By Expert Contributor Katie Kovaleski
So many things about parenting seem to be counterintuitive, and this week’s topic falls under that description. The question this week: could you be bathing your baby too often? “New thinking on the cause of eczema is prompting some scientists to investigate whether how parents care for their infants’ skin has contributed to the disease’s growth” (Are you bathing your baby too much, 2014).
“Eczema, formally known as atopic dermatitis, usually appears on the face and scalp of babies and in the crooks of elbows and backs of knees in older children. Prescription ointments can reduce the itching and redness but there isn't a cure”.
This new research suggests that the way we care for our children and how much we bathe them can contribute to the likelihood they will develop eczema. Many parents bathe their children every day; it is more often than not a central part of their bedtime routine. However, this research shows and suggests that bathing every night might be excessive: “Researchers say many babies may be getting too many baths, and two to three a week is enough”.
Previous schools of thought on the causes of eczema operated under the belief that eczema was typically an allergic reaction of some kind. “Eczema was long believed to begin as an allergic reaction, perhaps to something a child ate or encountered, that then led to skin inflammation. But experts say decades of viewing allergies as the primary culprit behind eczema yielded few preventive strategies”.
This new research is suggesting that bathing only 2-3 times a week coupled with “applying a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion immediately after the bath” will help protect your baby’s skin barrier which will keep their skin from drying out. These preventative steps can go a long way in helping your child avoid skin issues like eczema. While genetic factors also contribute to the likelihood eczema will develop, it’s important to minimize the risk by taking proper care of your baby’s skin.
For the full article and study results, click here: Are you bathing your baby too much.