To be honest, I can’t remember exactly when my son started showing symptoms of eczema. It was probably after I stopped nursing him at 2.5 after the birth of my third baby.
I had zero experience with eczema before my son. It started with red, bumpy and itchy rashes on his arms and legs, causing him to scratch himself. It bothered him at night and he had trouble sleeping.
“Mom, why is this happening to me?” he would later ask me, jealous of his eczema-free siblings. I was heartbroken.
I went to my doctor, who prescribed a steroid cream and an antibacterial ointment in case of infection. I used them to get over the worst flare-ups, but wanted a more natural alternative to treat his eczema.
These are just some of the things I tried:
- Fish oil supplements
- Oral probiotics
- Eliminating dairy
- Eliminating gluten
- Oatmeal baths
- Trying OTC lotions that claimed to help with eczema
- Making my own lotions
Sometimes his symptoms would get better, but it seemed that whenever we let our guard down he would have another flare-up. Allergy season was a nightmare, and I struggled for years.
Then I started reading about the science of newborn babies and how important it was to protect their microbiome, skin pH, and skin barrier. And it all started making sense.
I was now on a mission to rebuild his microbiome, and this involved:
- Fewer baths
- Using a gentle cleanser
- Applying a soothing lotion after a bath
- Protecting his hands after washing
His skin is so much better now. He occasionally gets a flare-up but they clear up pretty fast and are small; I honestly don’t even consider it a flare-up anymore. Rebuilding his microbiome is a process.
I wish I understood the science of the skin when I first saw him scratching. The clinical and scientific studies were out there, but they were not shared in the baby books or by baby skincare companies.
By my fourth baby, I had a solid foundation in evidence-based skincare. I know how to protect her skin and follow a set of guidelines that help keep her skin healthy.
I am sharing these tried-and-true guidelines in my free Baby Skincare Guide, and I know that it will be helpful to many of you. It is the information I wish I had when I was first a mom!