Eczema is the name given to a group of conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. It is all too common in children with some 20% being affected. All the toxic chemicals and other environmental issues are mostly why this figure is set to rise worldwide (particularly in industrialized countries) causing itchiness, pain and other discomfort so that our young children's quality of life is affected.
Baby eczema treatment
Baby eczema is a condition that is chronic and needs to be managed carefully because it can flare up regularly, being careful about what is applied to baby skin while remembering that the skin is the largest organ and everything gets absorbed firstly into the skin and then into the blood stream.
Try to think how you can treat baby eczema in a more natural way
- A change of diet from one that is full of processed, convenience foods, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial additives and colorings to a natural whole foods one (organic where possible) is the first important step to take. We know that this cannot be achieved overnight and if a child has already developed less then healthy tastes. At the same time, and even more difficult, is to change your child’s diet to a gluten-free one. This could be the ultimate solution.
- Milk and other dairy products can irritate the immune system in many children so think about changing to non dairy such as coconut oil in place of butter and almond or rice milk instead of regular milk. Do not use soy milk with its estrogen because this can itself cause skin problems. The virgin coconut oil mentioned is also helpful to nourish and moisturize dry eczema skin as well as to consume with its high fatty acids and high lauric acid content.
- Provide breast milk for as long as possible for your baby but, in between, drinking water from a safe, filtered source with no fluoride will help to keep the skin hydrated and the immune system strong.
- Additional supplementing with zinc, B complex and fish oils can help your child’s dry, itchy skin from the inside out.
- We are always harping on the importance of vitamin D but research has proven that the lower the vitamin D level, the worse the eczema. If your child has eczema, start giving him vitamin D3, about 1,000 IU for every 25 pounds of body weight in line with the recommendations by the Vitamin D Council.
- Environmental issues can play a huge role in worsening eczema symptoms. These can be ones that you have no control over such as extremes of weather – heat, dryness, cold, wind – or it can be toxins in the home such as cleaning products, artificial fragrances and many more. Fabrics such as wool (even though this is a natural product) or synthetic items can cause aggravation too. Apart from wool, work on changing to an all natural home.
- Keeping your young child's skin moisturized can be an ongoing battle but there are two bathing routines which work well for children. The first is to use warm water that has been slightly infused with bentonite clay. For the second, add 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal (such as Aveeno) to the bath tub lukewarm water, and even use oatmeal as a soap substitute by wrapping some colloidal oatmeal in a handkerchief before placing a rubber band around the top, wetting it, wringing it out and using as you would a normal washcloth. After any bathing, just pat the skin dry without any rubbing and add a natural lotion while the skin is still damp to conserve the moisture.
- Here is just such a natural lotion which you can make at home. You will need ½ cup distilled water; ½ cup oil (almond, grapeseed or olive oil); 1 tablespoon lecithin; 6 to 8 drops geranium oil plus some Vitamin E oil (as this is a good antioxidant). Mix all these ingredients in a blender to form a thick creamy lotion which can be diluted with a little water if necessary. Store in a container ready for daily use.
- Essential oils are a very natural way to moisturize and treat a young skin and H-Eczema is such an essential oils formula that is safe, gentle and successful to use for children of all ages.
Because any skin rejuvenation goes through a 28 day cycle, it may well take a few weeks to effect a noticeable improvement in your child’s skin. But don't become disheartened – especially if the condition gets worse first because of the elimination of toxins. Perseverance is key.
Why is baby eczema occurring?
The skin of a child with eczema
reacts abnormally to irritants, foods, dust, mites, pollen and other allergens. It also becomes vulnerable to bacterial infections. The skin of babies and young children is extra sensitive and therefore any treatment involving over the counter or prescription medications – ointments and creams, topical steroids and antibiotics – should be avoided because as well as being toxic, they come with their own set of unwanted side effects. This epidemic of eczema in general, and in babies in particular, may be as a result of our all too recent obsessive concern with keeping ourselves and our homes free of germs. The media and advertising have made us feel guilty about any possible presence of germs so all those household and personal cleaning agents filled with chemicals and toxins are adding to the toxic load. In addition, there is the “hygiene hypothesis” which says that by protecting children from exposure to dirt and germs, and by preventing disease from taking its full course in childhood, we are actually destroying the immune system’s ability to respond appropriately to infection and other stimuli. There is a thin line we have to walk between on (a) sensible hygiene and (b) obsessive measures toward cleanliness, killing germs and suppressing illness.
Now and in the future
We know that having a young child with eczema can take a lot of dedication, time and effort to minimize the discomfort but by the age of 3 years, the number of children with baby eczema is halved while the majority of children will completely outgrow eczema by the time they reach their teen years.