baby swimming

Can Swimming Make My Child’s Eczema Worse?

Now that summer is here, are you worried about the pool affecting your child’s sensitive skin? Read on to learn how swimming affects your child’s eczema.


Swimming and Eczema

As any parent of a child with eczema knows, skin irritation can be unpredictable. One day, your child looks the picture of health with no blemishes, and the next an unknown culprit has left rashes and discomfort in its wake. While there are a variety of things that might cause your child’s eczema to flare up, there is one question that often plagues parents as they prepare for warmer weather: How will swimming affect my child’s eczema? While there is not a cookie cutter answer to this question, there are things to consider as summer approaches.

Saltwater vs Chlorine Swimming Pools 

In recent years, salt water pools have come on the scene, giving pool owners (and goers) another option. Salt water pools are designed to convert salt to low-levels of chlorine. The system creates just enough chlorine to keep the pool clean without over chlorinating the pool and its inhabitants. 


Chlorinated pools, on the other hand, are a little more chemical heavy and are maintained through tablets and a careful rationing of chemicals by the owner or pool company. What parents are finding is that some kids do better in salt water pools and some in chlorinated pools.


The truth is, there is no way to know which type of pool your child’s skin prefers without trial and error. While chlorinated pools seem to be more chemical heavy, the same chlorine is contained in bleach. Many eczema patients find that bleach baths help soothe their skin, which means a chlorinated pool might actually soothe your child’s skin rather than irritate it. 


On the other hand, your child’s skin might do better in a saltwater pool, since the chemicals are less dense. 


The best way to decide if the chemicals in the pool are helping or hurting your child’s skin is to let him get into the pool for a short amount of time, then have him sit out for a while so that you can assess if his skin is irritated. This will help you catch irritated skin before it gets worse. Then you can assess which type of pool is best for your child and make an effort to frequent those types of pools this summer. 

Before Swimming

Because swimming can be irritating to the skin, there are some things you should do before swimming. Most of us could actually benefit by doing the following things before diving in.

1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Since pool chemicals can dry out skin, it is always a good idea to apply moisturizer to your child’s skin before swimming. Some even recommend applying petroleum jelly to provide an extra level of protection against the chemicals present in swimming pools. In either case, making sure your child’s skin is as hydrated as possible before swimming is a great way to protect his skin. Remember that if swimming outside, you will also need to apply sunscreen. To make sure the sunscreen is effective, apply the moisturizer thirty minutes before applying the sunscreen. This will help both to absorb completely, ensuring they are both effective in protecting your child’s skin. 

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking a lot of water is always a good idea, both for those with eczema and those without. Making sure to drink plenty of fluids before swimming is a good way to hydrate your child, as well as keep him healthy while spending a lot of time in the sun. Making sure to start the swimming session with hydrated skin will help keep it from drying out, which can prevent rashes and other skin irritations. 

After Swimming

Just as there are some helpful habits to consider before swimming, there are also some things you can do after swimming that will encourage healthy skin and fewer skin irritations. 

1. Take a Bath or a Shower

Washing the pool water off of your child’s skin right after swimming is a good way to keep the skin healthy. The longer chemicals sit on the skin, the more likely they are to cause rashes, irritations, and eczema flare ups. 


While taking a bath or shower ought to be a simple solution, parents of children with eczema already know that nothing regarding the skin is straightforward. Sensitive skin requires a sensitive touch, even when it comes to bathing

  • Avoid a hot shower 

Hot water can irritate skin, especially if it is already compromised by chemicals that need to be washed away. Start with a warm shower and gradually make it cooler, making sure to keep the temperature comfortable and not too hot. 

  • Try adding these soothing items

If you decide to give your child a bath instead of a shower after swimming, try adding apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, or baking soda. In addition to bleach baths, these things have been known to help soothe eczema skin when added to bath water. 

2. Moisturize – Again

While you should always apply lotion before swimming, it is also important to moisturize the skin after swimming. Swimming dries out the skin, and this is especially true for those who have eczema. Making sure to replenish the moisture that is lost during pool time will help keep the skin healthy and avoid the redness and irritation. 

When to Avoid Swimming

Though swimming can be a fun and even soothing activity for kids who have eczema, there are a couple situations where it should be avoided. 

  • Avoid swimming if the skin is irritated or inflamed 

If your child is in the middle of an eczema flare up or has any kind of rash, it is a good idea to forego the pool until the skin is clear. Additionally, any open wounds can become more irritated by the chemicals present in swimming pools. 

  • Check the temperature

Water that is too warm can irritate the skin. You might want to call ahead to check the temperature of the pool water before taking your child to swim. Heated pools are becoming more and more common, especially in some parts of the country, and might be especially irritating to your child’s skin.

Benefits of Swimming

Even though there are some downfalls to getting in the pool with eczema, there are some benefits to swimming that make the extra precautions worthwhile.  

1. Swimming Strengthens the Heart and Lungs

Research shows that a large percentage of kids who develop eczema as children will go on to be asthmatic. Swimming can help strengthen your child’s lungs and heart, making them better equipped to deal with asthma symptoms should they arise as your child grows. Even if your child never develops asthma, he will still experience the health benefits that go along with swimming as a child. 

2. Chlorine Can Kill Bacteria

Since chlorine kills bacteria that can irritate skin, it is possible that swimming in a pool may help kill irritating bateria before it has a chance to wreak havoc on your child’s body. It’s sanitizing qualities can help prevent a flare up before it happens. 

3. Swimming Opens Up Other Opportunities

As your child grows, he may find that he wants to do various activities that require getting into a pool. Birthday pool parties, swim team, or training for triathlon-type races are all fun activities that require swimming. Eczema is something your child deals with day in and day out, and learning how to manage that issue in a pool setting is important in helping him grow and thrive. Encouraging your child to try different pools, moisturizers, and other products will help him discover what helps, what hurts, and how to navigate the water safely. 

4. Better Sleep

Many parents will attest to the fact that children sleep better after a day of swimming. Children with eczema can have trouble at night when itchy skin tends to be at its worst. After a couple hours of swimming, your child may sleep better, helping him sleep through itchy spells and get a good night’s rest. 

The Bottom Line

Swimming is beneficial to children for a variety of reasons and is a normal part of childhood. Eczema, while inconvenient, does not have to prevent your child from enjoying the joy of getting into a pool with friends or family. While chlorine can sometimes irritate skin, it also has benefits that can help your child’s skin, and the same is true for saltwater pools. To determine which type of pool is more friendly to your child’s skin, simply pay attention to how his skin reacts to each setting and take extra precautions if one seems to be more of an irritant than the other. 


While there are times to avoid swimming, and there are some things you should always do both before and after getting into a pool, there is no reason a child with eczema cannot enjoy the pool this summer.



All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.


Our Guide to Bathing for Eczema Babies

Imagine being able to give your baby a bath that doesn’t cause discomfort or struggle.

As the parent of a baby with Eczema, you know that bath time can be quite challenging. It can be scary to bathe your baby when it makes them cry or causes further flare-ups. You want to clean them, but you are hesitant because there are so many unanswered questions.

These concerns are valid, luckily this guide offers a solution to your problem.

Our guide will help clarify all your questions. We’ve reviewed some of the most frequently asked questions parents with Eczema babies asked and give you practical steps to put them into action. Before giving your baby another bath, see how these suggestions can help your baby manage their Eczema.

How Often Should You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?

To many parents, bath frequency is a major concern. On one hand, bathing is necessary to clean your baby. On the other, how can you be sure you are bathing your baby the right amount?

It’s all about finding a happy medium.

You need to balance between too much and not enough. Too many baths will actually dry out your baby’s skin even further. Without enough baths, you will have a similar problem plus a smelly baby. For these reasons, the National Eczema Association recommends bathing your baby once per day

Daily bathing has many benefits for babies with Eczema. One reason is because it rinses off and washes away allergens that find their way onto your baby’s skin. It does the same for other irritants as well. In doing so, you can remove possible triggers or at least limit Eczema flare-ups. Triggers for Eczema include:

  • Fragrance: Found in personal hygiene or household products like soap, lotions, shampoo, detergent soap, perfume
  • Environmental: Dry air, hot or cold weather, change in season, low or high humidity, pets, dust
  • Allergies: food allergies, airborne allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Insect bites
  • Existing skin infection
  • Chemicals: found in glue, paint, carpet, plastic chairs

In addition to washing away allergens and irritants, bathing has another key role in combating Eczema: it helps retain moisture. As you know, Eczema babies have naturally dry skin which means that adding moisture is critical. To maximize moisture retention you should schedule bath time around your baby’s bedtime. This, plus adding moisturizer (more on this later) will help your baby avoid dry skin.

How Do You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?


The act of bathing a baby with Eczema can be intimidating. It’s pretty clear that it can cause discomfort to the baby and stress to parents if not properly done. Rest assured, there are ways to give your baby an improved experience.

1. Try Swaddle Bathing

To make sure your baby feels comfortable, try Swaddle Bathing. This is a technique that involves immersing your baby in a tub of water while loosely wrapped in a blanket. UC Health reports that 93 percent of babies show signs of stress and cry during a sponge bath. In contrast, swaddle bathing brought that number down significantly to 38 percent. Having a relaxed baby will limit one factor (stress) that is linked to Eczema flare-ups. 

You might be wondering how this works. Here are a few tips for parents trying this method:

  • Give them proper support. Holding your baby in the loose swaddle that opens in the front, support the head and underarm with one hand and use your other hand to support the baby’s bottom. 
  • Slow dip them into water. Gently dip your swaddled baby in the water feet first, using your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.

Swaddle Bathing and proper bathing techniques will help your baby stay comfortable and limit dry skin opportunities while in the tub. An added benefit is that over time, it will also help you build a bond with your baby and gain trust. Give it a try to see if this technique is right for you and your baby.

2. Limit Bath Times

In addition to using Swaddle Bathing, there are many other ways to limit Eczema flare-ups and discomfort while bathing. The length of a bath is one thing that parents can control that will have a major impact. Dermatologists recommend a 5-10 minute bath, not much longer. 

This seems rather short, but be sure to trust the experts. Although a long bath may sound refreshing and rejuvenating, it is harmful to babies with Eczema. Long soak times can harm the natural oils on your baby’s skin that protect against harsh chemicals and other allergens.

3. Be Aware of the Bath Water’s Temperature

Another way to ensure that your baby avoids increased dry skin while bathing is to use lukewarm water. If the water is too hot, it can actually dry the skin further and last longer. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the water temperature at or slightly below body temperature. This will keep your baby comfortable while also maintaining the moisture necessary to combat Eczema.

With these three pieces of advice, your baby’s bathing experience will improve greatly. Along with the added comfort, these methods are proven to provide help against dry skin. 

What Baby Wash is Best for Eczema?

We discussed how to give your baby with Eczema a bath in the previous section, but there was something missing. You are probably wondering what products to use when giving your baby with Eczema a bath. With so many options to choose from, this requires its own section.

Certain brand names may be better than others, but you need to know what to look for in your baby’s bathing supplies. Before making a purchase, you should be aware of each product’s description. As you are shopping, here are a few things to give special attention to.

Using naturally occurring ingredients can decrease the likelihood of a flare-up. With already sensitive skin, you want to avoid things that your baby might have a reaction to. Instead, look for natural ingredients with healing elements or that help retain moisture. Some examples include:

  • Shea Butter. This is an anti-inflammatory that also softens skin with its high vitamin concentration.
  • Glycerin. This is great for sensitive skin and retaining moisture.
  • Lanolin. Using lanolin allows the skin to hold moisture. With dry skin, this is effective.
  • Hyaluronic Acid. This is naturally produced in the body and has been used to treat various wounds and sores.
  • Oatmeal. In addition to having healing benefits, oatmeal also helps to ease itching. When bathing a baby with Eczema, this can create a great sense of comfort.

A final note on this point is that soaps and shampoos without scent are less likely to have harmful irritants or non-natural ingredients. Be sure to keep your baby’s skin safe by choosing natural products.

You should also look for recommendations from the National Eczema Association (NEA) to help guide your search. When you see that a given product is recognized by the NEA, it means that it has been widely tested and used by people with Eczema. On this organization’s website, you can search by product to make sure that it is safe for your baby. 

Along with choosing the right bathing products, it is also important to moisturize your baby. After bathing, pat your baby dry then add lotion. This will reinforce any efforts you made in the tub to help your baby’s skin. The NEA has recommendations for this and you can also check out some ideas we came up with.

Be sure to dedicate some time to researching your baby’s Eczema safe bathing products.

Key Takeaways for Parents

Managing your baby’s Eczema while bathing will help them live a better life. By following our guide to bathing babies with Eczema, your baby will be more comfortable and have less dryness. 


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Treat Baby Eczema: Recommended Products

Does your baby have Eczema?

Eczema is a dry skin condition that causes red, irritating rashes that can be very itchy. Rest assured, you are not alone. This is extremely common, in fact about 10 to 20 percent of all infants have Eczema. Although there is no known cure for Eczema, it can be managed effectively.


Watching your baby cry, itch, and scratch relentlessly can be unbearable. At times like this you might feel helpless. Luckily, you are far from helpless–there are things within your control you can do to help ease the discomfort. 

As a parent, you are in control of the products your baby uses. Ranging from bathing products to sleeping material, there are many different ways to treat baby Eczema. These can help your baby sleep through the night more often and reduce irritation.

With such a wide range of products on the market, it can be hard to decide which ones are best. 

Instead of spending hours scouring the internet for information, just keep reading. This article highlights some of the best moisturizers, bathing products, and other ideas that you can use to treat your baby’s Eczema.


As mentioned earlier, Eczema can cause dry skin. Using moisturizers is a great way to combat this problem. By choosing the appropriate moisturizers for your baby, you can limit skin irritation and discomfort. 

There are dozens of moisturizers on the market. When deciding what to use, you need to consider which ones are specifically for babies with Eczema. The brands mentioned below are highly recommended.

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno is one of the most trusted brands on the market. Here are some of the main selling points:

  • Pediatrician-recommended baby moisturizing cream is clinically proven to reduce itching and irritation caused by eczema.
  • Developed with leading dermatologists.
  • Soothing natural Colloidal Oatmeal cream.

In general, parents feel safer knowing that this is recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. Knowing that medical professionals back this brand makes it easy to see why it continues to garner more reviews.

In addition to its proven track record, Aveeno has another great selling point. The key ingredient in this formula is oatmeal. Oatmeal works to keep the skin in balance and also provides moisture. When dealing with Eczema, these are crucial.

Triple Cream Severe Dry Skin/Eczema Care

As the name of the product suggests, this is geared specifically for babies with Eczema. Triple Cream emphasizes the following in its description:

  • Soothes the worst cases of dry skin associated with eczema.
  • Chosen specifically to deliver fast, lasting relief.
  • Provides a superior blend of healing, soothing ingredients.

There are a few reasons that this cream stands out. It not only moisturizes the skin, this cream also soothes the body. When dealing with itching and pain, the ability to deliver fast relief can help greatly.

Another reason to consider this product is that it works well after bathing. Any dryness that occurs during a bath can be offset and improved by applying cream.

Mustela Stelatopia Dermo Pediatrics Moisturizing Cream

This is another excellent option for parents to use to treat baby Eczema. When looking at this brand, here are things to consider:

  • Replenishes, soothes and restores your baby’s eczema-prone skin.
  • Made with Sunflower Oil Distillate and Avocado Perseose. 
  • Safe for daily use from birth on.

Unlike some brands that are safe for older children, this can be used immediately from birth. For parents with infants, this could be a great option from the very beginning. It is also ideal for a baby’s face, whereas other lotions and creams may only be for other parents of the body. 

Another selling point is the use of natural ingredients such as Sunflower Oil and Avocado. Natural products have a lesser likelihood of triggering outbreaks than something synthetic. Overall, a very solid option for parents.

For Bathing

Frequent bathing by itself can cause dry skin and irritation. When caring for babies with Eczema, you should pay special attention to the bathing products you use. 

When examining a variety of baby shampoos, there were 3 brands that stood out. Each has special features that help your baby maintain moisturized skin even after bathing. 

Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo

This is a great 2 in 1 product. Cetaphil serves as both a baby wash and shampoo that fights dry skin. Some of the main features of Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo include:

  • This tear free formula blends into a rich, lathering wash and shampoo that gently cleans your baby’s delicate skin and hair without drying.
  • Formulated with organic calendula: Our gentle wash & shampoo rinses clean, leaving a soft, fresh scent
  • Dermatologist Recommended Brand.

This product has unique traits that make it stand out from other brands. When bathing a restless baby, soap and water in the eyes is always a possibility. Having a tear free product ensures that your baby will be safe from eye irritation. 

It also uses organic ingredients that lower the risk of further outbreaks. Lastly, dermatologists who specialize in skin care recommend this product. Parents looking for an all in one product should consider Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo.

CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo

CeraVe is a highly sought after brand in this space. The best part is that it is an all in one solution. Here are some other features:

  • Tear-free.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Non-irritating, even for sensitive skin.

This brand pays special attention to the needs of babies. It offers a tear free solution that does not irritate the skin. When dealing with Eczema, you want a product that pays special attention to sensitive users. 

Finally, this product is fragrance free. Oftentimes, the fragrances come with artificial scents that tend to irritate the skin (which is why CeraVe left it out). This is another awesome solution for babies with Eczema.

Ever Eden Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

The Ever Eden brand has a 2 in 1 shampoo and body wash that is great for dry skin. As you evaluate potential bathing options, these are some features to consider:

  • Very gentle and non irritating for babies with extremely dry and eczema-prone skin.
  • Avoids the use of ingredients that increase allergy exposure.
  • Recommended by the National Eczema Association. 

Like other washes and shampoos reviewed, this is specifically geared towards babies with dry skin and Eczema. Having a gentle, not irritating solution makes bath time more enjoyable and helps maintain moisture after bathing.

Another exciting feature is that it avoids using ingredients that increase allergy exposure. Using natural, plant based ingredients is the safest bet with irritable skin. The final selling point is that the National Eczema Association recognizes this brand with their Seal of Approval. This is a strong endorsement that parents should pay attention to.

Other Products 

When most people think of dry skin, they tend to think of products that you directly apply to the body. Knowing which body washes and moisturizers to use is a great start. On top of this, there are a variety of elements that contribute to dry skin prevention.

To take this a step further, you need to think outside the box. Treat baby Eczema using these great products.

Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can actually have an impact on a baby’s skin. Be sure to consider these exciting features:

  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Amazing Tide clean from America’s #1 detergent based on sales.
  • Deeper clean that is gentle on skin* (*vs. leading national competitor Free detergent).

The biggest takeaway from Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent is that it is gentle on skin. For babies with Eczema, this can have a huge difference.

Mustela Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas 

This is the second time that Mustela is mentioned in this article for Eczema related products. Here are some reasons this is worth considering:

  • Deliver replenishing moisture to the skin.
  • Reduce the desire to scratch.
  • Contribute to better sleep for the baby and you!

When a baby has Eczema, maintaining skin moisture can be difficult. Clothes that reduce itching and maintain moisture serve babies with Eczema better than other options. Also includes natural ingredients.

Burt’s Bees Baby Fitted Crib Sheet

Another overlooked item that can help reduce Eczema outbreaks is Burt’s Bees Baby Fitted Crib Sheet. Since baby’s spend most of their time in bed, it makes sense to consider the following:

  • It’s best for a baby’s delicate skin.
  • It lasts wash after wash.
  • 100% organic, GOTS certified, breathable cotton.

There are many great qualities found within this crib sheet. Having a texture that does not irritate the skin is essential. With organic, breathable cotton, your baby will have less issues with irritation.

Key Takeaways for Parents

Dealing with baby Eczema can be challenging. Take advantage of exciting products that help combat dry skin and limit Eczema flare-ups.


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.