If you’re a parent, you are aware of how difficult it is to prevent your children from scratching an itch. Whether it is a mosquito bite, a bout of hives or an itchy, eczema rash, their little fingers attack that itch without realizing the damage that can cause.
One of the biggest issues that arises from this, is infection. The most common infection is caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Roughly 90% of eczema sufferers are colonized with Staphylococcus aureus on their skin and in their navel cavities. This bacteria can lead to Staph. infections that can become dangerous and rarely even fatal.
Two things to take away from this statistic:
- Keep your kiddo’s fingers out of their noses where Staph. lives in 25% of people.
- Help them not to scratch at their eczema itch. You can be successful in this by using the TrueLipids Skin Barrier Optimizing products to help the skin barrier heal itself.
Childhood eczema is a common condition. About 65% of sufferers begin experiencing symptoms within their first year of life. About 85% of people develop this disorder before the age of five. While there is no known cure, there are ways to manage it.
Here are a few tips to help you prevent your kiddos from scratching:
- No bubble baths! Bubble baths are full of surfactant soaps that remove lipids from the skin barrier and lead to worsening of eczema.
- Use mild cleansers and limit bathing times and frequency.
- Pat your child’s skin dry, do not rub it dry. Rubbing wet skin can worsen eczema.
- Apply cold compresses or ice packs to the area that is affected. This will help to numb that itch.
- Trim your child’s nails. If they do scratch at their rash, this will help to ensure they won’t break the skin and risk infection.
- Read labels and clothe your child in cotton. Avoid more irritating fibers such as wool.
- Be aware of harmful allergens including: sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, fragrances, methylchloroisothiazolinone/MCI/MI, PEGs, beeswax, lanolin alcohol, peanuts, soy, oatmeal (not a good idea in the eczema population where gluten intolerance and wheat allergy is so common), and dyes. For a more detailed list of allergens and skin irritants visit HERE.
- Sedating oral antihistamines can be given before bedtime to alleviate the itching. Check required age before administering doses. Cimetidine has recently been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities for eczema-sufferers. (though it does have a lot of drug interactions so ask you pharmacist).
- Use allergen free detergents and avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets!
The number one way to treat the itch of eczema it to address the dysfunctional skin barrier in eczema by the frequent (at least twice a day) of skin barrier optimizing creams and ointments). It always surprises me to see so many eczema products come out with known allergens and irritants such as oatmeal. Gluten has been linked to worsening the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and celiac disease. I would not recommend giving your child an oatmeal bath or using products that have an oatmeal base.
The best skin care products for dry skin conditions such as eczema, will contain ceramides, cholesterol esters (and NOT cholesterol as there is too much cholesterol in eczema prone skin), and very long chain fatty acids. These essential skin lipids are deficient from eczema prone skin and are needed to optimize the skin barrier and to help the skin to actually repair itself. Be a proactive parent and read labels. I suggest, creating a card or note within your smartphone with a list of known allergens and irritants, so that you can have it handy at the supermarket before purchasing things like soaps, shampoos and other skincare related products. Moisturize your child’s skin at least twice per day and use thick creams and ointments. Do not use lotions. If the eczema is severe, apply more frequently than twice a day.