Eczema is part of our founding story. It’s why our founder, Maradith sought out fabrics that wouldn’t irritate her son Gavin’s skin, and it’s why she decided to create the softest jammies, gentle enough for eczema-prone skin. We know that so many members of our community discovered us for the same reason, which is why we wanted to dig deeper into the topic of eczema in children.
To share the best resources with you, we turned to an expert. We had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Anna Karp, a double board-certified dermatologist practicing at the Skin Institute of New York, seeing children and adults. As a mom herself, she’s always looking for the softest fabrics for her 2-year old. Here’s what she taught us about eczema in children:
What is eczema (give us the quick rundown)?
Eczema is a term to describe a group of skin rashes that cause inflammation in our skin that causes it to be dry, rough to the touch, and often itchy. It’s never contagious and is most common on the inside of the elbows and knees but can occur anywhere on the body. When eczema starts in childhood, it’s commonly called atopic dermatitis.
What causes eczema in children and babies?
Eczema in kids is autoimmune, meaning our body’s immune system is overreactive, and in the case of eczema targets our skin. It can be inherited, and often, certain triggers make it worse.
Do you have any tips for parents looking to prevent it?
Fragrances and fabrics like wool or polyester are examples of triggers, so definitely be mindful and avoid those triggers. When you keep your little’s skin moisturized and wear gentle fabrics, you can help prevent it.
What types of symptoms should parents look for, and when should they seek medical attention?
If your child’s skin isn’t getting better with moisturizer and they are itchy, please seek medical attention. A dermatologist can prescribe a steroid cream that is safe for short-term use and will calm down skin inflammation.
How can parents treat eczema?
Taking warm, not hot baths and moisturizing immediately after the bath helps kids with eczema. I also recommend slathering on an ointment like Vaseline or Cera Ve before bed, then dressing your child in soft sleepwear (like Little Sleepies!). Overall, using fragrance-free detergent and products is essential.
What types of clothing typically irritate sensitive or eczema-prone skin? And What would you recommend instead?
Rough fabrics, especially synthetic ones like polyester, can irritate eczema-prone skin. I recommend gentle fabrics and natural fabrics like bamboo viscose for all kids, especially those with sensitive skin.
Can you walk us through a skincare routine that would help a child experiencing eczema?
For a child experiencing eczema, moisturizing at least two times a day with a lipid-rich cream like La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm is helpful. Using a more occlusive moisturizer like vaseline at night helps, too.
How long will it last? Does it go away on its own?
Often kids outgrow eczema. Most of the time, eczema symptoms can be controlled at home with the tips above and clear up within a week. More severe eczema will have flares from time to time.
We’re always here to share resources and help you on your journey with your littles. Be sure to follow Dr. Anna on Instagram and check out our VIP Group for even more resources curated by fellow moms and caregivers.