Babies with eczema
The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed lesions.
Atopic eczema is most common in infantile and is an allergic disease believed to have a hereditary component and often runs in families whose members also have asthma. Itchy rash is particularly noticeable on head and scalp, neck, inside of elbows, behind knees, and buttocks.
Diagnosis of eczema is based mostly on history and physical examination. However, in uncertain cases, skin biopsy may be useful.
There is no known cure for eczema; therefore, treatments aim to control the symptoms by reducing inflammation and relieving itching.
Dermatitis is often treated with corticosteroids. They do not cure eczema, but are highly effective in controlling or suppressing symptoms in most cases. For mild-moderate eczema a weak steroid may be used, whilst more severe cases require a higher-potency steroid. Generally medical practitioners will prescribe the less potent ones first before trying the more potent ones. In many countries, weak steroids can be purchased 'over the counter' (e.g., hydrocortisone), while the more potent ones require a prescription.
Avoiding Dry Skin
Moisturising is one of the most important self-care treatments for sufferers of eczema. Keeping the affected area moistened can promote skin healing and relief of symptoms. Soaps and harsh detergents should not be used on affected skin because they can strip natural skin oils and lead to excessive dryness. Another option is to try bathing using colloidal oatmeal bath treatments. In addition to avoiding soap, other products that may dry the skin such as powders or perfume should also be avoided.
Dermatological recommendations in choosing a soap generally include:
-Avoid harsh detergents or drying soaps
-Choose a soap that has an oil or fat base
-Use an unscented soap
-Patch test your soap choice, by using it only on a small area until you are sure of its results
-Use a non-soap based cleanser
Massage can relieve symptoms for eczema patients. Since massage significantly increases circulation to tissues, the lesions and cracks in the skin can heal at a faster rate. Additionally, symptoms can be relieved with paraffin therapy as it can be applied to effected areas. Paraffin can be especially therapeutic for hand or foot eczema, but can be applied to other affected areas. Hot Stone massage is possibly the best massage treatment for those with eczema as the stones can be placed to increase circulation in specific areas. Massage is locally contraindicated in an acute stage of eczema due to the contact with bodily fluids.
Babyjo Bamboo Wear have embarked upon a series of non clinical trials on "little people" with varying degrees of infantile eczema. You can view these fantastic results here & here (in PDF format) and we welcome your comments or queries on any of this material.
The first trial completed involves 4 month old "Clancy" and has been conducted over a 4 week period. Each day has been documented, with parental observations and supporting photography. 2 weeks were carried out using the child's regular clothing, with the following 2 weeks using only Babyjo bamboo garments and blankets. You can view our full range of babyjo blankets here and garments here.
Diet and nutrition
Recent studies provide hints that food allergy may trigger atopic dermatitis. For these people, identifying the allergens could lead to an avoidance diet to help minimize symptoms, although this approach is still in an experimental stage. Dietary elements that have been reported to trigger eczema include dairy products, coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), soybean products, eggs, nuts, wheat and maize (sweet corn), though food allergies may vary from person to person.
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