Facial Eczema

Facial Eczema

Elizabeth Scott

Face eczema can be hard to manage and since the face is the most visible part of you, it can cause feelings of shame or stress for you or your child. There are some ways to make it more manageable and find some relief.

One of the worst places my son would get eczema was on his face, his cheeks specifically. My beautiful baby had scabby, red, rashy cheeks all the time, and it made him miserable. He scratched at his cheeks day and night and was not indiscriminate about what to use to scratch! His little nails were his favorite so I covered them in socks. But he also used the sheets on his bed, and my shoulder when I was holding him. It seemed nothing I did helped to relieve the red, itchy patches.

My son is much older now and recently started to get some eczema under his eyes. So, I was excited to attend a one-day National Eczema Association forum at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado, called Leaders in Eczema. We discuss this forum more in a separate blog.

Breakout sessions at the end of the day covered specific topics such as “Hands on Skin Care” by the staff at National Jewish. The nurses who do the wonderful healing work at National Jewish showed attendees how to properly cleanse, moisturize, and wet wrap. They showed us how to do a full gauze wet wrap for face eczema. For the face, they started with damp skin and applied emollient, then a roll of damp gauze was wrapped around the head and face. Leaving space for the eye, nose, and mouth of course so you can breathe! It was kept in place with a cap made from gauzy material. Yes, the nurse who volunteered to have her face wrapped looked like a mummy, but it works. This is how they treat very severe cases of atopic dermatitis at National Jewish. If you would like to try wet wrapping your face or your child’s face, please discuss with your physician as this blog is not meant to be instruction.

As my son only has some small spots that aren't too bad yet, I won’t need to do a full face wrap, but I do think I will use the “Soak and Seal” technique perfected at National Jewish. When he was little, I was instructed by his physician to use an over the counter low dose steroid cream on his face. The one prescribed for his body was too strong and could cause thinning of his skin. It worked for a while, but his cheeks always flared up again. I tried every cream out there. So now that he’s older, I plan to cleanse his face gently and then on damp skin apply a bit of emollient to the dry patches on his nose and under his eyes.

Here are some tips for sealing in moisture:

  • It’s best to moisturize damp skin. After gentle cleansing, make sure to apply your favorite alcohol-free moisturizer or emollient.
  • If your baby has eczema, letting cheeks air dry can cause them to become irritated. If you clean their face after eating, applying a little emollient after cleansing can help reduce dryness.
  • Holding a damp, cool wash cloth to cheeks can be soothing. Again, it’s important to moisturize after to hold in moisture.

This information is not meant to replace a visit to a physician or a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any condition.