An unsightly painful looking rash on your babies’ skin can stress most new mums out. Each flare up needing more topical treatment and each follow up costing you a small fortune. Many new mums are now asking about alternate treatments and ways to keep the eczema at bay, hopefully permanently, without the need for continuous medical treatment.
Simply put, eczema causes inflammation of the skin, leaving it dry, swollen, and most often with a terrible itch. Sometimes weeping a clear exudate or in others appears as a red, bumpy rash.
In clinical practice it is noted that many children may grow out of the eczema or may follow on the progress to allergies, sinusitis or asthma. Children often develop eczema if their parents suffer from allergies.
Let’s take a look at the aggravations:
- Food allergens generally trigger infants and toddlers. In these predisposed children, the skin barrier is weakened already and an aggravation or flare up occurs. Topical allergens such as soaps and detergents may have a similar effect on these children.
- Extreme environmental factors, such as dry, intense cold as heat may also aggravate the condition.
- As they get older, stress may also aggravate. This may occur as they enter their older school years.
Prevention is better than cure, so avoid the aggravating factors. However there are other ways to prevent or remedy the aggravation. Here are some easy tips to follow:
• Moisturise regularly after bathing and during the day
• Hypoallergenic replacements for regular soaps and creams. The fragrances, parabens and preservatives may irritate the skin.
• Use emollients or ointments as apposed to creams as they have less preservatives.
• Look out for sodium lauryl sulphate, as an ingredient in your product. This removes the natural protective oils from the skin.
• Take a probiotic daily. These are found to stimulate good immunity and educe the symptoms of eczema. These can be sorted in the second trimester of pregnancy and from birth to babies.
• Try an elimation diet. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and pineapples may aggravate eczema. Gluten is found in wheat based products and is also found as a trigger to eczema.
• Get enough sunlight, however use a good sunblock to protect against sunburn. Sun exposure may assist in the healing process as well as improve Vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels may increase susceptibility to allergies.
• For babies, the use of mittens and trimming of nails short can break the itch, scratch cycles, preventing infections, flare ups and scarring.
• Use simple clothing fabrics such as cotton and linen instead of wool and other similar textures.
Consider the use of alternate medicine in the treatment of eczema. Treating the genetic tendency to eczema will provide long lasting results with supple skin and a happy baby. The earlier on in life that its treated, the quicker the results.
Dr Raeesa Aboobaker
M Tech Hom