Babies and eczema: how your laundry detergent might help

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk of eczema triggers in babies, like switching to a gentle detergent. Read on for more advice on baby eczema.

Updated

orange baby clothes as preview image to video on washing baby clothes
The best baby detergent for sensitive skin is one that’s free from perfume and colour, like Neutral 0%. It’s specially developed for sensitive skin, so even if your baby doesn’t currently have eczema, it’s a good choice for their sensitive skin.

Key steps

  • Look for common patterns in the times that your baby's eczema is worse – for example, when they are too hot
  • Avoid using soaps or skincare that contains perfumes or harsh ingredients
  • Avoid rough or synthetic materials for baby clothes and wash them with a gentle detergent

Has your baby developed red, scaly patches of skin? It could be eczema – a common skin condition. One in eight babies have a chance of developing eczema where there is a family history of allergies or eczema.

Symptoms include dry, red patches of skin on the face or body, in particular on the face and scalp, or behind the ears, and inside the elbows, knees, and creases of the neck. In Asian, African, and Afro Caribbean skin types, eczema may also appear on the front of the knees and the back of the elbows.

The good news is that most children will grow out of their baby eczema, but it’s always good to speak to your doctor about confirming a diagnosis and controlling their symptoms. Adults often have eczema too, of course – if you or your children suffer from the symptoms while at home, you can start to identify and avoid eczema triggers in the home with our other handy guide!

Eczema can’t be cured, but it can be controlled and eased with the right treatments. Read on to find out about the causes of eczema in babies and ways you can avoid some common eczema triggers.

What Causes Eczema in Babies?

Although the exact cause of eczema in babies is unknown, genes and environmental factors do play a role. Babies with a family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to develop eczema.

Having eczema means that your skin’s protective barrier doesn’t function as well as it should so it struggles to retain moisture, resulting in dry skin. When irritants from outside of the body enter the immune system, this can then cause skin flare-ups in the form of red, itchy rashes.

We understand that as a parent it can be troubling to see your child suffering with itchy, red skin, so that’s why it’s important to understand common triggers for eczema flare-ups and to try and avoid these where possible.

Eczema in Babies – Common Triggers

  • Irritants – perfumes and colours in soaps, detergents, shampoos, and bubble baths
  • Changes in temperature – being too hot or too cold, and dry or damp air
  • Allergens – pet dander, pollen, dust mites, or mould
  • Materials – rough materials next to the skin like wool or certain synthetic fabrics

What’s the Best Detergent for Babies with Eczema?

As chemicals in additives like perfume and colourings may cause skin irritation, it’s best to avoid these altogether if your child has eczema. Baby clothes come in direct contact with your child’s delicate skin, so you’ll want to use a detergent that you can rely on to be gentle to fabrics and skin.

The best detergent for babies is one specially designed for sensitive skin and people who suffer from skin allergic reactions. An option like Neutral 0% Liquid Laundry Detergent has a mild yet effective forumula that contains 0% unnecessary additives, meaning it’s free from perfumes or colours. Using a detergent like this can help reduce the risk of your baby’s skin becoming irritated from their clothes.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to wash your baby’s clothes with a gentle fabric conditioner. An unscented fabric conditioner like Neutral 0% will help prevent static on clothes and leave them super-soft next to your child’s skin. Need more tips on the best way to wash baby clothes? Read our guide!

The above are just a few simple tips for how to evade common household eczema triggers and help your baby avoid uncomfortable eczema flare-ups. For more information on baby eczema, check out the Neutral website.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Originally published