Are you looking for the best eczema treatment, moisturiser for your baby’s dry skin? Moisturiser therapy for babies with eczema is critical. A good moisturiser restores the skin barrier. This comprehensive guide features top dermatologist’s tips for your baby’s dry skin. A good moisturiser ensures baby’s eczema condition remains well controlled in Singapore’s hot and humid climate.
Baby eczema treatment – dermatologist recommended
Many people have the impression that baby eczema treatment involves dangerous steroids with many side effects. Therefore, many parents search for online cures for baby eczema which may not be scientifically sound. Such eczema treatments for baby’s dry skin is not just ineffective. These “organic” eczema “cures” can also be dangerous. Often such home remedies for baby eczema includes essential oils which can burn through the skin and cause contact dermatitis.
Don’t make the mistake of delaying medical treatment for your baby’s dry skin
The best eczema treatment starts early with a board certified dermatologist. This way there is higher effectiveness with medications that have minimal side effects. When baby eczema is mild, the best eczema treatment is using a ceramide-dominant moisturiser. When it is more severe, eczema treatments for baby eczema may best be in the form of topical steroids with a good moisturiser. Application methods such as wet wrap therapy are important to enhance absorption of the moisturiser active ingredients.
Topical steroids when prescribed by a board certified dermatologist are safe, and required for control of baby’s eczema. Not doing anything at all is a mistake. Many parents wonder and hope that the child will eventually grow out of it. This is not true.
Best eczema treatment moisturiser designed for baby’s delicate skin
The cornerstone of eczema treatment is a good moisturiser. The best moisturiser treatment for baby’s skin helps to strengthen the skin barrier. In this article, we help you is understand what helps baby’s skin to be strong and healthy,
How is baby skin different from adult skin?
Baby skin is distinct from that of a slightly older child or an adult. It is thinner, more delicate, as is the rest of the organ systems that are still in development. There is a difference between the in-utero environment within the womb and our external environment. This is the reason why we have to pay more attention to a newborn’s skin.
The best eczema treatment moisturiser for babies helps to build a healthy skin barrier. The foundation to understand how moisturisers work to treat baby’s dry is is in the structure of baby’s skin.
A baby’s stratum corneum, which is the topmost and first layer of skin – the epidermis, is also thinner. This means that there is higher water loss to the environment, which we know as transepidermal water loss. The thinness also means that excessive rubbing or friction can cause irritation in a newborn’s skin. If there is a family history of sensitive skin or eczema, there could be a genetic component that affects the baby’s skin. Though rare, there is a condition we know as ichthyosis that results in fish scale-like lesions over a newborn’s skin. More commonly, a genetic mutation in the gene filaggrin is responsible for family inherited cases of eczema, known as atopic dermatitis.
Structural Differences in Baby Skin
Structurally, the skin of a newborn shows that there are smaller skin cells in the baby’s stratum corneum, with an overall projected smaller cell surface area. This means that baby skin turns over at a more rapid rate than that of adults. This is also responsible for higher rates of wound healing in infants compared to adults. Furthermore, this also helps us understand the research that has shown skin cell turnover rate decreases with increasing age as one grows older.
In the second layer of skin, studies of baby dermis show predominantly short collagen fibers. In addition, there is an absence of a layer we know as the reticular layer which is present in adult skin. This is the reason why we find that baby skin is softer and also more elastic than adult skin. We have been focusing on restoring the skin barrier in eczema therapy. However, we must know that there are true differences between infant and adult skin in terms of the skin barrier. It is essentially a separation between the body and the outside world. It helps to regulate our body temperature for our organs to function optimally. Additionally, it keeps pollutants out and helps to protect against germs and allergens.
Skin Barrier in Babies
The baby’s skin barrier is not fully developed. The barrier function that we measure in adults is usually in terms of water loss to the environment. Baby skin has higher rates of transepidermal water loss than adult skin. However, it also varies a lot in terms of the research conducted. It is also important to note that the water content of the baby stratum corneum was overall higher than in adult stratum corneum. Additionally, natural moisturising factors which helped to prevent water loss to the environment and trap moisture under the skin are also low in infants when compared to their biological mother’s skin.
Overview of Barrier Function in Baby’s Skin: Best Dermatologist Tips
- Baby skin is thinner and more delicate, making it more prone to irritation
- Baby skin is softer and more elastic, with higher skin cell turnover
- The baby skin barrier is not fully developed; resulting in increased transepidermal water loss
Understanding the physiology of baby skin is important for best approach to eczema treatment. Moisturisers are not all the same. For dry skin treatment, moisturisers can vary. Most baby moisturisers marketed for general purposes, such as baby lotions are not effective in moderate to severe eczema. The best baby moisturiser should have a dominant ceramide component. Eczema treatment moisturisers also have anti-inflammatory ingredients such as botanicals. These reduce reliance on topical steroids.
What to do if my baby’s skin is irritated?
Babies cannot tell you if they feel itchy. Signs of itchy skin in babies include rubbing on surfaces and linen. Skin can appear red, feel dry, have cracks and in severe cases start to flake.
Common causes of diaper rashes include fungal infections known as candidiasis. However, very often it is simply due to eczema known as intertrigo meaning it affects the folds of the skin. For mild cases, preventive treatment with a barrier cream and a good ceramide dominant moisturiser is sufficient.
However, if the condition is more persistent, you may need to check with your dermatologist who may then prescribe an appropriate strength prescription, topical steroid to help control inflammation. Regardless, what you should do is switch to open cradle nursing rather than wearing diapers consecutively for long periods of time. Second, be sure to use liberal amounts of a ceramide dominant moisturiser all over the body and especially over the affected area.
Does climate affect eczema? Singapore’s humid climate affects baby’s skin
Eczema is not more common in Singapore than in other parts of the world, but it is worthwhile to note that our climate does play a role in terms of modifying the skin microenvironment. For many with dry sensitive skin issues and those with eczema, living in a dry temperate climate can trigger off their skin flare ups. This is because of an increased rate of water loss through the skin known as transepidermal water loss. Singapore is a very humid country, so in a sense, it is preferable for individuals who suffer from eczema to live in a place where there is higher environmental humidity. However, because of the heat, many individuals end up being in air-conditioned environments for prolonged periods of time and that essentially increases the rate of water loss through the epidermis especially if there is no humidifier in the environment.
Babies are more vulnerable to weather changes. The best moisturiser for babies is one that can restore the skin barrier. Hence protecting against environmental changes. For babies with eczema, treatment with a dermatologist recommended moisturiser is helpful. This is a ceramide based moisturiser that helps to repair the skin barrier. It replaces missing lipids in the stratum corneum.
Another point to note is that sweat is going to trigger off eczema flare ups. So while the humidity is beneficial, the increased environmental temperature causes one to sweat more and if they have eczema, sweat actually contains certain substances which can worsen the eczema flare ups. On top of that, we know that eczema itself is predominantly a genetic condition so if there is a family history of sensitive skin, allergic rhinitis, or asthma, one can be at a higher risk of acquiring eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.
How is eczema treatment conducted?
In terms of treatment, dermatologists lead the way in terms of establishing a protocol based on evidence-based medicine. This means assessment of the severity of eczema and starting with topical medications such as topical steroids or other immunomodulators which are steroid-sparing alternatives, together with an aggressive regimen of skin barrier repair with a good ceramide-based moisturiser. There are ways to increase absorption of the creams. One of the commonest methods is using wet wrap therapy. This is when the skin increases its ability to absorb what is applied on the surface when a layer of damp material such as cotton, is placed on top of the skin. This is commonly the recommendation in paediatric eczema.
Dermatologist recommended tips for the best eczema treatment: moisturiser therapy regimen
- Prevent and treat diaper rash with a ceramide-dominant moisturiser
- Sweating and increased exposure to air-conditioners can trigger off eczema flare-ups
- If your baby has signs of eczema, visit a dermatologist that will establish a protocol for treatment based on evidence-based medicine
- Wet wrap therapy can be helpful
What are the causes of eczema?
The causes or triggers of eczema are mainly environmental. Food allergy is rare and tends to affect only children below the age of four. Even then, accompanying symptoms such as diarrhea, swelling of the throat, and the airways must accompany the symptoms in order for it to be considered a true allergy. Most eczema cases are actually triggered off by environmental changes. A reduction in humidity, for example, prolonged exposure to an air-conditioned environment increases water loss.
Use of harsh soaps which strip the skin of its natural protective oils, bacterial infections for example due to poor hygiene can also trigger off flare ups. The commonest trigger is actually dust in the environment. All eczema patients have dust mite allergy, and routine testing is not carried out by dermatologists. Methods of dust mite reduction include getting rid of carpets, stuffed toys and awareness of the certain types of animal fur that can trigger off a flare up. Using a HEPA filter can also reduce the amount of airborne particulate allergens in the environment.
What does the start of eczema look like?
The layperson may find it difficult to differentiate between eczema and other types of rashes. We do not expect them to self-diagnose. When in doubt, they should always consult an accredited dermatologist. However, here are some tips which can help you navigate your symptoms better. If you have a sudden onset rash that spreads from the body to the rest of your limbs, we should not regard this as eczema.
The condition could be a viral related rash we know as a viral exanthem and it is dangerous for a parent to assume that that is eczema if it is happening to their child. This is because viral exanthems often associate with underlying infections and it is important to seek medical attention for these infections. However, eczema tends to be chronic. It can start early on in the child’s life and usually affects the elbows and the knees, thinner areas of the skin around the neck and parts of the face. These areas can be very itchy. They may notice a child or infant rubbing themselves on surfaces to relieve themselves of the itch.
Progression of eczema
Over time, this can develop from areas of thickened skin that is red and flaky, to being thick and rough. This is a process we know as lichenification. The important thing to do, regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with eczema before, is to use a good ceramide-based moisturiser.
Eczema does not just occur in individuals who are genetically predisposed. With age, the functions of the skin can also deteriorate and constant exposure to certain soaps, as well as environmental contractions, can reduce the integrity of the skin barrier. Always use a good ceramide dominant moisturiser. Ceramides are the fatty lipids that cement the cells of your skin. This reduces the chance that environmental allergens can penetrate the skin and trigger off a flare up. When this barrier is deficient, that’s when you can develop eczema. If your symptoms do not disappear after using a moisturiser, you should see a board certified dermatologist.
- Causes of eczema are usually environmental: reduction in humidity, harsh soaps, bacterial infections, dust mites
- Signs of eczema in babies often start in the folds of the skin – elbows, knees, thinner areas of the face and neck
- Important components of the best eczema treatment moisturiser include ceramides, anti inflammatory botanicals and humectants. Together with medical therapy, it helps to relieve the symptoms of eczema. Mild cases of dry skin in babies can undergo treatment with moisturiser alone.
What can I do at home to manage my eczema treatment?
Natural remedies are popular for every ailment. However it can lead some to use an unorthodox home recipe for either treating itch or alleviating dryness, both of which can lead to serious harm. A readily available strategy for relieving itch is simply by applying moisturiser that is at a lower temperature. Refrigerate your moisturiser because at lower temperatures, the cooling sensation distracts your itch receptors and this can reduce the discomfort. Also, instead of scratching you can pat your skin or tap it. Scratching destroys the protective layer formed by your skin cells and can set the stage for worsening infections. Lifestyle does affect eczema. Inadequate sleep, disturbed sleep patterns, a poor diet, and stress. These are all factors that can directly trigger off eczema flare ups because it is controlled by the immune system.
One of the best moisturiser application methods for eczema treatment is to refrigerate the product. The cold sensation is often in use as part of eczema treatment to suppress itch sensations.
Do steroids help with eczema? Do I need to see a dermatologist for my eczema?
Dermatology is the practice of evidence-based medicine for the treatment of skin conditions. Eczema is not just a dry skin condition that the layperson can self-medicate and treat, hoping it will go away. It is important to correct this perspective because eczema always starts off being mild and it does get very severe. The most severe form of eczema is what we know as erythroderma, also known as the red man syndrome and these cases do not happen overnight.
Mild to moderate eczema must be treated aggressively with a combination of appropriate ceramide dominant moisturisers and wet wrap therapy with topical immunomodulators which include topical steroids. However, these must be closely monitored when prescribed by a dermatologist because there is always a risk of inappropriate use leading to side effects such as skin thinning. In addition, another side effect is a phenomenon we know as tachyphylaxis where the medicines actually stop working.
Our dermatologist recommends: If you are searching for the best eczema treatment moisturiser for babies — be sure to visit a dermatologist if your baby’s dry skin does not improve with a good moisturiser alone
What skincare ingredients are good for eczema?
For the best moisturisers for eczema treatment in babies, we follow a concept known as the prescription emollient device. Coined by Lawrence Eichenfield, a paediatric dermatologist, a prescription emollient device is the best type of moisturiser for dry skin types, especially those prone to eczema.
Essentially, there is a dominant ceramide component which can be animal derivative or as is our brand’s preference, plant derivatives from seed oils known as phytoceramides, together with anti-inflammatory botanicals that perform a steroid-sparing role in a sense that it does reduce reliance on topical steroids- which is the ultimate goal of treatment.
Best Eczema Treatment Tips – Dermatologist Recommended Advice for Babies with Dry Skin
- Lifestyle changes are one way to manage eczema at home: getting adequate sleep, a good diet, less stress.
- Dermatologists will usually prescribe a combination of ceramide-based moisturisers, wet-wrap therapy, and other topical immunomodulators like steroids for mild eczema.
- A prescription emollient device is the gold standard for eczema moisturisers
What ingredients should I avoid with eczema?
Avoid natural herbal remedies that are being marketed for eczema because these often contain essential oils which can be irritating to dry sensitive skin when used in inappropriate concentrations. Also avoid lanolin-based moisturisers which, first of all, are very animal-unfriendly and also can contain pesticide residues that are irritating to eczema prone skin.
What are some dermatologist-recommended products to treat my child’s eczema?
Visit our skincare pharmacy for the best eczema treatment moisturisers and skincare for babies.
Gentle and effective cleansing for baby skincare is essential. The Miel Honey Cleanser contains medical grade honey which acts as a natural surfactant meaning that it cleanses your skin without damaging the skin barrier or stripping your skin dry. Honey itself has anti-microbial properties including being antibacterial and antifungal. This restores the balance of bacteria on your skin, a very important concept in individuals who have eczema. This is because eczema patients tend to be colonised with Staphylococcus aureus and this drives an inflammatory response known as the superantigen effect.
The second product that is used in the management of eczema is the Multi-CERAM Cream. It is not the only ceramide dominant cream available in the market but it has several advantages. First of all, it is predominantly based on plant-based ceramide which has additional antioxidant benefits. This means that it can reduce inflammation in your skin. It also has additional botanicals that help to reduce steroid reliance by reducing inflammation. In addition, it is cosmetically acceptable, unlike many other moisturisers which leave a thick layer on skin despite being highly moisturising and ceramide dominant. It is readily absorbed and can be used on areas such as the face for adults before applying makeup for example.
Role of a moisturising mist
The Mineral Booster is a polyglutamic acid based mist for easy application throughout the day. This as an on-the-go wet wrap treatment without the actual use of wet wraps. Many people find wet wraps very cumbersome so for this it is convenient. Just apply moisturiser and then spray on top of it. It is made of purified deep sea water with essential minerals that calm the skin as well as a mixture of many different botanical actives that restore the microbiome as well as reduce inflammation. Polyglutamic acid is more favourable compared to hyaluronic acid in terms of its ability to attract and retain moisture in the skin. It is overall very important that eczema patients also identify what triggers off their eczema and also to adopt a healthy lifestyle that minimises stress, emphasises a good diet as well as a regular sleep cycle.
Our skin barrier is made up of lipids. Moisturising mists with specific active ingredients such as polyglutamic acid should complement the use of ceramide-based creams for skin barrier repair.
Best baby skincare regimen recommended by a dermatologist
- Lanolin-based moisturisers and essentials oils are ingredients to avoid if your baby has eczema
- Dermatologist recommended eczema skincare products for your baby include: Miel Honey Cleanser to restore the nature balance of bacteria on the skin, Multi-CERAM Cream, a ceramide-dominant moisturiser, and Mineral Booster for on-the-go moisturisation.
Bathing Your Baby
What should I use to bathe my baby?
We do not recommend using any sponges or any cloth that can increase friction. Rather, working into a gentle lather in a massaging motion, focusing on areas that are soiled will be sufficient.
Rinsing off with cool water is preferable over using hot or warm water because that can further dehydrate the skin. Always pat your baby’s skin dry with an ultra soft microfibre towel if available. Cotton can sometimes feel rough. In addition, definitely avoid any rubbing actions. Always remember to pat skin dry.
It is important to keep showers short. We recommend three to five minutes maximum. This is to prevent water loss to the environment. Look for dermatologist-recommended moisturisers with additional benefits such as anti-inflammatory antioxidants. These can help to rebuild the baby’s reserve to be able to fight off external stress.
Best eczema treatment strategies for baby skincare
- Rinse off with cool water
- Pat instead of rub dry with a soft microfiber cloth
What should I wash my baby’s skin with?
Bathing is important because it helps to minimize colonization by bad bacteria. The balance of germs on baby skin is just starting to stabilize as the baby grows older. At the infant stage, it is very delicate. Look for amino acid based surfactants or plant based surfactants such as soya or honey, which produce a lather with a moisturising function as opposed to those which are heavy in laureth sulfates. Drying your baby’s skin is also very important. Always remember to pat skin dry rather than rub it.
Best eczema treatment moisturiser application methods used by dermatologists
On another note, leaving your baby’s skin slightly damp while applying moisturiser is a very good tip to increase absorption of moisturisers. It is also important to look at the type of materials and fabrics that your baby’s clothes are made of. Always look for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or tencel. These are much gentler on skin. Avoid wool, polyester and acrylics as these can worsen sensitive skin and cause irritation, especially in a tropical, humid climate like Singapore.
- Look for amino-based surfactants for a gentle baby wash
- Leave your baby’s skin slightly damp when applying moisturiser for better absorption
- Look for natural fibers like cotton, linen or tencel for baby clothes