Dos and Don’ts of Eczema Skin Care

By: Evelyn Wang, MD

Evelyn Wang, MD

DO: Bathe daily

eczema soak

Previously it was thought that bathing would only dry out eczematous skin. But now we know replacing the moisture lost through our skin barrier is important, and bathing is the best way to do this! Have your child bathe in warm water for 10-15 min per day. Make sure to lather on moisturizer afterward to seal in the hydration.

DON’T: Use steroid ointment sparingly

Some people are concerned about steroid ointment leaving light or dark marks on the skin. But the steroid ointments your doctor prescribes are usually too mild to cause significant harm to your child’s skin. In fact, by not treating the skin, the inflammation is more likely to cause the light or dark spots. A “cream cheese” layer thickness of steroid ointment will be better for healing. You should use the ointment on trouble spots twice daily until the skin improves. Then continue to use it for 2 days afterwards to really bring down the inflammation. After 2 days, you can stop the steroid ointment and switch to a moisturizer. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize! If the skin flares again, repeat the whole process.

DO: Use thick moisturizer creams from tubs.

Because your child’s skin barrier is missing many proteins, it is essential to keep it hydrated by moisturizing. Moisturizers from tubs are better than those from pumps since the lotion must be thinned out by water or alcohol to be able to move through pumps. 

DON’T: Use fragrant soaps, lotions, balms etc.

Eczema skin is very sensitive to scents. Fragrances/scents can cause eczema flares, oreven cause contact dermatitis in the future. For soaps, use Vanicream or Cetaphil. For creams/lotions we prefer Vanicream, CeraVe, Aveeno and Eucerine. 

For more information on good eczema skin care, visit us in clinic!

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