If your child has sensitive skin and is prone to rashes and itches, this may contribute greatly to restless nights. Dermatitis and eczema simply means that your child’s skin is irritated because it is dry and itchy. It may also be red and scaly, sometimes with little blisters or thickened skin. It’s not hard to guess that this will cause her to be very unhappy, especially at night. Most dermatitis is caused by sensitivity to detergent or skin products, occurring in an individual who has an underlying predisposition, for example in Atopic Eczema which may occur if there is a family history of allergies such as asthma or allergic rhinitis.
Hints to help ease your baby’s discomfort
- Rinse your baby’s clothes well to remove detergents and fabric softeners.
- Avoid the use of soap, rather wash your baby with aqueous cream.
- Avoid bubble baths, and perfumed baby products.
- Add soluble bath oil (not baby oil) to your baby’s bath water – it ‘moisturises’ the water.
- Avoid wool or synthetic fabrics next to the skin – try to dress your baby in 100% cotton clothing. The same applies to her bedding.
- Avoid over-heating your baby – it will make the itching worse.
- After a bath, dry your baby well.
- Keep the skin well hydrated with appropriate body moisturisers (ask your pharmacist for advice).
- Be prepared for this to be a long-term condition that needs ongoing management.
- In severe cases your doctor may prescribe an anti-histamine to reduce itching.