Eczema is a skin disorder most commonly found on baby’s face, scalp, behind the ears, creases of the elbows, knees, and groin where a child suffers from intense, irritating, dry itchy skin. According to a study published in the, peer reviewed, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine by Dr. Colin R. Simpson and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham, cases of eczema have risen more than 40 % in children since 2001. Dr. Simpson doesn’t believe the rise in cases of eczema is due to a genetic predisposition because the dramatic increase is within such a short period of time. There are a number of possible explanations, but not one definitive cause. Some may argue there is just a greater diagnosis of the disease but others suggest that it is primarily due to environmental factors such as increased levels of pollution, or that our children are becoming immune compromised through vaccines, our diets and city lifestyles. What they do know however is that eczema manifests itself from the allergic response and sensitivities linked to certain foods, dust, and pollen or things that come in contact with our child‘s skin, like chlorine in tap water, soaps, bubble bath, and laundry detergents. So what are the choices. Are there safe eczema remedies for babies to help their ease their symptoms naturally?
Of course with the rise in diagnosis of eczema there is also an urgency of pharmaceuticals to come up with treatments for the symptoms. Presently the most common treatment for the itchy rash is topical steroids. As with any prescription drug though, it comes with the risk of side effects. Anything put on your child’s skin is absorbed right into their bloodstream. Overuse of steroids can affect certain hormone levels and in some cases cause reduced growth rate. A little tougher road but a healthier alternative for your child would be to find the root cause of the problem. Avoiding certain allergic triggers would be the best treatment. However, identifying and preventing the triggers can be a very complicated process.
The first and easiest step is to eliminate possible skin irritants. Avoid all synthetic material. Organic cotton clothing and bed sheets are best. Using laundry detergents that are unscented and environmentally friendly, wash new clothes and bed linens to remove any chemicals from the manufacturing process. Double rinsing helps as well. Be very selective on the lotions you use on baby’s delicate skin. Remember, anything you put on them is absorbed right into their bloodstream. There are some great natural soothing lotions that help relieve itching. Chlorine, body soaps and bubble bath can also trigger eczema. Total house water filtration systems can remove the irritation causing chemical chlorine but this can be pretty pricey.
Determining if it’s a food allergy can be a little more work. Luckily there are 6 common foods that make up 90% of food allergies: wheat, eggs, soy, milk, peanuts and fish. Whether you are breastfeeding or treating a child with eczema removing these common allergy foods is a great start. Below are some natural eczema remedies for babies to help ease their symptoms while you’re playing detective to figure out the culprit:
Fish and Flaxseed oil help heal and reduce dryness and inflammation.
Vitamin C and E promote healing.
Selenium helps the body use vitamin E effectively and supports immune function.
Carotenoids are natural plant compounds that promote healing.
Evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.
Calendula ointment promotes healing and prevents infection of the skin.
Luo’s mixture is a Chinese herbal formula used on severe eczema when affected areas are resistant to other treatments (consult a qualified herbalist).
Graphites are used when eczema is most likely to be on palms, behind ears, or scalp with clear yellow discharge.
Psorinum is used when chronic eczema causes people to scratch until they bleed.
Rhus toxicodendron is used when child has red, itchy areas in folds of joints often with
Sulphur is used when skin is red, dry, rough, and itchy. The skin may be aggravated by bathing and heat.
Mezereum is used when eczema is infected and oozing.
While finding the source of your child’s eczema, a perfect reference to more treatments both naturally and conventionally can be found in this great reference handbook “Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child 2nd Edition” written by Janet Zand, ND L. Ac., Robert Rountree, MD and Rachel Walton, MSN, CRNP
The good news is most babies will outgrow their eczema having only minor problems with dry skin and occasional rashes. Most will grow up with very little inconvenience from this condition.
Of course , as with any treatment of a chronic condition, always consult a trained physician in the field.
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