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Preventing Skin Infections In Toddlers Suffering From Eczema

Updated on April 22, 2010
The 100% cotton homemade scratch mitts I made for my daughter.
The 100% cotton homemade scratch mitts I made for my daughter.
The tweaked version of my 100% cotton scratch mitts that I made for a reader's daughter.
The tweaked version of my 100% cotton scratch mitts that I made for a reader's daughter.

Scratch mitts for infants - since there is no market for 100% cotton scratch mitts for toddlers and older kids, you will either have to make your own, or have s

Diagnosed with eczema at 17 months of age, little did I know how much this irritating and painful condition would truly effect the lives of both my daughter and myself.

Characterized with extremely dry, patchy, and itchy skin, my toddler would literally scratch until she bled.

For those who either suffer with this skin disorder, or those who have children who suffer with it, I don't have to tell you how many sleepless nights and exhaustive days one experiences while trying to deal with this condition.

Due to the severity of the itching, it literally takes all the energy you can muster to make the sufferer comfortable. In addition to the hydrocortizone creams, or antihistamine blocker medication, allergist specialist or dermatologist often prescribe steroidal skin creams to control the breakouts. Unfortunately however, these creams are not conducive to long-term use.

Therefore, when the flare-ups resurface (and they do come back, and often with a vengance), in addition to the return of the endless scratching, comes the opening of new skin wounds, and the reopening of old ones. This in turn leads to skin infections.

It was after an extremely horrendous skin infection suffered by my toddler (which left her pale skin so raw and beet red, that it was torture for her to be given a bath, or even for anyone to touch her!), that I decided to take matters in my own hands to prevent this from happening to her again.

After a week of antibiotics administered from her allergist specialist (who happens to be the most caring specialist I've seen in a long time), I came up with a "skin infection prevention" program. It goes like this...

1.) Keep your toddler's nails trimmed as low as possible. Thereby, preventing any great damage to the skin due to scratching.

2.) When and if your toddler does break their skin, using hydrogen peroxide, immediately cleanse the area as thoroughly as possible (at least three times a day). Ensure that your toddler's hands are washed thoroughly as well, following this event.

3.) Keep a supply of prescription antibiotic ointment on hand just in case your toddler's scratching causes an open flesh wound.

My daughter's allergist specialist prescribed her an antibiotic ointment called Mupirocin. I use this at least two to three times a day on the effected area (use it as often as your dermatologist or allergist specialist instructs you).

4.) Instead of trying to prevent him/her from scratching (there's no way you can prevent a toddler from scratching - even as adults, when we have an itch, we scratch), cover their hands with a pair of socks.

Personally, I cover my daughters hands with my home sewn 100% cotton scratch mitts since my daughters condition is so severe, that synthetic fibers aggravate her condition.

I've made her a dozen or more cotton scratch mitts (as you can see in the second picture from the top) which allow her to scratch without breaking her skin. The mitts are very soft against her skin, yet at the same token, they offer her the relief she needs.

Sticking to my "skin infection prevention" game plan, has worked wonders for my toddler. From the day her skin became infection free, she has not suffered from this sad but regular side effect connected with her skin condition.

It is my hope that with these tips, you too will prevent skin infections in your young eczema sufferer.

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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi RIna....I'm sorry it took me this long to get back to you. I tend to use cotton that has a soft texture to it. I'm not sure of the technical term, but I have noticed that some cottons material are a little rougher than others and so I do tend to lean towards the cotton that is used in receiving blankets because they are so very soft. What I have done is used old receiving blankets and cut a pattern out of them using socks as a template and sew them by machine to make my own socks. To keep them securely on the hand, you can run a ribbon through the top or you can use stretching material...even Velcro to keep them securely on your toddlers hands. It sounds like your little one is doing better which is awesome! We too had to look at my youngest diet (healing from the inside out) to help her skin heal. She is almost six now and still has a few eczema patches on her elbows and knees, but compared to how things were at one point, she is doing awesome! I hope this helps! Have a great day!

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      Rina 4 years ago

      Sorry, I hit the sumbit button before I was done typing.

      My son is 2 1/2 years old, and is healing from severe eczema cause by a leaky gut, food allergies, deficiencies, and a dysfunctional immune system. We are seeing a naturopathic doctor and are noticing some wonderful results with nutritional therapy and homeopathy. That said, true healing takes time, as he has an especially hyper-reactive immune system.

      He still has noctural itching. We put Goldtoe socks in his hands at night because they have a thick, tight weave toe padding. However, he scratches right through those in a few months, and it's expensive to continually buy those socks at $13 for 6 pairs.

      So... I was wondering what kind of cotton material you use. I do have receiving blakets that might work. Maybe I could double up the material?


    • profile image

      Rina 4 years ago

      What kind of cottin fabric do you use?

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you soni2006. Yes this information is straight from personal experience. I am so passionate about how I feel about treatments for such an aggravating condition - especially among children. It's my goal to help others who's children suffer from this condition as well. Thanks so much for your feedback!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I found information relating to this in an Indian Parenting website a few days back but I found your info really great when I compared your hub with that web page. I think it is because you are sharing your personal practical experience over here which really pays well all the times.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Meenu I truly feel for your son's condition. My 1 year old goes through the same thing. I took her off of the steroid cream the doctor prescribed for her as well. There can be several reason why your son is suffering - see this link Them The best eczema management program that has worked for my toddler is : 1.) find the things that causes the irratant in the first place, 2.) eliminate those irratants 3.) keep your child's skin moisturized, I have found that a combination of olive oil, Udderly Smooth Cream, and Vaseline works great for my toddler (I apply this five to six times a day - sometimes more depending on whether she has a flare-up) 4.) keeping her arms and legs covered (I see you've already implemented this so that's good)in addition to keeping her hands covered in cotton scratch mitts (which I've made myself since I have not been able to find any in the stores) or socks to prevent skin breakage when they do scratch 5.) and only as a last ditch effort, if the itching is to bad, I will give her a prescription antihistmine blocker given to her by her allergist specialist (some parents give their children Benedryl)6.) I've also tried an all natural cream called Florasone specifically made for eczema sufferers. It does fairly well to keep the itching at bay. It may take you some time to impplement these practices, and it's going to be hard work - especially determining what causes the flareups, but once you put these tips into practice, you'll start to see a huge difference. Honestly, it took several months to see a change, but through diet restriction, a strict skin care regimen, and elimination of eczema triggers, my toddler's skin is much better. She still has the occasional flare-ups, but compared to her a couple of months of ago (when she was scratching till she bled) she's doing much better. There are days that she won't even scratch! Believe me, it will get better. You're on the right tract by opting for a more natural approach. The key is to find what works for your son, and stick with it. I hope this helps. Please contact me again if you have anymore questions.

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      Meenu 8 years ago

      I have 17 months old boy suffering from eczema from last 13 months...started when he was 2 months old. He was on topical steriods whole time...hated it. Finally i made up my mind and stopped them, was really hard days on me and him. Now he is on homepathy and celundula cream but he is soooooooo itchy all the time, i cover him top to bottom with jumper suit so that he cannot scratch but he has access to his face, neck and hands...which are in really bad condition right now. How can i stop his itchyness....why poor baby is suffering?