Give Babies And Young Kids Less Frequent Baths To Reduce Eczema Issues

Give Babies And Young Kids Less Frequent Baths To Reduce Eczema Issues

More than one in 10 children are diagnosed with eczema, a chronic skin condition that causes patches of dry, itchy and inflamed skin. Experts recommend less frequent baths and daily moisturising to keep eczema at bay.

Picture: Picture: Locutis/Flickr

The Wall Street Journal explains in an article that how we take care of children’s skin can cause more outbreaks:

How often a baby gets a bath, what is in the baby wash and shampoo and whether the skin is properly moisturized after bathing are things that could help bring on eczema, recent studies suggest. Researchers say many babies may be getting too many baths, and two to three a week is enough. Eczema causes patches of dry, itchy, inflamed skin that usually starts in early childhood.

Scientists increasingly believe that environmental factors, such as bathing, pollutants and indoor heating, can disrupt the skin’s ability to keep moisture in and allergens and microbes out. A weakened skin barrier — the outermost layer — allows outside irritants to penetrate the skin and spark an immune-system response. Other research has found that genetic variations in some eczema patients also can compromise the skin barrier.

The article noted a small study that found that babies with a high risk for eczema due to family history were less likely to have incidents of eczema if they were moisturised once a day, compared to the babies who didn’t use a moisturiser.

In short, especially in the drying winter months, consider giving your eczema-prone kid baths no more than three times a week.

Are You Bathing Your Baby Too Much? [The Wall Street Journal via Parents]


  • We give our 10month old a bath almost every night (4 to 7 times a week, since birth), but only use soap once a week. The warm bath helps get her ready for bed. She has not had any case of eczema and her cradle cap has pretty much disappeared without any special treatment. Where as some others around our babies age have gotten eczema which i would put down to parents using soap every night.

    Best i can tell plain water and a gentle cloth will not cause issues (though i am far from an expert on the matter). But dear god please don’t use soap more than twice a week unless you really really really need to, but babies almost never need to be cleaned that much.

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