Eczema is also know as dermatitis (meaning inflammation of the skin), or atopic dermatitis (AD). Atopic means allergic. Often eczema that develops before 6 months may be the first manifestation of allergy. 75% of atopic eczema cases start before the age of 6 months, 90% before 5 years. In babies, first symptoms are usually itchy, weepy, facial lesions that can spread in patches anywhere on the body.
Infants with eczema often have a history of nappy rash. In children, the most common areas of involvement are the elbow and knee flexures, but also wrists and ankles.
Eczema is often the first sign of allergy, and many children with early eczema may develop allergic rhinitis (hayfever), asthma or food allergies.
Eczema is 'an itch that rashes'. Dermatitis is 'a rash that itches'.
What causes Eczema?
There is usually a family history of eczema or food allergies and or asthma. The immune system response is unable to cope with environmental allergens and food sensitivities resulting in inflammation to the skin.
There is a controversial concept that vaccination may promote the development of atopic disease such as eczema. A random sample of 9,744 children was followed from birth to 3 to 15 years. The main finding was a significant increase in eczema in children after the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureaus is also a feature of eczema. Studies show that more than 90% are affected by the bacteria. Most people will carry staph bacteria in their noses without getting sick, but when the skin is punctured or broken (via itching or inflammation to the skin) staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause infections. Staph can spread through the air, on contaminated surfaces, and from person to person, from one area of the body to another on dirty hands and under dirty fingernails - so hand washing is the most important way to prevent staph infections.
Food allergies and intolerances account for much of the increase in eczema. Babies can be affected through their mother's breast milk.
Weak gut health - It is important to promote good gut health through the use of fibre, low-sugar diets and beneficial gut bacteria. It is essential for good gut immunity for beneficial bacteria to be replaced following antibiotic use. Studies also confirm that children born by caesarian need intensive gut support as they do not have the benefit of normal bacterial colonisation via vaginal birth.
How to treat eczema
Allergenics - Allergy Testing Service - It is essential to get to the bottom of food triggers with eczema. A hair test from Allergenics is the easiest way to be sure that all the reactive foods are identified. Breastfed babies are affected by food the mother eats via her milk.
Flaxseed Oil or Cod Liver Oil - The Omega-3 fatty acids present in both flax and fish oils help to reduce the inflammatory/allergic response.
Probiotics - Clinical trials show that when the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is taken by mothers during pregnancy and when breastfeeding it may: reduce the incidence of children developing eczema, reduce itching and sleeplessness, reduce the incidence of children with atopic conditions including allergic rhinitis and food allergy.
QDerma Cream - for topical application to reduce itching, for skin healing and to reduce redness and scarring.
QDerma Drops - These great tasting drops help to reduce allergy and irritation.
Take a look at any washing detergents you use, change to a natural range that contains no harsh products.
Use an oat bath to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
How to make an oat bath
Wrap 1/2 cup of (organic) rolled oats in a piece of muslin cloth tied together with string. You can add some dried lavender or lavender essential oil to the oats.
Wrap the bundle around the tap and let the warm water run through while filling the bath.
The bath water will become milky in colour.
Soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes. Repeat daily but always use a new batch of oats each time.