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Don’t you just love kissing those sweet slobbery fat toddler cheeks? Doesn’t it fill your heart to the brim when he raises those pudgy arms and begs to be picked up and cuddled?
Isn’t it just so wonderful to hoist him up on your hip and feel the crusty red bumps (i.e. toddler eczema) on the back of his knees and elbows?
Oh yeah. That’s right. Eczema ruins that silky soft toddler cuddable skin. The moment you brush against it, your toddler man starts scrubbing and itching like he’s covered in ants.
He slips on his toddler-sized cranky pants and the rest of the afternoon is RUINED in a never-ending soundtrack of whines and cries. (If my legs were covered in itchy “ant” bites, I’d put my cranky pants on too.)
Well, my friend, it’s time to slip on your BOSSY pants. It’s time to tell that toddler eczema where to go. It’s time to get control of that monster and heal those sores.
Am I Dealing With Toddler Eczema?
Or Something Else?
Scientists aren’t 100% sure what causes eczema, but the current belief is that it is a genetic disposition that is triggered by something inside or outside of the body. This, in turn, causes the skin to get inflamed and inflamed skin itches.
Once you’ve crossed that itchy line, though it’s hard to stop, since itching actually makes it itch more…and round and round the crazy carousel we go.
Since we can’t do much about genetics (that ship has sailed!), the logical path towards a toddler eczema treatment is to try to stop the triggers. Here are some of the most common toddler eczema triggers:
- Food reactions from cow’s milk, soy, wheat, fish, peanuts and eggs.
- Certain metals—most commonly nickel
- Cigarette smoke
- Fabrics like wool or polyester
- Antibacterial ointments
- Certain home products like soaps, cleaners, disinfectants, baby wipes, etc.
Here are four simple toddler eczema treatments that will do the trick, no matter which type you’re dealing with!
Simple Toddler Eczema Treatment #1:
Toss Out Fragrances
The first thing the dermatologist said when I brought Elena and Bella in (both struggled a LOT with toddler eczema) was to go through my bathroom cabinets and clean house.
Here are the things he asked me to toss:
- Any soaps or shampoos that had fragrances added.
- Disinfectants that contain formaldehyde.
- Any personal care products (like baby wipes) that contain isothiazolinones.
- Any lotion or shampoo that had the ingredient cocamidopropyl betaine.
It’s time to pay attention to those labels, ladies!
Don’t Forget the Laundry Room
Those same rules apply to the laundry room as well. Make sure you purchase fragrance-free laundry detergent and wash your child’s sheets and pillow cases every week. It can make a huge impact on eliminating those triggers!
After we had done all of that, the dermatologist sent us over to the allergist. It was to look for food and environment allergens that could be triggering the itch.
Simple Toddler Eczema Treatment #2:
Cut Out the Cow’s Milk Products
After a lot of testing, the allergist discovered that the girls had mild allergies to eggs, oak trees (yay. We had a 100 year old oak in the backyard they loved swinging from) and cow’s milk.
I was surprised to find out that toddler eczema is often an external reaction to something going on in the inside. This means that making small adjustments to your child’s diet can have a huge impact on the amount and severity of flare-ups.
The first thing usually recommended is to remove cow’s milk from your child’s diet. This study showed that switching your child from a cow’s milk formula to a goat’s milk formula can cause drastic improvements.
If you’re constantly battling with toddler eczema at home, I would recommend signing up for a free can of Kabrita and giving it a try for a week to see what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose (since it’s FREE), and only smooth itch-free toddler skin to gain.
Simple Toddler Eczema Treatment #3:
Smarter Bath Time
Ditching the fragrances and taking a long hard look at your toddler’s diet are great treatments, but they are largely preventative. What do you do when your toddler’s eczema has already flared up?
Stick that little man in a bath.
Dry skin (atopic dermatitis eczema) isn’t dry because it doesn’t have enough oil, it’s dry because it’s not retaining water. Enter something amazing called Soak and Seal. Here’s how it works on toddler eczema:
- Put your tiny tot in a lukewarm bath (not hot!) with a few toys for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a gentle cleanser (no soaps or fragrances, remember?) to wash and rinse.
- Pull him out of the tub and pat (not rub!) him dry with a fluffy towel.
- Cover him with a prescription topical medication or this aquaphor all over the affected areas. (Make sure you do this within 2-3 minutes of getting him out of the bath, or it could make it worse.)
- Commence Naked Dance Party for 5-10 minutes, or until the ointment has soaked into the sink.
If your child has eczema on his hands, follow this procedure and then encourage him to put on his superhero/princess cotton gloves before climbing into bed for the night.
Upgraded Toddler Eczema Bath Treatments
That’s the standard procedure for Soak and Seal, but what if your child has had a MASSIVE flareup and you need to kick up the potency of your evening bath? Try one of these upgraded toddler eczema treatments:
- Sprinkle baking soda into the bath water.
- Kill off any bacteria triggering this toddler eczema by adding ¼ cup of bleach to a half-full tub of water. (So it’s highly diluted.) Soak your toddler for 10 minutes, then rinse off. Do this 2-3 times a week, but since some people can be sensitive to bleach or chlorine fumes, you should check with your doctor before using this method. I wouldn’t add any toys to the tub, and watch carefully to make sure he doesn’t drink the water. Bath crayons are a good 10-minute distraction here!
- If your toddler cries that the bathwater is stinging his open sores, add 1 cup of table salt to the lukewarm water. It will make a big difference!
The Best Time to Heal
Toddler Eczema is Now
Remember the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
That is absolutely the case when it comes to toddler eczema. If you know that your child has struggled with eczema in the past, the best time to prevent the next outbreak is now.
Start tossing out those triggering soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents. Start adjusting his diet and remove the cow’s milk for lunch and replace it with a deliciously sweet cup of goat’s milk formula instead. (Click here to get a free sample shipped to you for next week!)
Then stock up on ointments and fluffy towels for your Soak and Seal emergency toddler eczema treatment plan.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your toddler no longer had to wear his cranky pants all the time?
Getting ahead of your toddler’s eczema NOW is the key to watching him spend most of the day lounging in his happy pants. Or giggle pants. Or even, my personal favorite, his napping pants.
Yeah, those pants are O-mazing.
Have You Read These Yet?
- How to Survive (and Actually Enjoy) the Toddler Years
- 4 Toddler Rashes You Should Know How to Treat
- How to Gently Wean Your Little One Off Breastfeeding When the Time is Right
- 10 Potty Training Tips That Won’t Make You Feel Like a Complete Failure
- Pacifier Weaning: Your One-Stop Know-It-All Guide
This article was sponsored by Kabrita USA who met with me for TWO HOURS on the phone as I asked a zillion questions about goat milk formula (and took 5 pages of notes!). The fact that they had enough science to handle all my questions and keep me interested for that long says something about how seriously they take their formula. Give Kabrita’s Goat Milk Formula a try with a FREE trial. I’m confident you’ll see why I’m now a Kabrita Believa’!
6 Ways to Ease Eczema Symptoms Naturally. KabritaUSA.com
Complimentary and Alternative Treatments. NationalEczema.org
Top Eczema Triggers to Avoid. WebMD.com
An Overview of the Different Types of Eczema. NationalEczema.org
Atopic Dermatitis and Babies: Two Cases Substituting Goat Milk Formula for Cow Milk Formula. NDNR.com
Eczema Causes and Triggers. NationalEczema.org
Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at MightyMoms.club and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She’s a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, has been a featured parenting expert writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, Cafe Mom, and others. If it’s 2am and you’re desperate to read SOMETHING, check out her deepest darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn’t be allowed to blog.