When Bean was just a new tot, fresh out of the oven, he was diagnosed with baby eczema. It’s a relatively common occurrence in children and cannot be faulted to the actions of parents. At least that’s what the pediatrician told us. (Secretly I’ve always felt my diet, which was of course also his diet at the time, played a large part in it. You can read more about why and how I switched it up here.) In any case, the pediatrician told us to buy some over the counter eczema lotions and offered us a topical steroid cream for severe flare ups.
I think I may have used the steroid cream a total of 1 time before tossing that junk to the back of cabinet (with all the other random bottles of things I think I’ll need but never use). I didn’t want to slather my boy with steroids if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. So, I went out and bought several varieties of lotions and washes to try. I’m reviewing them here so that you don’t have to! I know, I’m super cool like that. Here’s a list of what we tried and what worked best.
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream has been our go-to lotion of choice when it comes to soothing our son’s eczema. It has 1% colloidal oatmeal for the active ingredient. It is a light cream, but it moisturizes well. Unlike some products, it isn’t greasy or unpleasant.
We used the lotion after bath and after every diaper change. It really seemed to help soothe him when we applied it. He seemed less itchy and irritated overall. It also visibly reduced the intensity of his rash. After a couple days of consistent use, the rash mostly cleared up. Of course, he still had the occasional flare up, but it was much more easily maintained with this lotion.
In fact, the only complaint I have with the product is that it doesn’t smell that great. The scent isn’t so offensive that I hesitate to put it on my baby, but it’s certainly less pleasant than the Aveeno brand (mentioned further down).
Aveeno Baby Eczema Relief
Aveeno Baby Eczema Relief is touted as being pediatrician recommended. It’s also accepted by the National Eczema Association. It states it right on the bottle, if that means anything to you. However, I’m not a huge believer in those kinds of claims, myself.
We tried all four of their products: Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Wash, Nighttime Balm, and Soothing Bath Treatment. They are all steroid free and fragrance free. However, I did notice a hint of “not unpleasant, but not fantastic” smell to them.
Soothing Bath Treatment
The soothing bath was wonderful as you just pop open the bag and add to the bathwater. It has 43% colloidal oatmeal as the active ingredient and was very gentle on his skin. We used this product intermittently, when he had a flare up. All we had to do was plop him in and let him soak for a good 15 to 20 minutes or so.
As he was so young, he wasn’t able to scratch himself when itchy. When he flared up, he would get super fussy. He loved the bath and it really cut back on his fussiness afterwards. He was also noticeably softer following the bath. Though we didn’t have to use this often, we really liked this product.
On days when we didn’t need the bath treatment, we used plain water and the moisturizing wash. This bath soap was very gentle on his skin and seemed to do the job of cleaning him well. However, I didn’t notice it doing much to stop or soothe his eczema.
Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t worsen the issues, which is more than I can say of other soaps we tried. Yet, it didn’t seem to lessen the rash in any way. He also didn’t seem to be any less fussy following his bath. Overall, it was a decent product, but not absolutely vital in our routine. I think any another eczema soap would have performed just as well.
This was our first go to cream before we found Eucerin. We slathered on this cream after his bath and after diaper changes. Much like the wash, it didn’t seem to do anything. He wasn’t bothered by the application, but it didn’t lessen the eczema in any way.
Other reviews we read raved about this lotion, but perhaps our son’s rash was just too persistent for it to make any headway on healing him. I find this odd because it has the same amount of the colloidal oatmeal as the Eucerin. I’m honestly not even sure why it’s less effective. In any case, we eventually stopped using it. It has now taken up residence in that catch all cabinet I spoke of earlier. I guess I’m just too cheap to toss it out.
Depending on how severe his rash was at any given time, we would skip out on the cream at night and use this instead. We really liked this balm when he had flare ups as it helped him sleep better through the night. I think much of this had to do with its effectiveness in reducing the itch.
However, it was much thicker than the cream (obviously, as it’s a balm). It was also greasier than the cream. This is probably just my personal preference, but I dislike a super heavy product. I especially dislike a product that never seems to dry when you rub it in. Every time I applied this balm, I had to wash my hands. I cannot imagine it being comfortable on my whole body.
In any case, this product works very well and lasts a long time. A little goes a long way and I still use it for spots that pop up here and there.
Cetaphil Baby Eczema Calming Wash
This brand came highly recommended by a few other people I knew who battled baby eczema. It’s a bit thicker than other soaps, but it suds up well enough. This was a decent body wash for our son. In fact, we used every last drop of it. It was easy on his skin and made him noticeably softer after the bath.
On the downside, it doesn’t smell that great. It’s also much pricier than alternative brands. He wasn’t any less fussy after use and we weren’t able to see any difference in the intensity of his rash when used on its own. The Aveeno wash mentioned above was both cheaper and smelled better than this brand. The Aveeno wash also seemed to perform just as well as this brand, though to be fair, we were using a combination of products from the get go.
Overall, the best product combination for us seemed to be the Aveeno soothing bath, Aveeno nighttime balm, and either Aveeno or Cetaphil bath soap (depending on how posh you’re feeling). I also gave my son an infant probiotic for a while and switched our family to a ketogenic diet. While I didn’t switch our family detergent, I did skip out on using fabric softener as that seemed to make it worse.
Battling baby eczema is no fun. It often feels like you’re fighting an uphill battle. However, there are some products that can make it disappear. These products in combination with a change in diet and laundry habits seemed to demolish his eczema. In fact, since it’s been gone, we only had to battle 1 tiny spot on his tummy. I’ve even been able to use that pink Johnson and Johnson lotion from time to time (because I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the smell of that lotion. It gives me baby fever).
What routines are you using to treat baby eczema? Let me know in the comments below.