Treating eczema in children during the day can be tricky to say the least. But add night time itching and wake ups, and everyone starts to go a little mad! Many parents don’t know exactly what to do or may even do things they think will help but actually make matters worse. Eczema is the most common skin condition treated by pediatric dermatologists, with 90% of symptoms appearing before age 5. It’s important to know the best eczema treatment options available and what you can do to keep your child’s skin hydrated, especially at night, so everyone can get a little relief and some much needed sleep!
Eczema and Sleep – What’s the Big Deal?
Sleep is essential for growth and development. Sleep allows our brains to recharge and directly affects our mental and physical health. When children are growing and learning so quickly, sleep is essential for restoring energy, growing and repairing muscles and other tissues, and maintaining overall health and wellness. If your child doesn’t get enough sleep, you may witness problems with focus and behavior during the day as well as an increase in illnesses.
While, at times, many things can keep active children awake at night, eczema is an issue that can really cause sleep issues for the whole family. Itchy skin is frustrating, and eczema is unrelenting, even at night. Dry, rashy skin will cause tossing and turning and aggravated wake-ups throughout the night due to itching. But with our ultimate bedtime itch relief routine, including a new product aimed at soothing sensitive, inflamed skin all night long, you and your eczema-prone child will finally be able to catch more Zs!
The Basics – What is Eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition that makes skin dry, red, and itchy. A child with eczema may break out in a rash, as is common when dealing with allergies. Eczema primarily affects kids, but some children may actually outgrow eczema as they age.
Although most cases of dry skin and peeling in a newborn are normal, there are certain conditions, like eczema, that cause persistent dryness and extreme peeling. If your baby develops these symptoms, see your pediatrician. Eczema does have a strong genetic component; however, it does not necessarily have to run in your family for your baby to be prone to eczema. Additionally, there are certain detergents, foods, and other products that can cause eczema to flare up.
The Itch Stops Here – Finding Eczema Relief at Night
Any parent who has a child or infant with eczema knows that bedtime can be particularly difficult with night time waking and itchiness lasting throughout the night. Since adequate and regenerative sleep is extremely important to maintaining good health and strong immunity, you must soothe eczema as much as possible at night to allow better sleep. Having the right itch relief routine is critical to a peaceful night’s sleep for your child (and for you!).
Contrary to popular belief, bathing your infant every night is not only unnecessary, it can be bad for your baby’s skin. The skin of an infant is very sensitive and tends to be dry naturally. As we delicately wash their little bodies, we remove the skin’s natural oils and moisture. This process makes a baby’s skin dry and can worsen eczema symptoms. I recommend bathing your infant three times per week for the first few months and avoiding shampoos and body soaps that have strong scents. Instead, use a mild soap or bath oil.
Most importantly, avoid harsh chemicals! Many parents make the mistake of trying to treat their baby’s bumps, blotches, and peeling areas with an exfoliate or acne products. These products contain harsh chemicals that can dry out your baby’s skin, making the problem even worse.
One of my favorite skin care lines is Mustela®. Mustela® skin products are derived from 95% natural ingredients, contain zero parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol, and are 100% hypoallergenic. Mustela® actually offers a fantastic range of hygiene and skin care products specifically designed for eczema-prone skin. Clinically tested by physicians and pediatricians, Mustela®’s fragrance-free Eczema-Prone skin care line is designed to replenish, soothe, and maintain a healthy moisturized skin barrier, ensuring your little one’s comfort and well-being.
2. AFTER BATH CARE
Many parents underestimate the importance of moisturizer when combating eczema and have a difficult time figuring out what type of moisturizer to use. After bathing your child, moisturize immediately to help lock in the moisture still on the skin. Moisturizing on non-bath nights is also essential.
In my studies to become a pediatrician, I learned that some of the best treatment options for eczema are found in nature. That is why I love Mustela®! They have their own researchers who travel the globe to find the very best natural, yet safe and effective, ingredients to protect and hydrate your baby’s skin. I suggest applying moisturizer to your baby’s dry areas after bath and once or twice during the day. I highly recommend Stelatopia Emollient Cream for daytime hydration and Stelatopia Emollient Balm for after baths or before bedtime.
A great tip for night time eczema relief is to incorporate light massage with a moisturizer into your child’s bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is also important for establishing good sleep habits. It serves as a cue that it is time to rest, and helps your baby differentiate between a nap and bedtime. A light massage with peaceful music is a great way to relax your infant and establish that it is time to go to sleep, while also maintaining healthy skin!
Even soft fabrics can sometimes rub against an eczema outbreak, causing more itching, redness, and overall discomfort. But Mustela® has come out with a product that breaks the mold when it comes to the best treatment for eczema. Mustela® Stelatopia® Skin Soothing Pajamas are designed for babies and toddlers with eczema-prone skin. Using microcapsule technology, these 100% cotton pajamas deliver skin-soothing moisture throughout the night. These PJs are dermatologist and pediatrician tested and endorsed by the National Eczema Association.
- Microcapsule technology with 5 natural ingredients
- 100% cotton fibers
- Outer seams to limit rubbing and irritation
- Textile adapted to the growth of the child
I recommend using the Stelatopia® Emollient Balm after bathing and before slipping into these comfy PJs for the night. The pajamas will help lock in the moisture, further soothing any skin irritations throughout the night. Clinical studies have shown that babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer when using these PJs at night.
4. DURING SLEEP
A great tip to help your child sleep more soundly is to invest in a good humidifier. There are many advantages to having a cool mist humidifier in your nursery as your little one sleeps, and healthy skin is one of the best! Humidifiers create humidity that moisturizes the air, helping prevent skin dryness. Children suffering from eczema need special attention during the driest months of the year, and a humidifier is just one more step that can help ease discomfort caused by an eczema flare.
I recommend a cool mist humidifier. The humidifier can safely run all night, putting much needed moisture back into your eczema-prone child’s room. Keeping the skin moist is one of the best treatment plans for eczema. Your child will sleep much better with a little extra relief in the air.
Final Thoughts on the Best Eczema Treatment for Kids
Eczema is a beast that never sleeps. But your eczema-prone kids don’t have to suffer all night! While there is no surefire cure, the best eczema treatment is to establish a solid moisturizing routine. Keeping dry, itchy skin well hydrated at night can lead to better sleep for the whole family. When eczema-prone children get better sleep, they are better prepared to tackle the beast during the day as well.
This post is sponsored, but the opinions are absolutely my own. I love the Mustela® line and highly recommend it for all baby skin types, especially if your baby suffers from dry skin or eczema.