My baby has some trouble sleeping due to his atopic-prone skin. What can I do?

Atopic-prone skin, also called atopic dermatitis, affects one child in five.1, but atopic doesn’t mean atypical. If the signs of this eczema are unpleasant (redness, itching sensations, dryness, etc.), they are not rare, nor contagious to other children, and not irreversible.

Sleep disorders are a symptom of atopic-prone skin. Once atopic eczema has broken out, itching is one of the causes of sleep disorders. How can you help your child sleep better?

Written in partnership with Dr. Clarence De Belilovsky, Dermatologist, Member of the Mustela Circle of Experts

Sleep disorders and atopic eczema

Did you know that 60% of children with atopic dermatitis1 have sleep disorders corresponding to an average sleep debt of 46 minutes of sleep each night!2

Atopic dermatitis flare-ups and redness: simple gestures to help your baby sleep better

When itchiness sets in, the most comforting way to calm your baby is with your hugs and reassuring voice, combined with special baby/child emollient care to prevent or reduce onset.

Emollient care can reduce itchy sensations. Itchiness may be reduced by up to 95% with certain formulas, such as the Stelatopia Emollient Balm or Emollient Cream.3

Applying this care can help calm your child down. You can also use this to give them a little massage to help them fall asleep.

Don’t hesitate to re-apply it, even if you have already moisturized your child’s skin before putting them to bed.


Is there already redness?


Like many problems, the sooner you take care about it, the faster the remedy works and the more effective it is. For this, there’s nothing better than the treatment prescribed by a physician. No matter if it’s just a little irritation or if it’s already “weeping”, these symptoms require special care. You will certainly be prescribed a “topical steroid”, a corticoid-based treatment in ointment or cream form, to be applied directly to the skin.

Its role? To reduce inflammation. Redness, lesions, pruritus, swelling, plaques – let your magic fingers do the trick for it to be soothed and, most importantly, disappear after a couple of days.

There’s just one line of conduct to follow – apply the treatment for as long as recommended by your physician.


Once the treatment has been applied, choose bedclothes in non-irritant materials, like cotton. The new, soothing Stelatopia under-pajamas (create a link) are a perfect addition to your emollient care. They naturally disseminate soothing active ingredients encapsulated in the fibers, helping children with eczema-prone skin to sleep better within 7 days.5


If your child is old enough to understand, you can explain what is happening and reassure them that the itchiness will eventually go away. You could also try telling them a story so that your child will focus on something else and, thus, discomfort is reduced.


Lastly, don’t hesitate to turn the heat down if it’s a bit warm. It is ideal to maintain a temperature of 18C° (65°F) at night to avoid drying out the air. (read Advice for the Home).


Your child should calm down – especially with their relaxing massage, and it will be so much easier for your child to finally get a good night’s sleep!


1 Sleep disturbance in children with moderate/severe atopic dermatitis: A case-control study; Anna B. Fishbein, Kelly Mueller, Lacey Kruse, Peter Boor, Stephen Sheldon, Phyllis Zee and Amy S. Paller

2** Nocturnal Itch: Why Do We Itch At Night?; Acta Derm Venereol 2007; 87 : 295–298. Tejesh Patel, Yozo Ishiuji, and Gil Yosipovitch.

3 . Perceived effectiveness in reducing itching. Self-assessment clinical study under dermatological control,

carried out on 40 infants and children with eczema-prone skin for 21 days

4 Clinical study, examiners’ assessments of 66 baby/child subjects with eczema-prone skin over 28 days.

5  Consumer study in partnership with the Association Française de l’Eczéma, results at 7 days for 22 babies/children.


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