For most parents, evening bathtime is part of their baby’s daily routine. However, it seems daily baths could be increasing a baby’s risk of developing eczema.
According to the National Eczema Society, the higher levels of water used in baths today could be linked to the increased number of babies suffering from eczema as too much water and many bubble baths dry out skin.
In the 1940s, only 4% of babies were diagnosed with eczema in comparison to 25% of babies in 2010. There was a 41% increase between 2001 and 2005 alone. Margaret Cox, from the National Eczema Society, believes that daily bathing is the reason.
“People don’t realise bathing in just simple water can dry out the skin and I don’t think many people appreciate how damaging soap can be,” said Margaret, reports the Daily Mail.
“We should take bathing back to cleaning rather than seeing it as some great experience, as I don’t think we are doing our skin any good. Very small babies do not get very dirty other than around their mouths and in the nappy area, so top and tailing with a cloth and warm water every day plus a couple of baths a week should be adequate. Older children should be bathed when they are dirty.”
Skin experts believe that daily bathing removes essential oils from the skin’s surface, causing it to become dry and exposing babies skin to the risk of allergy and developing eczema.
If your baby suffers from eczema, take a look at MFM’s guide to everything you need to know about eczema, from why it happens to how to treat it.