'Bath daily' advice for eczema children

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 moisturising emollient cream to their skin afterwards, say US researchers.

Some experts have said infrequent washing might be better because too much washing can dry out the skin, according to BBC.

To try to settle the debate, the US team looked at the available medical evidence.

They say while it's 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 moisturising lotion after the bath to seal in the moisture.

Bathing can remove surface dirt, irritants and allergens.

Applying specially-designed moisturiser immediately afterwards keeps the skin soft and moist, which will help avoid problems such as infections and dry, cracked skin, they explain in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Soak and smear

Use lukewarm water - it's more soothing than hot water, which can sting

Avoid harsh soaps. Instead use "sparing" amounts of a pH balanced skin cleanser

Do not scrub the skin clean, wash it gently

Towel dry by gently patting

Apply emollient immediately after this - emollients are not the same as cosmetic moisturisers and are designed to be used for skin conditions, such as eczema.