If your baby has eczema, then of course you want to help heal that itchy, flaky skin. But in a world overrun with tons of skincare products, where do you even begin? Check out the best lotions for babies with eczema to help soothe your kid's skin.
For starters, it's helpful to understand a little more about eczema and its causes. "Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions typically seen in babies," as Dr. Jeffrey Sugarman, president of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, tells Romper. "It is a chronic skin disorder in which the skin appears red, itchy, inflamed and dry." This reaction is caused by "an impaired skin barrier and abnormal immune responses," explains Dr. Sugarman. A combo of genetic and environmental factors cause eczema, so some individuals are more likely to get it than others.
If you think your baby has eczema, look for the appearance of red, rough, itchy skin. The cheeks, arms, and legs are generally the first areas to be affected in infants, although more severe cases may be widespread, says Dr. Sugarman. The itching may make your baby irritable and even interrupt sleep. Most cases of eczema are mild to moderate, and they can be managed by your primary doctor. For more severe cases, a pediatric dermatologist can help manage your baby's symptoms, explains Dr. Sugarman. If you have any concerns about your baby's skin condition, then don't hesitate to book an appointment with the pediatrician.
When choosing a lotion to help soothe your baby's eczema, there are a few tips to keep in mind. "A general rule of thumb for choosing skincare products for babies with eczema is to look for terms such as 'fragrance free,' for 'sensitive skin,' or for 'eczema,'" says Dr. Sugarman. Lotions labeled as "natural" or "organic" may be tempting, but these can potentially contain fragrances or other ingredients that could irritate your kid's skin. In general, it's best to avoid products with perfumes or fragrances for kids with eczema, because these ingredients can aggravate the condition. The rest of your kid's skincare products matter, too. "We recommend gentle pH balanced cleansers (or just a plain water bath in some cases) followed by bland emollients," says Dr. Sugarman.
Granted, this is kind of a lot to keep in mind. To make the shopping process easier, here's a hand-picked selection of lotions and creams that are generally safe for babies with this common skin condition. These are products parents swear by that don't include ingredients from Dr. Sugarman's list of irritants to avoid.
1. Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
Free from steroids and fragrances, the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream is designed to be super gentle. It contains natural colloidal oatmeal to soothe dry, itchy skin. This lotion is also made with the ingredient dimethicone, which helps seal in moisture.
2. Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream
Safe to use on infants as young as 3 months old, the Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream can provide your child with a day's worth of hydration for the skin. It's made without irritating fragrances, steroids, or dyes. Plus, this cream contains ceramide, which may help strengthen the skin's barrier.
3. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Baby
This simple baby care product may be exactly what the doctor ordered. "Plain generic petroleum jelly is one of my favorite product recommendations for babies, and it is inexpensive and easy to find in most stores," says Dr. Sugarman. "Ointments like petroleum jelly and similar greasy products are typically more effective at sealing in moisture than white creams." A simple jar of this stuff may help preserve the hydration of your baby's skin.
4. Triple Cream Severe Dry Skin/Eczema Care
Rub this lotion on after bath time to help seal in moisture. With moisturizing ingredients such as oat kernel extract, this cream has a bit of a cult following. It may soothe eczema flare-ups and help heal your baby's skin.
5. CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream
Containing three essential ceramides for skin health, CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream can help rebuild the skin's protective barrier. The formula is hypoallergenic, and it's free from sulfates, fragrances, and parabens. The cream is even accepted by the National Eczema Association.
6. Eczema Honey Soothing Mommy and Baby Balm
For a petroleum-free, paraben-free baby balm, look no further than this all-purpose skin protector. With ingredients such as grapeseed and jojoba seed oil, as well as candelilla wax, it's a super-emollient choice. It even does double duty as a diaper balm.
7. Sensitive Baby All Natural Healing Ointment
Made with medical grade colloidal oatmeal, this ointment is designed to be super-healing for itchy, rough skin. Free from preservatives, added fragrances, phthalates, and sulfates, it doesn't contain ingredients known for irritating skin, either. Basically, this formula is perfect for most babies with sensitive skin and eczema flare-ups.