How To: Treat Mild Eczema in Toddlers

Magical Mama Blog How To Treat Mild Eczema in Toddlers

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How To: Treat Mild Eczema in Toddlers

The rash appears

Right after our daughter turned one, she started to break out in what looked like a rash that was spreading pretty quickly across her back.  Nothing to cause us to worry too much, but enough to make us dive into some research.

I pulled up pictures and descriptions of all kinds of infant and toddler rashes and was having a hard time matching it to anything.  My husband and I decided it was closest to mild ringworm and looked up what could be done for it.  It’s a contagious fungal infection that could have easily been picked up at daycare.

The solution sounded simple enough.  Spread athlete’s foot cream liberally on the rashes twice a day for two weeks and that should get it all cleared up!

The clotrimazole in athletes foot cream clears up the contagious fungal infection known as “tinea” (ringworm, athletes foot, and jock itch).

So we tried it out and the rash started to disappear.  Then two weeks later, we were about to head to the doctor for her 15 month appointment and the rash came back…but on her stomach.

Then her scalp went from red to white and began to flake off.  Behind her ears got red and tough.

A misdiagnosis on our part

When we spoke to her pediatrician about it, she corrected our diagnosis.  She had mild eczema, not ringworm.  When we asked the doctor about the athlete’s foot cream, she told us that the moisture from the cream helped the eczema calm down for a bit but that we would have to go another direction to keep the eczema under control.

Eczema is common in children from six months to five years of age, but the cause is unknown.  It is not contagious and there is no cure, but you can work with your doctor to keep the symptoms under control.  It affects about 20% of all children.

Because our daughter has a mild case, we do not need any prescriptions yet.  We got some suggestions from the pediatrician and went on the hunt for the best products to keep our baby’s skin baby bum soft and healthy.

Learn the Triggers

Knowing your child’s triggers will help prevent uncomfortable flare ups and possible infections.  Find a routine that works best for your child and stick to it.  Even if their skin looks like it has cleared up, diverting from your routine can cause flare ups to appear.

Always discuss symptoms and treatment with your child’s doctor.

  • Dry Skin

Especially with dry winter air, even if there are no current flare ups, if you do not moisturize, flare ups can appear quickly

  • Irritants

Soaps, shampoos, detergents, certain fabrics, metals (especially nickel), cigarette smoke, fragrances like cologne or perfume, antibacterial ointments, or even saliva

  • Heat and Sweating

Keep baby cool and dry (check inner elbow and behind the knee especially during crawling)

  • Infection

Eczema may become infected by staph, ringworm, or the herpes virus

  • Allergens

Pet dander, pollen, dust, mold, or dandruff

  • Stress

Stress and hormonal fluctuation can cause flare ups

How To Treat Mild Eczema in Toddlers

Daily Moisturizing

Our pediatrician recommended combining a regular over the counter hydrocortizone cream with Eucerin Original Healing.

She told us to combine it in a 50/50 mixture and get it on her whole body (including her scalp) twice a day.

It started working within minutes from our first application!

We were incredibly thrilled and after a week of doing this routine twice a day, all of her flare ups had disappeared.

We decided to drop down to once a day as it didn’t seem like she needed treatment twice a day anymore… and BOY were we wrong.  Her eczema rash came back immediately.

It is important to stick to the doctor’s advice, people!

After going back to twice a day, we have kept her flare ups under control and her skin is supple and kissable.


Treating the Scalp

We went on a search for a more gentle shampoo and body wash and found this fabulous TruBaby Eczema wash that was 1/5 the price of the competitors.

When I read the reviews on Amazon, parent after parent said that this wash outperformed the fancy $30 – $50 baby eczema washes, I was thrilled!

It is keeping her scalp nice and moist and we got this silicone bath brush (from the makers of the Nose Frida and the Windi) to help massage her rash on her scalp and get the soap out of her luscious baby locks.

When the doctor told us to use the lotion and hyrdocortizone combination on her scalp, I went for it and it was interesting.

With all of her hair, nothing was really getting onto her scalp.  It was all in her hair and her hair was nasty while her scalp was still dry.

I found the best way to accomplish getting the mixture on her scalp and off of her hair is to:

  • put the mixture on your wrist
  • part their hair all the way to one side with a comb
  • dab your finger into the mixture and blot it into that part
  • rub it into their scalp along that part
  • move the part over about half an inch
  • repeat the dab, blot, rub
  • continue all the way across their scalp

This works best right after bath time when their hair is wet and will stay where you put it.


Bathing Routine

Use a soothing bath that does not cause your child flare ups.

It may take some time and some experiments to see what products you need to avoid and what products work best.

We have loved the Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash since she was itty bitty for getting her skin nice and moist.

Aveeno actually has Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Treatment for treatment of her flare ups that is fantastic!

Every child is different and will require different treatment.  We are thankful that her eczema is mild for now and we feel that we have researched and are prepared because we know her triggers and we have found what seems to work best for her as of right now.

Our pediatrician has been fantastic and is prepared with a ton of knowledge on how we can move forward if we have to change her routine.

Always check with your pediatrician for information on how to treat your child for any condition.  They know your family history, your child’s medical history and can give you the best advice and a routine specifically designed for your child.

Magical Mama Blog How To Treat Mild Eczema in Toddlers


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  1. These are some really good tips! Aveeno is amazing and my father-in-law uses it for his psorisis and I used it when Ben had flakey skin on his feet after German Measles. Literally the best thing for skin conditions in my book!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    1. Aveeno and Eucerin are wonderful products for adults and children alike both with and without skin conditions. Thank you for stopping by and I’m sure I’ll be back next week!

    1. You are so welcome! It has been a great addition to her treatment since treating scalps with a lot of baby fine hair is so difficult. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Interesting Blog. Pure chamomile essential oil is a totally natural alternative for young kids it can be added to the bath or applied to skin with a nourishing pure oil such as coconut

    1. With my little one being under 2 when you’re supposed to dilute to less than 1%, and the possibility of allergies or adverse skin reactions, we are choosing not to go that route. But we’re definitely open to that in a few years if she’s still having to deal with it. Thanks for the idea!

    1. I’m so sorry y’all had to go through it! But it sounds like you’re writing in the past tense, so I hope he’s well now! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Some good tips thanks. We use hydrocortisone but can’t use any other moisturiser without an allergic reaction! We are still learning to recognise triggers, so this was very useful to keep an eye on them. Thanks. #sharingthebloglove

    1. Triggers are hard to pin point and it can take a ton of experimenting to try to find something that works. Hope you get into a routine soon so you don’t have to worry!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sara, your story is so familiar. I dealt with eczema in my son, and now his son also has it. While both of them need prescription medications, all of the basic care you describe is still necessary. You didn’t mention how laborious and time consuming this care is, so I applaud your commitment. I hope your daughter’s eczema is one of those that will improve if not resolve as she grows up.

    1. I hope so as well! We’re lucky that hers is mild for now and doesn’t require prescription strength care yet. You’re a trooper for getting your son through it. I’m sure he’s thankful for it now that he’s going through it with his own son!

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry she had to go through that! But it sounds like she’s doing well now!
      Thank you for stopping by!

  5. I’m an eczema sufferer and I completely agree that identifying your triggers is so important, as well as experimenting to find the products that really work for you. I love Aveeno and it’s the one thing that truly soothes my own eczema, so when I saw they did a baby range I used it with my second until I was happy that he didn’t suffer from eczema. Thankfully he’s not suffering at all, and I hope it continues that way. I’m so glad you’ve managed to work out the things that work for your daughter – I struggled for years to do the same for me, so I know how hard that is. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I’m so sorry you had to go through it, but it sounds like you’re beyond prepared to tackle it if it flares up in one of your kiddos.
      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  6. As someone who suffered greatly as a child with eczema, I know how hard it can be to get the right treatment and it sounds like you have some really great advice to share here for tried and tested management. Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub and wishing you a happy Easter! x

    1. It can be a huge undertaking to figure out the treatment your child needs. I’m glad you got through it!
      Thank you for stopping by and hope you and yours had a wonderful Easter!

    1. 1 in 5 children go through it. Hoping the children you know get the treatment they need!
      Thank you for stopping by!

  7. Eczema is so so tricky to treat and it can be really upsetting seeing your child in distress. For us it was a lot of trial and error with creams, but in the end only a stronger hydrocortisone cream stopped the really bad outbreaks. Aveeno is fab as a daily moisturiser and Baby Dove is really great too. thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. It can be so unpredictable and tough to figure out. I’m glad you were able to find something that worked for your little one! Love both of those brands for our whole family!
      Thank you for stopping by!

  8. Little ones have sensitive skin that can get dry so quickly. Any way you can keep their skin moisturized and protected is a great plus for them! Hope his skin gets better quickly!

  9. Thank you! I hope you find something that sticks and continues to work! Best of luck!
    Thank you so much for stopping by!

  10. Thanks, great tips. My son who is now 13 years struggles terribly with eczema. Nothing seems to work so we are being referred to a dermatologist. #triumphanttales

    1. I hope the dermatologist is able to find something that works and quickly!
      Thank you for stopping by!

  11. My girl has eczema and after she eats eggs then her eczema flares up rather bad. We use Aveeno, it really does help a lot. Thank you for this information.

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    1. Eggs! That’s such an interesting trigger! I’m glad you’ve discovered that!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing!

  12. This is such a helpful post. I have been so lucky that my girls don’t suffer with their skin. My eldest had one flare up on her leg a couple of years ago and with intensive moisturising it went away never to return.
    Thank you for joining #ThursdayTeam

    1. Thank you! Sounds like you got it under control quickly and are prepared to tackle it if it ever comes back!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. my girl is 3 years old and she has a extreme vorm of eczeem. We started out with hydrocortison as well but now we are on 2 stepps havyer hormonal crème. We also got the advice to uwe a moisturiser two times a dat but without the missing it with the hormonal crème. we have a 7 week plan for the use of the crème. the moisturiser we need to use all the time. we need to uwe the hormonal crème 1 hour before the moisturiser.
    Here in Holland the dermatologist told us they exzema is one of 5. you have exzema, allergies, hayfever, bronchitis and astma (sorry if the names aren’t what they are suposed to be but my knowledge of diseases in englisch is not they goed)
    If one of the parents or close family has one of those 5 diseases your kid has a higher risk of getting one of the five.

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