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child have asthma eczema hayfever

What is the risk of my eczema child developing asthma and hay fever?

Eczema is commonly associated with hay fever, food allergies and asthma. Children who have eczema are more likely to suffer from asthma and hay fever because they are all connected in a group of diseases called the Atopic Triad . This refers to the genetic chance of your child having other conditions as well as eczema. Generally eczema is the condition diagnosed first as part of the atopic triad, then hay fever and asthma.

What is the link between eczema and asthma?

According to research, around 50-70% of children with eczema eventually develop asthma and both are associated with allergies and hay fever. Inflammation occurs in both and with asthma the inflammation happens in the lungs, and eczema on the skin. Researchers have discovered the gene that produces a protein that stops the skin becoming dry (filaggrin) isn’t effective in children who have eczema. Lack of filaggrin may also lead to foreign bodies entering your child’s lungs and result in asthma.

We do not know the exact cause of either of these conditions but we know that genetics play a part, so if you have a history of allergies, hay fever and asthma, there is a greater chance for your little one to develop eczema.

Studies also showed that:

  • Up to 80% of kids with eczema get hay fever or asthma later in childhood.
  • Approximately 35% of adults with asthma have had eczema when they were kids
  • Around 37% of kids with moderate to severe eczema, also have food allergies.

What is the link between eczema and hayfever?

Recent research suggests that a lack of filaggrin also increases the chance of experiencing hay fever. Children with eczema may have a defect in their skin barrier and these small gaps make the skin dry out quickly, allowing germs and allergens to enter the body, resulting in inflammation. If this inflammation reaches the lining of your child’s nose, it will cause a runny nose, resulting in hay fever. Histamine is also released as a result of pathogens entering the body, causing a stuffy nose, sneezing and increasing the risk of hay fever.

Another important reason to manage your child’s eczema

It is important to always remember to stick to your little one’s regular skincare routine because it provides a protective barrier from allergens and keeps moisture from escaping. This helps to lessen the risk of irritants entering the air passages of the lungs, which can result in asthma or hay fever.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

 

how to help our children's eczema in summer

How do I manage my children’s eczema better in Summer?

Our children’s eczema is easily affected by changes in weather. We often think winter is the toughest time of the year for eczema skin because of the dry air, cold temperatures and low humidity, making the skin more susceptible to eczema flare ups. However, summer also plays a role in our children’s eczema, triggering flare ups and severe itching. What changes can we make to better manage our children’s eczema in Summer? 

How does Summer affect our children’s eczema?

During warm weather, your child will sweat more to try and regulate their body temperature, causing water loss from your child’s body and drying out their skin.  This can break down the skin’s natural barrier, making it harder to keep bacteria and irritants away from the body and increase the risk of infection.

Sweat contains trace amounts of chemicals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron, which may be irritating to the skin. Heat also stimulates the itch reflex, making your child itchier than normal, so it is important to make sure your child is kept in a cool environment and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

To add to the impact of warm weather and eczema, children with eczema have more difficulty regulating heat and allowing it to escape from the surface of the skin. This means that their skin is warmer than others, and warm, hot skin is itchy skin.

How we can help our children’s eczema Summer

  • Drink plenty of water

It is important to make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to help keep the body’s core temperature from rising. Also, try to avoid the hottest part of the day to minimise flare ups and have better control of your child’s body temperature. Ice blocks are also a great way to cool down and hydrate your child.

  • Eczema Friendly diet

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition and histamine is released into the body as part of an allergic reaction. A diet rich in foods which have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties can help to reduce eczema flare ups. These foods include broccoli, apples, cherries, spinach and kale. Fatty fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is also a strong anti-inflammatory. It is important to give your child foods with a high-water content such as cucumbers, apples, celery, carrots and pears to help keep their body hydrated.

  • Moisturise daily

Be sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times because the moisturiser will act as a barrier on the skin to keep away from unwanted bacteria and prevent infection.  The best time to moisturise is within two minutes of taking your little one out of the water while the skin is still damp as this is the optimum time for absorbing moisture into the skin.

  • Eczema and swimming

Although chlorine from swimming pools can aggravate your child’s eczema, it can also help to reduce the bacteria which causes infection in eczema skin. You can help lessen the irritation from chlorine by applying moisturiser half an hour before swimming as this will provide a barrier on the skin so it it less affected by chlorine. Try your best to avoid warm water in pools (such as baby wading pools and spas) as warm water can increase the chances of flare ups. A lukewarm shower immediately after the pool followed by moisturising will remove chlorine from the skin, minimising contact and aggravation.

  • Regular bathing

Regular bathing in lukewarm water, for about 10 minutes is important in managing eczema because it helps to wash any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface. Make sure to check that the water is not too hot as this can trigger intense itching.

  • Stick to daily eczema skincare routine

The most important part of managing your child’s eczema is sticking to their eczema skin care routine to ensure the skin is nourished and hydrated. There are a range of ointments and creams which can be used to give as much moisture as possible against triggers to manage dry skin. Moisturisers and other skin care products for your child’s eczema can be found in our itchy baby co. shop.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

 

managing eczema with lifestyle

What lifestyle behaviours can help to manage eczema?

Managing eczema can affect every part of our lifestyle from what products we choose to buy to how we spend our time. So, what lifestyle choices can we make to help improve our child’s eczema?  Here are a few lifestyle behaviours to keep your child’s eczema in check:

What is an eczema friendly diet and how does it help eczema?

Foods are not the cause of eczema but certain foods trigger eczema flare ups. Eczema skin can become inflamed from from allergens, which lead to redness, itchiness and irritation, and certain foods can sometimes be an allergen.  Choosing to follow a lifestyle diet rich in foods with anti-inflammatory properties might reduce the severity of eczema flare ups. Some examples are fatty fish which contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid (a strong anti-inflammatory) and foods containing probiotics such as yoghurt and sourdough bread, as these foods can help build a healthy immune system that can fight other eczema lifestyle triggers. Fruits such as strawberries, kiwi fruit and rockmelon contain vitamin C which also helps with strengthening your child’s immune system and reducing the inflammatory response to lifestyle triggers.

What clothing should I choose to dress my child in?

Itching is a big part of having eczema, however there are ways to minimise your little one from scratching to avoid possibility of infection in the broken skin barrier. Dressing your child with cotton clothing helps the skin breathe and not keep air trapped at the surface of the skin, resisting the need to scratch.

Usually hot skin leads to an itchy skin so using cool compresses can help by taking the heat out of the skin. Run a washer under cool water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Place this on your child’s itchy skin for a few minutes and then repeat. This will help to lower the temperature of the skin and make it less itchy.

Regular bath time routine is now part of your lifestyle

Regular bathing in lukewarm water (no more than 10 minutes) helps manage eczema because it washes away any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface and allows a greater opportunity to absorb moisture. It also helps to hydrate eczema skin and minimise itching. During summer, bathing also helps wash away sweat that may contain chemicals such as sodium, potassium and calcium to reduce irritation and to soothe your child’s skin.

Moisturising daily is a lifestyle choice

Make sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times. Moisturisers act as a barrier on the skin to keep away from unwanted bacteria and prevent infection.  The best time to moisturise is within two minutes of taking your little one out of the bath while the skin is still damp – this is when the skin can absorb the most amount of hydration from moisturising. You will also need to moisturise at least twice more during the day. Ointments are the most effective moisturisers to use for eczema because they take a long time to evaporate as there is barely any water in them, locking in moisture and keeping your child’s skin hydrated for a longer period of time. Moisturisers and other skin care products for your child’s eczema can be found in our itchy baby co. shop.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional



 

 

what is the best cream for eczema

Difference between a cream and an ointment for eczema?

Finding a suitable moisturiser, whether it be an ointment or cream, for our child’s eczema isn’t straight forward, especially when we have a range of options, so it is important to understand what works best for our child’s skin and what minimises the severity of flare ups. Regular moisturising is the best way to keep our children’s skin hydrated and allow their skin’s natural barrier to stop hydration escaping and stop irritants getting into the skin. There are specific properties to look out for when choosing a suitable cream or ointment for your child’s eczema.

What is the difference between an ointment and a cream?

Creams are mixtures made up of half water and half oil. This means creams are not greasy to the touch, spread easily and wash off quickly with water. But this also means creams evaporate quickly from the surface of the skin drying the it out at the same time. Creams can also contain stabilisers, which are added to the formula to help the water mix in with the oil,  and can also use more than one type of preservative. These added ingredients can irritate your child’s skin, so it is important to read the label before purchasing the product.

An ointment is mainly made up of oils, there is a lot less, if any water in an ointment. Our itchy baby co. moisturiser, which is an ointment, does not contain any water. Ointments are thicker, stickier and greasier, because they contain a higher concentration of oil than in creams. This means ointments are more effective in hydrating and moisturising the skin than creams, because they very slowly evaporate from the skin’s surface, holding in moisture for a much longer time. This long lasting moisturising effect lessens the need to itch and keeps the skin soft and hydrated.

Tips for choosing a suitable moisturiser for eczema

  • Check to see if water is the main ingredient in your moisturiser. If it is, it may not be effective for eczema skin as it will evaporate quickly which means less time to lock in moisture and hydrate the skin.
  • Eczema isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ situation, because a moisturiser works on one person, it doesn’t mean it will work for every child, so we should keep an eye out for what our child responds to effectively. If you know your child is allergic to a particular ingredient, read the product’s label carefully before purchasing.
  • The first time you use a new moisturiser on your child, apply a small amount to the inside of their elbow. Do not wash the area for about 24 hours and watch out for any unusual allergic reaction such as increased redness, pain, rash or itchiness. If you don’t see any side effects, you may start using the moisturiser regularly on your little one but always keep an eye out for flare ups and stop using if it reacts badly to your child’s eczema.

When is the best time to moisturise eczema skin?

Moisturisers are most effective when applied on damp skin, within two minutes of taking your child out of the bath and gently patting them dry.  This is the best time for the skin to absorb and lock in moisture which of course helps in managing eczema. Moisturise your child’s skin at least twice more during the day.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional


 

do eczema flare ups improve with age?

Do eczema flare ups get better as my child grows older?

All the time, but especially when our child is experiencing an eczema flare up, we desperately hope these flare ups will be a thing of the past, and sooner rather than later. In most cases eczema will not completely go away, however the severity and frequency of  eczema flare ups may improve as they get older. Eczema can be diagnosed at any age but studies show that it is most common in children under five years old.

How is eczema different in babies, compared to older children?

Eczema usually first appears at three months old with flare ups on the face, chin, scalp and forehead in infants. The location of eczema flare ups on the body can change between six to twelve months because this is the time your little one is learning to crawl. The most common flare ups appear on the elbows and knees as it is easier for your child to scratch or rub these areas while they are crawling. It is important to look out for infection from the eczema flare up, which can form a yellow crust or small pus bumps on the skin. Infection is common with eczema because the skin is open from scratching and bacteria can easily invade the skin’s surface.

Around the age of two, you might start to see eczema flare ups on the creases behind the knees and elbows, the wrists, hands and ankles. Sometimes the skin around the mouth is affected and this can sometimes be linked to teething.

At what age do eczema symptoms improve?

There is a very good chance that eczema will improve as your child gets older and eventually grows out of it, however there may be the occasional bout of eczema which we need to be prepared for. There is no exact age at which your child’s eczema will become substantially less severe and manageable but generally many children will have grown out of their eczema by the time they start school. By the time high school starts, most children will only be affected by eczema flare ups very occasionally. It is important to keep in mind that people with a history of eczema are more likely to have dry skin even as an adult, and should maintain a lifestyle to keep their skin moisturised and hydrated at all times.  

What can I do to treat my child’s eczema until it gets better?

Giving your child a daily bath to keep their skin hydrated and clean from irritants is an important part of lessening the number of eczema flare ups. Immediately after the bath apply a moisturiser to help strengthen the skin’s natural barrier which stops hydration escaping the skin and triggers getting in. Maintaining a skincare routine is essential for eczema management.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only and you should always consult your medical professional.