With the winter in the Northern hemisphere comes the extra dryness, both inside and out, that exacerbates the problems endured by eczema sufferers of all ages.
More about eczema
Eczema is a type of inflammatory skin condition and the symptoms include dryness, itching and reddened skin patches. Worse still, the patches sometimes split and ooze clear fluid. It is important to keep the skin moisturized with a daily skin care regimen particularly in the case of children who can develop this condition at a very young age. Eczema is not contagious even though it can sometimes look unpleasant. While the causes are not fully understood,
scientists believe that eczema may be triggered by urban pollutants and toxins as well as allergies. They also believe that it can be an inherited condition. Now a study at the Northwestern University Feinsberg School of Medicine has discovered powerful relief in the form of diluted bleach baths. Apparently this treatment drastically improved the rash as well as reducing flare-ups of eczema in the children who took part in the study.
Diluted bleach baths for children
The eczema patients, ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years old, were given diluted bleach baths twice a week for 3 months and were asked to soak in these baths for 5 to 10 minutes. The bleach bath was half a cup of simple household bleach to a standard bathtub of water. This ratio is sufficiently diluted to make it virtually odor free. The eczema on the children’s bodies, arms and legs improved dramatically. Where eczema occurred on the face, it did not improve so those children were encouraged to close their eyes and mouths and dunk their faces under the water as well. In addition to the improvement of the eczema itself, there were also good results in the prevention of flare ups. This is certainly a very reasonably priced method which appears to have good results and is definitely worth while for parents to investigate.
Other ways to help a child with an eczema condition
- Whether you try out a diluted bleach bath or a normal warm bath, these should only be 10 minutes in length and use a moisturizing aqueous cream for cleansing your child rather than ordinary soap. The skin should be dried by patting gently followed by…
- Moisturizers or emollients as these are important for adding moisture every day to clean, dry skin. A greasy ointment such as Vaseline (but as this is petroleum based - try to find a natural version) will probably work best. These emollients are great for using after showering and bathing and if living in an air-conditioned or heated home.
- Oral antihistamines – histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of eczema but particularly the itching. Giving your child a natural antihistamine just before bedtime can help to ensure a good night’s sleep. But make sure it is natural and not a chemical-based over-the-counter medication.
- Another natural product such as H-Eczema, if applied topically, will relieve the eczema symptoms and begin the healing process of repairing the skin.
- Dress your child in cotton clothing and use cotton bedding to keep the skin cool and allow it to breathe. If the skin gets hot and sweaty it becomes much more irritated and itchy.
- Keep your child’s nails short and at night time, it is a good idea to put cotton mittens on the hands so that he is less likely to scratch his skin during his sleep
Also remember that eczema symptoms can be made worse by the eating of certain foods. Allergy tests should be able to show if diet is a contributing factor. Perfumes and talc can irritate the skin as well as synthetic or woolen clothing. Reduce the effect of house dust mite as some children are affected by allergens in the droppings of the house dust mite which thrive in warm and moist environments and like to live in bedding, mattresses, curtains and carpets. Emotional stress could also be a factor in making your child’s eczema worse. If you have a child suffering from eczema, try to find out as much as you possibly can about the condition so you are well informed. Make sure you give him or her lots of TLC. Together you can make this condition so much easier to bear.