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Treating children with eczema

This resource is set of instructions for how to treat your child’s eczema. It is important to follow these instructions and have a routine to help your child’s skin and relive their symptoms.

Bathing your child

Add a capful of oil to the running water while filling the bath. Your child needs a long soak in a warm bath every night.

Use a soap substitute and shampoo as recommended by the hospital so it does not irritate their skin.

Illustration of child in the bath with parent helping them to bathe

Use a fresh, clean towel and pat your child dry. Never rub them with a towel.

Illustration of parent towel drying child after a bath

Steroid cream

Steroid creams and ointments are measured in adult fingertip units (FTU).

Illustration of person squeezing out cream from a bottle onto their fingerIllustration of parent applying cream onto their child's skin after a bath

Different amounts are needed depending on the part of your child’s body affected and the age of your child.

Apply the steroid cream carefully where needed.


After applying the steroid cream you need to wait half an hour before applying moisturiser.

Illustration of person pumping some moisturiser cream onto their handIllustration of parent rubbing in moisturiser cream onto their child's skin after a bath

Use lots of moisturiser all over your child’s body.

Apply the cream with long downward strokes. Never rub as this can start the itch-scratch cycle.

Wet wrap your child

Wet wraps are simply 2 cotton suits, vests or leggings or tights after moisturising at night. 1 layer is applied wet, next to your child’s skin. The other dry 1 is put on top.

Illustration of parent dressing their child

Your specialist nurse will show you how to do this.

Paste bandaging

Paste bandaging needs to be done carefully.

As you wrap from the ankle to the knee, with every turn, the bandage should be folded back on itself to form a pleat. This stops the bandage becoming too tight.

Illustration of parent wrapping their child's foot and ankle in a bandage

Your dermatology specialist nurse will show you what to do.

It is hard work looking after a child with eczema, but with your help the condition can be kept under control and the irritation of scratching relieved.

Recommendations for your child

What moisturisers should I use?

What bath oils should I use?

What can I use to wash with instead of soap?

Which shampoo should I use?

Which steroid cream or ointment should I use on their face?

Which steroid cream or ointment should I use on their body?

How much steroid cream or ointment should I use on their face?

How much steroid cream or ointment should I use on their body?

Do they need any antibiotic creams?

Do they need wet wraps?

Do they need paste bandaging?

What if I run out of creams?

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Dermatology team on 0114 226 7850, or the Dermatology secretary on 0114 226 7870.

National Eczema Society
For information and advice on how to control eczema, triggers, and how to look after your skin.
Helpline: 0870 241 3604

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: DM6

Resource Type: Article

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