Eczema was my son’s first allergy symptom. It began when he was about six months or so. Red patches on his chunky baby legs that wouldn’t go away easily. The heat of summer seemed to aggravate it, and he would have windows of clear skin in the fall, but when it got too dry in the winter, it would flare back up.
For flare ups, we have tried several different prescription creams on his skin. Once it cleared, we attempted to maintain with expensive organic creams including California Baby. Our dermatologist recommended Sarna, which I found to be too light to be beneficial for his skin.
We’ve settled upon using Aquaphor in the winter for maintenance and it’s simple formula seems to work best. BUT it has to be used sparingly, or it will clog his pores. This past winter of discontent was full of horrible, dry weather here in the Northeast. I thought I was doing the right thing by slathering Aquaphor on his legs every day because they seemed so dry and impermeable. Just a few days before Christmas, his legs erupted in angry red sores. It turns out too much Aquaphor had clogged his hair follicles. Oral antibiotics and twice daily skin cream cleared it up after a week or so.
Luckily, this summer we seem to have been spared the flare up (*knocks on wood*). I have a few (probably unsubstantiated) theories on why his skin might be a little clearer this year.
- About a year ago, we stopped the daily baths, only bathing him every other day. This summer, we’ve switched to showers and I think spending less sustained time in warm soapy water could be a factor in his improved skin condition.
- We’ve also used less sunscreen. We’ve used the spray sunscreen sparingly. I also don’t use it if we are just going out for a short amount of time, I let him get a little sun on his skin. (Yes, I also just learned that it’s not safe for kids and will be searching for an easy alternative for slathering two wiggly little boys. I don’t want to get overly dramatic here, but this is a life changer and I am in mourning for spray sunscreen’s demise, seriously.)
- Because his eczema seemed more environmental, I haven’t investigated whether certain foods cause it to flare up as other parents may have. His egg allergy numbers have diminished over the years, maybe he will grow out of eczema too. Fingers crossed.
This is just my son’s experience with eczema, I’d love to hear your strategies and tips for managing your child’s eczema. Let me know in the comments!