.

    1. Becky Pink

      29th January 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Ah that’s interesting Spencer, we do have hard water so perhaps that is a factor too. It would make our tea taste nicer too, I’m sure!

  3. Happy New Year! (And happy birthday to PinksCharming) |

    2nd January 2016 at 11:58 am

    […] wrote about our struggles with Ava’s eczema, and how we just about managed to get it under control. If someone in your family suffers from it, […]

  4. Advice from the heart #4 - 08/09/2015 - happy mama happy baby

    30th October 2015 at 3:25 pm

    […] week Appealing Rabbit offered to give a card game to our two favourites and those were ‘Our Battle with Ezcema’ from Pinks Charming and ‘Parenthood and Relationships’ from Baby Pixie and Beauty. […]

  5. Lisa Cornwell (@mummascribbles)

    11th October 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I could have written this post! Zach had terrible eczema and cradle cap and we still get the eczema flare ups. We us oilatum in the bath and double base cream on his skin. He hates being creamed but is starting to understand what it’s for! I have never tried the oats in the bath or Aveeno (though I’ve heard it’s amazing!). Childs Farm though…our bathroom is full of it. It’s nice to be able to wash him in something that smells yummy but is doesn’t cause a flare up! It takes a lot to crack the eczema but is so satisfying when it goes. We always battle it in the winter though! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      11th October 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Ah Lisa I feel your pain. I heartily recommend the oats in the bath, as it’s cheap so worth a shot! And I use Aveeno on my own skin when it gets a bit dry, so if you try that, at least you could use it if Zach’s skin doesn’t take to it. I hope it helps! B xx

  6. Catherine (@pushingthemoon)

    6th October 2015 at 1:22 pm

    My two have never suffered from eczema but my niece’s daughter suffered terribly for a while and I remember her saying that she swore by Aveeno (this was after trying multiple other creams). xxx #twinklytuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      6th October 2015 at 1:24 pm

      It’s a bit magic! So glad for you yours have never had it, it’s pretty miserable xx

  7. Minh

    6th October 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I used California baby calendula cream and it worked like magic. I still have the cream for any skin irritations and she’s five now. I never heard of Childs Farm products – I will check it out. #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      6th October 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you for the tip, I’ll check that out too! Becky x

  8. Carry On Katy

    6th September 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Great Post!! My son has bad eczema and I have tried all sorts of creams. The child’s farm shampoo is great! Will definitely give the oats a go…brilliant idea which I have never heard of.
    Whatever happens, I’ve learned that Johnsons is to be avoided!!x
    #fromtheheart

    1. Becky Pink

      6th September 2015 at 9:05 pm

      I really hope the oats help, worth trying anyway! Good luck, it’s so miserable not being able to do much to help them xx

  9. julie dutra

    4th September 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I think I’m the only mum who never put moisturizer on her baby’s skin but it seems like I make babies out of leather since he’s never had any rashes! Super tips btw and thanks for sharing #fromtheheart

    1. Becky Pink

      4th September 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Lucky him! Must be the way forward to not add anything to their skin ☺️ c

  10. moderatemum

    3rd September 2015 at 11:55 am

    Loved detinox! I’m not mad keen on the smell but does a stellar job so I can get over it. Aveeno is awesome, I’m all for two for one prods for the whole family so it’s a fave. Thanks for sharing #fromtheheart

  11. Jen

    2nd September 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Our daughter had quite bad skin too. We tried several moisturizing creams that didn’t really do much. What seemed to help clear it up was a combination of dabbing diluted APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (1:2, organic, cold pressed, with ‘mother’ enzyme) on the eczema twice a day, putting OATS in the bath water (I just ran porridge oats through the blender and put the oat flour in a thin sock made from tights material) and covering her in coconut oil (instead of lotion).
    Once it got better we stopped dabbing and just put some vinegar in the bath water along with the oats. We still do (she’s 14 months now) because the water is quite hard here and harsh on the skin.

    1. Becky Pink

      2nd September 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Jen these are great tips! I have coconut oil and cider vinegar, I will give it a try. Xx

  12. Five things I love right now: July (just!) | PinksCharming: Becky Pink's Blog

    31st July 2015 at 10:21 am

    […] SLSs, or mineral oils. Love it. We love the rest of the range too, as it has never made Ava’s eczema flare […]

  13. Michelle Murray

    12th July 2015 at 9:47 am

    we are so lucky that both boys have never suffered from this. My cousin did when she was younger and it did take quite a while to find the right products that suited her skin and wouldn’t give her a nasty reaction. Big J has sensitive skin and it took us years to figure out the right suncream for him. We now use SunSense or Banana Boat because everything else brought him out in a rash. Great tips and thanks for linking up to #ToddlersAndTeens

    1. Becky Pink

      12th July 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Michelle. We tried SunSense and it was good, thanks for the reminder! Ava used most of it to ‘clean’ her bedroom wall and we didn’t buy it again but I remember it was good before she wasted it all!! Xx

  14. Mum in a Nutshell

    10th July 2015 at 5:00 pm

    it’s so sad for them when they’re suffering and hard for you when you’ve tried everything. Aveeno worked for me along with The Body Shop Hemp range. popping over from toddlers to teens

    1. Becky Pink

      11th July 2015 at 9:08 am

      Oooh thanks I will remember the hemp tip next time we have a flare up! X

  15. Helen Gandy

    8th July 2015 at 3:24 pm

    What an interesting post, the idea of putting the oats in a muslin is genius! I bet it’s been very hard though with alot of trial and error. I really like the Childs Farm range, plus it smells yummy! Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst 🙂

    1. Becky Pink

      8th July 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks Helen, I’ve just bought their detangling spray, hoping it’s as good as the rest of the range! X

  16. Mummy in Training

    3rd July 2015 at 7:00 pm

    This has been really helpful as my little boy has just developed it so I am still pretty new to what products to use etc #bestandworst xx

    1. Becky Pink

      3rd July 2015 at 8:15 pm

      Oh good I hope it helps, it’s such a horrible thing to go through and I hope you hit on the thing that works soon! X

  17. Mary @TheHeartyLife

    2nd July 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Little E has it too, its quite controlled though, calendula helped before when it was awfully bad! I really love your oaty goodness idea and the muslin – im gonna give it a go next time its a little raw x #bestandworst

    1. Becky Pink

      2nd July 2015 at 8:22 pm

      I’m glad calendula helped you- we tried it but didn’t get on with it. I think it comes down to trial and error but the oats worked fantastically so it’s worth a try! Good luck x

  18. mummaknows

    2nd July 2015 at 7:31 pm

    My daughter also battles with sensitive skin. It’s not quite as bad as what you are describing. But she often gets really bad ‘eczema’ around her wrists and then scratches so much that it bleeds. I say ‘eczema’ because the doctors don’t really know what it is. I think any skin ailment they tell us is eczema. And she will just scream and scream when I attempt to put any prescribed or other type of cream on it. May try more bath type ailments so I can try hide it! #bestandworst

    1. Becky Pink

      2nd July 2015 at 8:21 pm

      Oh dear I hope it helps, it is so awful seeing them suffer but not being able to do much to help! X

  19. Becky Pink

    27th May 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks Adelaide, I just watched the video, very interesting! Ava hasn’t had any flare ups for some time now, but if it does come back I will definitely give the washes a try. Thanks for sharing x

  20. Beauty on a Budget: 4 | PinksCharming: Becky Pink's Blog

    13th February 2015 at 10:58 am

    […] over her before she went swimming, at her swimming teacher’s suggestion. (Read more about our eczema tips here.) It has similar ingredients to the Bottom Butter, but this also has beeswax and propolis, and […]

  21. Coral Fletcher

    11th February 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Becky,

    Charlie has eczema too and again with trial and error we’re managing it (with the occasional visit to the Dermatology nurse). We use dermol cream prescribed for us and find that the antimicrobial cream is the best (for Charlie) and works like magic. I can only describe it like using vanish in the wash type of magic. Also re sun cream (and any bath product to be fair) the best for us is superdrug’s sensitive range. The only downside is that the highest sun factor is 30, which is ok while we are in the UK. Nivea kids sun screen starts some sort of reaction with my kids, but it is the lesser of all evil. Oranges, strawberries and red foods effect Charlie too so we avoid them (especially beetroot as colouring), red cabbage and purple carrots, not that we have them that often.

    1. Becky Pink

      12th February 2015 at 10:10 am

      Thanks for the tips Coral – I know we won’t see any proper sun for a good few months yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for the Superdrug lotion! Is it a kids one or an adult one? I would love to have a ‘Vanish effect’ on Ava’s skin, so happy you’ve found something that works so well for Charlie! X

  22. What I learned from being a breastfeeding failure | PinksCharming: Becky Pink's Blog

    11th February 2015 at 4:40 pm

    […] This was Ava visiting me in hospital. You can see her eczema in this picture; if you want to know how we dealt with that, check out this post. […]

  23. Josie

    6th February 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Beam? I meant Bex. Ipad typo x

    1. Becky Pink

      6th February 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Oooh thanks Josie, I will get that (if and when the sun ever reappears!) and I haven’t heard of that particular shop so will definitely check it out!! X

  24. Josie

    6th February 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Beam we swapped to Ultrasun sensitive sun creams about three years ago. It’s one a day application though I will reapply if the boys have been swimming for ages, and since using it neither of the boys have reacted or burnt. They don’t have eczema as such, but their skin can react unpredictably and had done so with other sun creams. It is pricey, but we’ve got through a couple of bottles each summer, that includes sunny school days and holidays so I think it’s good value. They sell on QVC in bundles, but I tend to go through gorgeousshop.com. I can’t help it if other goodies ‘fall’ into my bag there though can I?

What do you think? You're welcome to comment without your name, email or website if you prefer.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.