My Child has Eczema! Now What?

FamilyBaby Bath & SkinMy Child has Eczema! Now What?
mother putting lotion on a baby after bath

Eczema is a medical skin condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters that can cause itching and bleeding. Children under 5 will most often see eczema flare up on the cheeks, scalp, joints (behind the knees and inner elbows), neck, and hands.

Sometimes, you hear eczema described as atopic dermatitis; these terms are often used interchangeably. This type of eczema is the most common and is often chronic during the regular flare up periods. Another common type of eczema is contact dermatitis. This typically refers to direct contact with irritants. The typical red inflammation occurs burning and itchiness but will go away when the irritant is removed.

Is there a cure?

Unfortunately not, but it usually can be controlled. The good news is that eczema isn’t contagious and usually subsides with age.

How common is it?

About 1 in every 10 children will develop eczema, although the upside is that more than half will not have it by the time they become teenagers.

What causes it?

Nobody knows for sure. The most common reasons are allergies and heredity. A recent study conducted by Penn researcher Elizabeth Grice, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, suggested that eczema can be triggered by an imbalance between the ecosystem of the skin and immune system. Other eczema triggers are changes in temperature and emotional stress.

What does it look like?

Raised, scaly rashes that can ooze and become very itchy. If you scratch, the rash will become worse and turn into thickened brownish areas on the skin.

What’s the best treatment?

The most common way of treating eczema is with drugs that suppress the immune system and control inflammation (corticosteroids creams also referred to as steroid or cortisone cream). But some parents are worried about going this route, especially for their young children, and prefer trying a more natural solution before resorting to this option.

A good pure balm is often suggested as the first line of defense to treat eczema and is considered essential to a good skin care routine for preventing dry, itchy skin. The upside is that unlike steroid creams, many emollients can be used as often as you like and are effective at reducing redness, inflammation, itchiness and at controlling flare-ups, while giving skin a chance to heal.

With Shoosha Baby Organic Healing Balm, there is no required maximum usage or age restriction. It’s food grade USDA Certified Organic and approved by Health Canada as safe. It contains organic colloidal oatmeal and pure botanical essences made from the leaves of 8 gentle plant petals layered with other calming nourishing oils and butter.

The adult version of the Organic Healing Balm contains essential oils, more appropriate for adults, with the same rich goodness of pure botanical essences and plant extracts.

In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend a steroid cream for a short burst of time. In these cases, it can still be beneficial to the healing process to apply a pure healing balm to be absorbed first to start the healing process, with the steroid applied on top. It’s so important to keep the inflamed area moisturized at all times to help minimize and reduce your little one’s skin from the redness, hot dryness, itchiness caused by eczema.

Is there anything else to keep in mind?

It’s always a good idea to avoid skin care products with any harsh synthetic chemicals that could damage good bacteria on the skin. Sincebabies have thinner, more porous, and far more vulnerable skin than adults, the case for a pure organic product is even more pronounced.

All people with eczema should use moisturizers every day. In addition to the Organic Healing Balm, we recommend using Organic Sensitive Skin Baby Wash and Shampoo and layer the whole body with Organic Sensitive Skin Face & Body lotion in either Unscented or Lavender (useful for soothing upset babies). These products are all USDA Certified and made with the gentlest ingredients possible for your little one’s eczema prone skin.

It’s also recommended to replenish beneficial microbes in the body. Beneficial bacteria and yeast communicate with the immune system of the body and work together to thrive, soothe inflammation, seal a leaky gut and balance the immune system. These beneficial bacteria can be found in fermented foods and probiotic products.

In the case where the culprit is contact dermatitis, removing exposure to wool, house dust, and pet dander are recommended along with switching to a pure gentle laundry soap.

Headshot of Patricia Di Gasbarro

Written by Patricia Di Gasbarro, Founder of Shoosha Truly Organic

Patricia Di Gasbarro is the founder of Shoosha Truly Organic. Patricia created Shoosha in response to a study published by the Environmental Protection Agency that concluded babies can accumulate up to 50% of their lifetime cancer risk by the age of 2 as a result of exposure to environmental toxins. As babies absorb up to 60% of what is put on their skin and cannot detoxify like adults, Patricia set out to create a high-quality food grade organic skin care line parents could trust and love.

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