Dealing with Child Eczema, New Insights
According to a study out of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, for a very long time, parents of kids who have eczema have asked doctors how often they should bathe their child. Now there are new insights from this study.
The researchers say that daily bathing is fine, as long as it’s followed by lots of moisturizer. In other words, “soak and smear.”
“A number of medical groups have commented on the general role of bathing in eczema,” says the main researcher. “But they don’t all agree on the best bathing practices. Specifically, many groups don’t comment on bathing frequency. Because parents are confused, and because they often take their questions to their allergist, we wanted to examine the studies that have been published on the topic, and see if there was agreement on just how often children with eczema should be bathed.”
Since eczema involves dry skin some physicians think avoiding overbathing is a good tactic as constant evaporation of water can by drying to the skin. Also sometimes soaps can aggravate eczema. Those in favor of daily bathing think that the more frequent bathing followed by moisturizer is the way to go. Limited use of pH balanced skin cleansers should also be part of frequent bathing, along with gentle patting dry, and the immediate application of a moisturizer to “seal” in moisture.
“The smear part is really the most important element, because unless moisturizer is applied immediately, then the skin is likely to dry out even more,” said another researcher. “The weight of the evidence in the literature we received and our experience in caring for these patients suggests daily bathing with ‘soak and smear’ is more effective for soothing dry skin from eczema.”
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.