When baby is not happy, no one is happy. And, unfortunately, eczema can cause many sleepless nights for baby, as well as Mom and Dad. More than 20% of children suffer from eczema, and the effects extend beyond skin irritations and sleeplessness to include hay fever allergies and asthma.
Studies, published by PubMed.gov, suggest that rubbing moisturize onto an infant’s skin on a daily basis can lower a child’s risk of developing dry, itchy patches on the head, arms, and legs. In 2014, researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University discovered parents could cut their newborns’s risk of atopic dermatitis in half by moisturizing their baby everywhere but the scalp, at least five times a week for the first 6 months of life.
"Eczema can be devastating. Beyond the intractable itch, a higher risk of infections and sleep problems, a child with eczema means missed time from school, missed time from work for parents and huge out-of-pocket expenses," said Dr. Steve Xu, a resident physician in the Dermatology Department at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Xu and his research team compared various moisturizers to determine which one was the most affordable but still aided in the prevention of eczema. This research team determined the most cost efficient option was petroleum jelly, better known as Vaseline, costing only $7.30 for a 6-month supply. When rubbed onto a baby’s skin, the moisturizer acts as a barrier against aggressors, such as allergies. A family can expect to spend as much as 35% of their discretionary income on care for a child suffering from atopic dermatitis.
Because it’s among the most moisturizing, petroleum jelly is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as one of the top-choice moisturizers for treating (not necessarily preventing) eczema, including atopic dermatitis.
McNeil DG Jr. Petroleum Jelly May Reduce Risk of Eczema. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/health/petroleum-jelly-eczema.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&_r=2. Published January 3, 2017. Accessed January 9, 2017.
Lewin E. Moisturizing Babies Could Prevent Eczema Research Finds. http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/baby/baby-health/moisturising-babies-could-prevent-eczema-research-finds-20161216-gtcoi3. Published December 16, 2016. Accessed January 9, 2017.
Zander M. The Cheapest Way to Prevent Eczema In Babies Is Probably Already In Your Bathroom. http://www.scarymommy.com/eczema-in-babies-study-vaseline-cheapest-way-to-prevent/. Accessed January 9, 2017.