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If your child has eczema it is fine to give them a dunk in the bath every day, as long as you apply lots of moisturizing emollient cream to their skin afterwards.
US researchers stated this while some experts have said infrequent washing might be better because too much washing can dry out the skin.
To try to settle the debate, allergy doctors in Maine looked at the available medical evidence.
They said while it is best to avoid too much soap, a daily soak is fine.
UK experts agree, although they point out that there hasn’t been a great deal of research in this area and more studies would be helpful.
A proviso to the advice is to ‘smear’ after you’ve gently pat dried, meaning slap on plenty of moisturizing lotion after the bath to seal in the moisture.
Bathing can remove surface dirt, irritants and allergens.
But Dr Ivan Cardona says parents should use their own judgement as well. If daily bathing doesn’t appear to help their child’s eczema, or they would rather not do it, they can switch to less frequent baths or showers.
If their child’s condition gets worse they should seek their doctor’s advice.
Amena Warner of Allergy UK said the advice was sensible. But daily baths should only last for a maximum of about 10 minutes so as not to overdo it.
Dr Carsten Flohr, from the British Association of Dermatologists and an expert at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, has been studying the effects of frequent bathing on skin barrier function.
He said daily bathing or washing every other day was fine, but soap, bubble baths and shower gels could irritate the skin and make eczema worse in some people.