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.
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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.