Friday, November 14, 2008

A Side Note on Eczema

Another issue we’ve been dealing with that is fairly common among parents of fro-babies is eczema. For whatever reason, there are a lot of babies prone to this skin condition. Georgia has had it since she was only a few weeks old, and had it pretty persistently ever since. Here is a brief summary of what we tried, what worked and what didn’t.

Our first stop was the doctor, since Georgia was only about a month old when the problem arose. Her first recommendation was .5 % hydrocortisone. We might as well have just put Crisco on her, for all the good it did.

Next: Rx strength 2.5% hydrocortisone. Noticed a slight improvement, but too slight to give it any credit.

After that: Something called “locoid” in the cream form (although the initial scrip was written for ointment). Looks like it is at least “related” to hydrocortisone. I think the actual name is “hydrocortisone butyrate.” We had good results with this by using it in conjunction with Aveeno Eczema Care (Now Aveeno Advanced Care). Unfortunately, we were out of town when we tried this out, so there’s no telling if the change in environment was the real reason. It has not worked so “miraculously” since then.


.5% hydrocortisone is OTC. I mention it under Rx, only because it was the pediatrician’s recommendation. Didn’t work for us, but might work for you.

Aquaphor – This stuff really appears to be souped-up Vaseline. It basically did nothing and it has mineral oil, which can be irritating. Seemed to make it a little worse. Some people hail it as a miracle cure, though, especially for babies with more melanin in the skin. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that continued use reverses the hyperpigmentation some babies experience after an outbreak. Georgia has the opposite issue, however, as her eczema patches cause pigment loss, so this was not for us.

Aveeno Advanced Care (formerly Aveeno Eczema Care) – this is not to be confused with Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream. (To distinguish: Aveeno Baby has a dark blue top, while this one, Advanced care has a light blue one). This one is not specifically for babies but does say it is safe for baby. We had miraculous results initially, but over time, it’s just been a good thick moisturizer. Lukewarm on this one. Keeps the patches from drying out and flaking, but they never actually go away.

Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream – another false start. Seemed to be working at first, but not “miraculously” so. Contains aloe, which some babies and adults are allergic to. Would work well as a lighter alternative moisturizer to Advanced Care, especially in the summertime.

Gentle Naturals Eczema Care – Ugh! Made it worse! Our cousin in Canada swears by it though, and buys loads of it when she comes here, so you be the judge.

Mustela Stelatopia – Part of the dermopediatrics line. This could work as a basic moisturizer, but I basically noted no change in Georgia’s skin, it was just greasier—more Crisco.

Stelatopia Milky Bath Oil – This is soothing when the baby has new, red, irritated patches. It doesn’t make them go away, but it does clean the baby, reduce redness, and keep the skin from getting irritated further.

Baby Soaps and Washes

Johnson’s Head-to-Toe – Doesn’t irritate too much, but can irritate if patches are already red.
Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash – Seems to keep irritation at bay, good stuff
Cetaphil Skin Cleanser – Just made it worse, no idea why
Mustela Stelatopia Skin Cleanser – Basically no change, but gentle.
Mustela Hair and Body Wash – slightly irritating, didn’t help. Weird smell.
Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile Soap – Used by a lot of children and adults with eczema. No fragrance but good “clean smell” Irritated Georgia’s skin as a brand newborn, but well-tolerated after 6 months.

Cosmetic Lotions

Johnson’s Moisture Care Baby Cream – Nice, thick body cream, with classic Johnson’s Baby Lotion scent. Did not seem to irritate, but probably too much for every day use. Every now and then, it seems to be o.k.

Noodle and Boo Supersoft Lotion – Did pretty well on her skin. Started seeing some improvement in dryness and reduction (basically no new occurrence) of new patches, but again, no real disappearance of the existing patches. Has a really unique and pleasant smell, although some might find it too strong or sweet. Expensive!

Mustela Hydra Bebe – Suspect it to be mildly irritating, but not terribly so. Smells great on baby, but probably not for sensitive babies.

Hard to find but worth mentioning:

When we took Georgia down south to visit my parents and to have her baby dedication, and we used Burberry Baby Touch foaming wash and baby balm on her because it was a "special occasion." I bought and used these products as an adult because I loved the smell, but they really were for baby. Georgia’s skin began clearing up immediately. We were also using Locoid and Aveeno on the affected areas, so I may have wrongly attributed the improvements to the Locoid cream and Aveeno Eczema (now Advanced) Care, but it’s so hard to tell. It could have been the Burberry.

Even though it has fragrance, I’m guessing it has special ingredients because it’s definitely touted as a baby product. I don't want to hype it up too much, though, since the line is no longer in wide distribution (and the products cost an arm and a leg when it was). It may even been discontinued. A shame, too. Everyone commented on how good she smelled whenever they held her, and her skin felt great! Maybe it didn’t clear her skin, but it certainly didn’t irritate it! I should mention too, that it’s priced and in some places marketed as an adult fragrance. We only used it once, so, not sure how well it would work.

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