21 Jul Children’s Eczema
Children’s eczema is chronic, superficial inflammation of the skin that is often seen in children with a family history of children’s allergic rhinitis (hayfever), children’s asthma or children’s dermatitis. Seventy percent of children’s eczema starts under 5 years of age and approximately 50% of infants who suffer from children’s eczema will continue to have one or more symptoms into adulthood. Children’s eczema can be very stressful where significant lifestyle changes are required, such as missing out on fun activities like going for a swim or playing sports.
Common Triggers for Children’s Eczema
With children’s eczema, your child’s immune system is highly sensitive and over-reactive to even the slightest environmental or dietary exposures. These may include food intolerances or food allergies, pollens, animal dander or skin changes such as those in exercise-induced dermatitis. In response to these triggers, inflammatory signals are sent to the surface of your skin, causing an itchy, inflamed red patch.
When your child scratches their skin, this causes the skin to break down the skin barrier (the outer layer of your skin) and allowing germs and allergens to get inside; this triggers even more inflammation and itching, and sets up a vicious, ‘itch-scratch’ cycle.
Signs & Symptoms of Children’s Eczema include:
- Itching and/or oozing and crusting of lesions.
- Blistering of skin, particularly on the hands and feet.
- Skin can become wet and weepy if gets infected.
- Dry, red inflamed skin lesions that appear on face, neck trunk and particularly flexures of elbows and knees.
Dietary & Lifestyle Advice to treat Children’s eczema
Here is a list of my top recommendations to assist in the management of children’s eczema.
- Reduce inflammatory foods that may be trigger a reaction on your child’s skin. These include processed and packaged food, sugar, red meat and dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream, ice-cream etc).
- Avoid using soaps, detergents and perfumed moisturisers on the skin. These may cause an allergic reaction. If your child’s skin is dry, apply organic coconut oil or organic olive oil to their skin after a warm bath.
- Fill out my Food and Symptom Diary, (free copy in Resource section) to determine if a particular food is triggering the reaction.
- Increase your child’s intake of fresh fruit and vegetables to support their gut health.
- Supplement your child’s diet with essential fatty acids (fish oil) or algae oil, nuts and seeds. These have important anti inflammatory benefits to support skin health.
- Give your child daily probiotics to help dial back their immune response to triggers.
FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH | MELBOURNE NATUROPATH
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