Eczema on our baby’s hands is one of the hardest things to deal with as our baby is growing up. I feel like we are always trying to get rid of eczema on hands. It took us a while, but we’ve found a way that works for our baby.
We rely on scratch sleeves a lot to minimize damaging scratching. But hands are the one area that even sleeves cannot protect. Our baby always just uses his thumb or other finger to scratch the eczema on his middle finger in particular.
If we give him the chance, he would scratch and scratch and scratch his fingers until they bleed. So it was very important for us to find a way to get rid of the eczema on his hands.
Our dermatologist’s advice for treating eczema on our baby’s hands
Every time we saw our dermatologist, we would discuss how to treat the eczema on his hands.
So, for the longest time, we just kept trying our best to follow our doctor’s recommendation to use steroids on the eczema twice a day. And we waited for the steroid to get rid of the eczema on the hands.
But telling a baby or toddler not to use their hands and let the steroid absorb into the skin is almost laughable. So while we were trying our best to apply the steroid to the eczema on his hands, it wasn’t effective.
It got to the point where we decided to apply the steroid after our son fell asleep. Of course he would just end up rubbing it off on the sheets in his sleep.
Then we had one dermatologist make a suggestion that solved the problem almost instantly: at night, put a tiny dab of steroid on the area then wrap the finger in a hydrocolloid dressing.
How we use hydrocolloid dressing on eczema on the finger
That piece of advice from our dermatologist has been invaluable. We used to have to apply steroids for several days to the eczema on our baby’s hands. But with the hydrocolloid dressing, we usually can treat the eczema overnight.
Hydrocolloid dressing has helped us reduce the need for steroids to get rid of eczema on hands.
We’ve had great success using this DuoDerm Hydrocolloid dressing (and Amazon carries it for a good price).
The dressing gives the wound a covering, and allows the steroid to be properly absorbed. Hydrocolloid dressing is almost like a second skin once it settles over the eczema on the fingers and hands.
Since we cover the wound in a dab of steroid ointment, the tricky part is that the hydrocolloid dressing doesn’t stick well to that part of the skin. The crucial bit is to cut a piece of hydrocolloid dressing long enough to wrap back on to itself, so it sticks really well together. It will stick to itself, but not to the skin.
Then once it’s on, leave it on for as long as you can while avoiding washing hands. We normally can get a good 12-18 hours in, if you put it on at night right before bed.
Make treating eczema on the hands fun
To get our toddler to cooperate, we buy lots of fun band-aids and use it to wrap the outside of the hydrocolloid like a sticker. Fishies, Mickey Mouse, and Cars are particularly popular in our household.
We dump them all into a big container and let him pick out what he wants that day. He started thinking of the hydrocolloid dressing more as a fashion accessory, than something we needed to put on him!
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Eczema on Hands
In addition to following our dermatologists directions, we also practice home remedies to get rid of eczema on hands. The most important thing you can do at home is to keep the hands moisturized and clean.
That probably sounds a lot easier than done when you are trying to treat eczema on a baby’s hands. Babies put their hands in their mouths, which further irritates the eczema.
Toddlers on the other hand, are touching everything all the time, which also irritates any eczema on the hands.
Keep your baby’s hands well moisturized to help the eczema
We keep lotion bottles all over our flat. It sometimes feels like every 10 steps, we have a bottle of moisturizer for the eczema.
There’s a bottle of lotion in his play space. Another bottle next to the sink where he most frequently washes his hands.
We also keep a bottle near the dining table since we spend a lot of time eating. There’s also moisturizer next to the bath tub. And I also make sure we have moisturizer next to the bed.
We used to just buy a lot of lotion bottles, but now we’ve learned that it works best to just decant the moisturizer into small tubs. There’s definitely always one of these small tubs in my bag.
These are the best small tubs for holding just enough moisturizer to apply on your baby’s hands all day long. They also don’t leak or spill.
Use a gentle hand wash at all times if your baby’s hands have eczema
Next to the sink, our toddler has a special hand wash. We use this Mustela cream wash, which was recommended by his dermatologist.
We also gave a bottle of this to his nursery, so he uses this gentle hand wash when he is there too.
Give your baby or toddler an ice pack to play with to help relieve itchy eczema on hands
A cool pack will instantly distract and relieve the itchy. We’ve tried several different brands, but we found that therapearl cool packs work the best.
We love these therapearl cool packs because they aren’t too cold for a toddler to use against their hands. We have four of these in our freezer!
Plus, they are colorful and catch a baby’s attention. Our toddler squeezes the packs around to try to smush the gel balls inside. We have four of them, so we can rotate them when one loses its cool.
Use a dab of aloe to help calm itchy eczema
Aloe cools and moisturizes almost instantly, so it’s great to dab a bit on eczema on the hands. Unlike moisturizers, aloe is a thinner consistency and absorbs quickly.
There are so many different aloe products on the market. Make sure you find one that is aloe vera gel, not aloe juice. Also, check the ingredients too make sure aloe vera gel is the main ingredient. Some bottles will list water as the first ingredient.
Here is a very pure aloe gel we trust and use. It contains 99.75% organic cold-pressed aloe, and it’s made in the USA.
Put a band-aid to loosely cover itchy eczema on the fingers
Once our baby was old enough to appreciate band-aids, we started using them to cover eczema on his hands during the moments it is particularly bothering him.
It’s not a permanent solution, but our toddler finds something enthralling about band-aids. Once the band-aid is on, it becomes a badge that he can show off. He usually immediately stop scratching any eczema, and starts treating his hands like a precious bubble.
When the itch subsides, or when he wants to use his hands again, we take the band-aid off. By then, he’s forgotten the initial itch anyway.
Buy hydrocolloid dressing over the counter to help wrap any eczema on the hands, especially the fingers.
We mention this above, but we use hydrocolloid dressings on eczema patches on his hands that don’t heal.
We get our hydrocolloid dressing as a prescription, but you can also buy it at the pharmacy or online.
We’ve had great success using this DuoDerm Hydrocolloid dressing, and Amazon carries it for a good price.