Child/ Baby Eczema: Is Moisturising Doing More Harm than Good?
2 mins read
It can be truly heartbreaking to see the little one’s soft, delicate skin covered in an angry, blistering child/ baby eczema rash—more so to hear those whimpers and wails from an itch and pain that he/she cannot understand.
Yet understanding is precisely where the journey to successfully managing child/ baby eczema begins: learning about its causes, uncovering the truth behind myths, following expert advice, and focusing on the proper solutions for long-term care.
Why is child/ baby eczema so common?
The sleepless nights and frustration are shared by mums across the country with about 1 in every 5 children* in Singapore having eczema.1
While the cause of child/ baby eczema lies in genes, sensitive skin is also part of it; aggravated by environmental factors that may not be at once identified, such as: weather or sudden changes in air temperature, pet dander, and synthetic clothing. Drool also worsens child/ baby eczema near the mouth; and here’s a tough one: emotional upsets.2
The root cause of child/ baby eczema
That genetic factor (dysfunction) is found in the outermost layer of skin that protects it from harmful elements and keeps moisture locked in.
Dr. Lynn Chiam, Consultant Dermatologist at Children & Adult Skin Hair & Laser Clinic, Medical Advisor for an eczema support group, and Past Head of Paediatric Dermatology at National Skin Centre shares: “Skin barrier is often compromised in eczema-prone skin, leading to recurrent eczema flares as a result of harmful bacteria and irritants entry.”
An answer to child/ baby eczema
While severe cases may require more aggressive treatments, skin restoration is key to managing mild to moderate child/ baby eczema. That’s why moisturising alone isn’t a long-term solution; and thinking that it is, might lead to frustration and experimentation that could further harm your little one’s sensitive skin.
Menthol, along with other essential oils, is a common remedy for child/ baby eczema, but certain types, brands, or concentrations could be harsh or irritate skin. Oat, aloe vera, and lavender are also known soothers, but this focuses only on managing the symptoms of child/ baby eczema, not the condition.
“Eczema is beyond mere symptom relief,” shares Dr. Ker Khor Jia, Consultant Dermatologist at Dermatology & Co Clinic and Past Deputy Head of Immunodermatology at National Skin Centre. “Whilst itch and redness are troubling components of eczema, it is important to pay attention to skin barrier health.”
So, choose your child/ baby eczema moisturiser wisely
Dr. Mark Tang, Senior Consultant Dermatologist at The Skin Specialist & Laser Clinic and Past Head of Eczema and Wound Clinics at National Skin Centre advises that moisturisation is vital; but “it is even more important to choose a moisturiser that has the abilities to repair and restore compromised skin barrier.”
What you put on skin to combat child/ baby eczema is actually about what it lacks. Eczema-prone skin is deficient in ceramides, an essential lipid. Dr. Joyce Lim, Senior Consultant Dermatologist at Joyce Lim Skin & Laser Clinic and Past Division Head of Dermatologic and Laser Surgery at National Skin Centre explains, “Ceramides with lipids and cholesterol in the right ratio has been proven to be important in holding skin cells together as to build a strong protective barrier against eczema flares.”
This optimal ratio for skin repair is core to Ceradan®, the only brand with a 3:1:1 formulation (ceramide: cholesterol: free fatty acids) across its line of products—all suitable for child/ baby eczema treatment/skin care: cleanse, intensive treatment, moisturise, and child essentials for diaper and mosquito protection.
Two studies using a Ceradan® Skin barrier repair cream showed remarkable results:
After 12 weeks of twice daily applications, over 80% of the children in the study, significantly, showed improvement. For almost half of total participants, an eczema relapse was prevented.3
Versus a urea-based eczema cream, Ceradan® had a significantly lower irritation score and the majority of the children preferred it as their daily moisturiser.4
So bring back those smiles today and win against child/ baby eczema by completing your moisturisation regime through restoring your little one’s skin barrier with Ceradan®.
*Note that a 2018 survey5 held across 18 countries showed a range of 2.4% to 19.5% for children under 12 with eczema.
Results may vary.
- Olsson, M et al. “The cost of childhood atopic dermatitis in a multi-ethnic Asian population: a cost-of-illness study.” The British journal of dermatology vol. 182,5 (2020): 1245-1252. doi:10.1111/bjd.18442
- National Skin Centre. “Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) in Young Children.” HealthHub. 23 April 2019. https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/417/skin_disorders_in_young_children_nsc
- Koh, Mark Jean-Ann et al. “Comparison of the Simple Patient-Centric Atopic Dermatitis Scoring System PEST with SCORAD in Young Children Using a Ceramide Dominant Therapeutic Moisturizer.” Dermatology and therapy vol. 7,3 (2017): 383-393. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0186-
- Ho, Valerie Pui Yoong et al. “Comparing the Potential for Irritation of a Ceramide-Based Moisturizer with a Urea-Based Moisturizer for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis.” Dermatology and therapy vol. 10,4 (2020): 807-813. doi:10.1007/s13555-020-00388-6
- Silverberg, Jonathan I et al. “Atopic dermatitis in the pediatric population: A cross-sectional, international epidemiologic study.” Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology vol. 126,4 (2021): 417-428.e2. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2020.12.020