Since Mina was a few months old, and we moved from sponge baths to baths in the tub, I’ve noticed her skin would get dry quickly. On her 2 month well-baby checkup, my husband asked her pedia about the flaky skin (I had to work). Dr. J answered that it may be related to the rapidly cooling weather and dry air and recommended we reduce her bath times, and to moisturize.
We did as she recommended but soon after, I noticed that following a bath, patches of angry red skin would pop up and then dry, scaling afterwards. I reduced her baths to twice a week, and made sure to moisturize her with a hypo-allergenic lotion. The dryness became worse, so on her next well-baby checkup, I showed our pedia the patches of dry skin. The verdict was infant eczema.
Our doctor was more specific this time; Mina needed non-drying baby shampoo, and something fragrance free. Using Eucerin samples that my pedia gave us helped with the dryness and almost completely removed the scaly patches. Comparing this against the pricey French brand Mustela that we’d been putting on her skin, we were surprised that the hypo-allergenic Mustela actually had perfume in the ingredients. Since I know perfume can cause allergic reactions, I found the “hypoallergenic” label on this brand very misleading.
We parents just have to be so much more rigorous on the products we introduce to our baby. It’s not enough to go by labels, or to assume that the more expensive the product is, the better. For example, searching on the definition of hypoallergenic online resulted in a page that read:
“For the past four years, the Food and Drug Administration has been working to clear up this confusion of [hypoallergenic] claims by establishing testing requirements that would determine which products really are “hypoallergenic.” But late last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that FDA’s regulation defining “hypoallergenic” was invalid. This means there is now no regulation specifically defining or governing the use of the term “hypoallergenic” or similar claims.” (source: http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/hypoallergenic.html”)
Sometimes, I feel I can’t even rely on the Food and Drug Administration to help me make safe product decisions.
As always, I turned to other moms for advice. We’re now trying California Baby fragrance-free products to see if our daughter’s skin will fare better. It’s organic, and not tested on animal so we feel good using these. Reading the ingredients, I can pronounce and understand all of it, which is the main reason I opted to spring for the still pricey product.
We’ve already started using it, and I can definitely see a difference on my baby’s sensitive skin.