By Guest Blogger Malesha Poole
Having to wake up in the middle of the night because my baby can’t sleep is tough. What makes it even harder is that I have to watch him suffer with the awful itch related to his atopic dermatitis (aka eczema).
In the past, I tried every home remedy in the book to help my son. But he continued to have the same crazy itch attack nightly. His dermatologist informed me that when my son cried and fussed, it made the itch spread even more. Sometimes It looked like he had scabies or chickenpox. Every time we went to doctor appointments or emergency room it was due to an “eczema” outbreak. The pediatrician and dermatologist gave me the steroidal ointment and told me to keep him moisturized and to also give Benadryl when needed. I hate to medicate children, so this wasn’t my first choice on how to handle the situation.
In addition, I found out that dust and harsh perfumes caused majority of the breakouts to begin with. Due to this, I had to get the carpet in my house cleaned once a month for allergies. I also advised the childcare center he attends and gave them some preventative measures such as the teacher not wearing strong perfumes or not having him lay on someone’s clothes directly. I provided a cloth for anyone holding him in hopes this would help.
Once my son turned one, he started being more active and walking around getting into everything. This made things worse!!! And because he was older it was harder to calm him. I had to make an emergency room visit because when the itch was intense he would bleed from scratching. I put socks on his hands to prevent this, but he would pull them off with his mouth. So back to the ER we went.
On this visit to the ER, I met with a nurse, who was also a mother of a child with eczema. She told me about the wet pajama routine. I never heard of this and was a little skeptical. The ” wet PJ” routine includes 2 sets of 100% cotton PJs, fleece pajamas, cool water, Aquaphor ointment, steroid ointment (if prescribed) and a soft 100% cotton towel.
- The first step is washing up. Children with eczema should take a lukewarm bath lasting no longer than 15 mins using a mild soap. We use cetaphil for a cleanser. It’s the cleanest and mildest soap out there (in my opinion).
- Rinse one set of PJs in cool water and ring them out.
- Once bath is completed place ointments on skin while skin is still wet, and then put on the wet PJs. I also use a dry fleece pajama to go over the wet ones. I usually hold him while he sits with them on because it helps him relax.
- After about an hour, I remove the PJs and immediately apply Aquaphor again and pat dry.
- I put the thin cotton pajamas on him and by now he is usually asleep.
After this treatment, my son’s skin is so soft! The combination of soaking with the wet wrap and using the ointment works miracles. I do this about twice a week. And with this winter coming it helps tremendously! I hope it will be beneficial to any of you experiencing the same issues!