Natural Remedies for Atopic Dermatitis in Babies and Children

Atopic dermatitis in babies and children is a fairly common condition. We'll explain some natural remedies to mitigate their symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Atopic Dermatitis in Babies and Children
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Written and verified by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 22 December, 2021

Atopic dermatitis in babies and children is one of the most common skin diseases among this population. It’s also one of the most annoying because it causes outbreaks and remissions of its itchy lesions in different areas of the body.

Below, we’ll share some natural remedies that you can implement today. Keep reading!

How to prevent atopic dermatitis in babies and children

Characteristically, atopic dermatitis in babies usually appears around the second month of life. In these children, the main affected area is the face (cheeks) and the diaper area. On the contrary, when it occurs in older children, the most affected areas are the arms and legs.

To prevent its appearance, it’s important to take into account some of the following recommendations:

  • Keep the skin clean.
  • Use neutral hygiene products.
  • Choose clothing that’s made from natural fabrics, such as cotton.
A baby boy with eczema on his cheeks.

Strategies to improve itchiness

Although atopic dermatitis in babies and children has no cure, there are therapeutic options to reduce itching, which is one of the most prevalent and characteristic symptoms. Take note of the tips that we’ll provide below!

  • Keep their nails short, as scratching can cause abrasions on the injured skin and encourage the entry of germs.
  • Avoid dry skin because it makes itching worse. Experts recommend always keeping the skin well moisturized with the appropriate products.
  • There are no contraindications to using colognes or body fragrances but ideally, you should apply them to clothing and not to bare skin.
  • Remove labels from clothing before use, as they irritate the skin more by rubbing.

You may be interested: 10 Questions About Atopic Dermatitis

Natural remedies for atopic dermatitis in babies and children

The most important thing in the management of atopic dermatitis is to respect the medical indications to reduce outbreaks. But in addition, some natural remedies can be implemented that serve as a complement to the prescribed therapy.

Colloidal oatmeal baths

Oatmeal has been rated as a good skin protector thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its high content of ferulic acid, vitamin E, and avenanthramides makes it a good option to improve the itching of atopic dermatitis.

In general, colloidal oatmeal is safe for most people, as it doesn’t tend to cause allergic reactions with its topical use.

However, if this is the baby’s first oatmeal bath, it’s best to perform a patch test. For this, a little of the mixture must be placed on a small area of the skin and the absence of allergy signs must be confirmed after 15 minutes.

Another advantage of this natural product is that it contains polysaccharides that bind to water and create a protective barrier against dehydration.

Products with aloe vera

Aloe vera has several proven antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. These help to bring relief, calm, and a cooling sensation to the skin.

In addition, being made up of polysaccharides, it contributes to stimulating the growth and healing of the skin barrier.

This natural remedy is often used to treat the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Burns
  • Eruptions
  • Rash
  • Psoriasis

Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil comes from a plant called Oenothera biennis and is often used to relieve skin irritations. Due to its high content of gamma-linolenic acids and omega-6, this solution prevents skin inflammation when used topically.

However, several studies that analyzed the benefits of its use in atopic dermatitis had contradictory results.

Calendula oil

Calendula oil has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, which makes it beneficial for relieving eczema and dermatitis. In addition, it also has antifungal properties and is a good antiseptic.

Its use can improve the quality and appearance of the skin, according to a study published in the Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has various components that help relieve symptoms and limit outbreaks of atopic dermatitis in babies and children.

Among its many benefits, the following stand out:

  • It helps reduce irritation
  • Relieves itching
  • Fights the pathogenic germs of the skin
  • Reduces the spread of infections
  • Calms skin discomfort

According to a review in the International Journal of Dermatology, it even has antiviral and antibacterial properties and is a good healing agent.

A child rubbing lotion on her arm.

Natural remedies are a complement in the treatment of atopic dermatitis

For the correct management of atopic dermatitis in babies and children, it’s always best to go to the pediatrician. The professional will be able to arrive at the correct diagnosis and determine the severity of the disease.

The treatment of this condition is specific and individual, as there are children who only need to optimize skin hydration and others who need more aggressive measures. Therefore, keep these recommendations in mind and adapt them to the condition of your little one.

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  • Kurtz ES, Wallo W. Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Feb;6(2):167-70. PMID: 17373175. Disponible en: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17373175/
  • CALENDULA EXTRACT: EFFECTS ON MECHANICAL PARAMETERS OF HUMAN SKIN. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica – Drug Research, Vol. 68 No. 5 pp. 693ñ701, 2011  [Internet]. 2011 Disponible en: https://ptfarm.pl/pub/File/Acta_Poloniae/2011/5/693.pdf
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