Help for Eczema: Surprising Advice

What works to help with a child's eczema? It turns out that more bathing, not less, can make a big difference. Learn more.

I received a letter from a mother in St. Clair, Missouri, who reported that she found that her daughter’s eczema (a skin condition we talk more about here) improved with daily bathing.

Eczema is a condition with dry, sensitive skin. Conventional pediatric wisdom has been that less bathing is better. It’s true that with long baths, where the skin gets pruny, bathing less is better. Long baths dry out the skin. Nevertheless, frequent short baths without soap can help hydrate the skin, especially when followed immediately by a moisturizer. A humidifier can also help. Keeping the skin moist can make a big difference.

Thanks for writing, Monica

Published on: August 12, 1999
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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Thank you so much for this. My new, baby granddaughter seems to possibly have eczema and baby acne. It seems the mother’s pediatrician told her not to use lotion on the baby for the first year. In the meantime my granddaughter’s skin is extremely dry and flaky.