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managing eczema and other skin rashes

Differences between eczema and other skin rashes?

Children can be affected by many different skin rashes, whether it is a common rash or a skin condition like eczema. There are also several different types of eczema such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and nummular eczema which can complicate understanding what signs and symptoms to look out for when looking at skin rashes.

Generally children who have eczema often have irritated, itchy and red skin on different parts of the body. Eczema flare-ups can happen anywhere on the body and the most common breakout areas are on the face, the hands and feet, as well as the inside of the elbows and behind the knees. 

While eczema and other skin rashes inflame the skin and have similar symptoms, they are quite different in other ways. Here are some common skin conditions and how they differ from eczema:

Differences between skin rashes: psoriasis and eczema

Both psoriasis and eczema rashes are red, scaly and dry, but there are important differences. Psoriasis can be thick and sometimes covered with white scales and the skin becomes very itchy and scaly. The skin remains dry and eventually flakes off. Psoriasis is generally triggered by infection, skin injury or side effects from medication and is more likely to be on the back of your child’s elbow and the front of the knees. Eczema on the other hand is usually triggered by the environment such as dust, allergens and weather change and can be seen on the inside of the arms and back of the knees.  

Differences between hives and eczema

Hives are pink or red itchy rashes, and look like blotches or raised red lumps on the skin. When hives first start to appear, they can be mistaken for mosquito bites. They can be caused by a number of reasons such as allergic reactions, food and insects, exposure to sunlight as well as viral or bacterial infections, and can appear anywhere on your body. Most cases of hives are known as acute and go away within a few hours, or sometimes a few days or weeks. Hives are generally not due to allergy and they can be effectively treated with a antihistamine.

Differences between cradle cap and eczema

Cradle cap is a skin condition that most commonly affects babies under three months. It is a form of dermatitis which causes the oil glands in the skin to become inflamed. This inflammation causes the thick, yellow crusts. It generally stops after the baby is about three months old because at this age the oil glands become inactive until puberty. If your baby has signs of cradle cap after three months it might be eczema which is affecting the scalp.

Managing your child’s rashes for healthy skin

A healthy skin barrier is important for managing most skin conditions and the best way to keep your child’s skin healthy is by adding moisture to the skin to help prevent dryness and itchiness which can also help to strengthen the skin’s barrier to prevent allergens and irritants inflaming the skin.  Always keep the skin as moisturised as possible by maintaining your child’s regular skin care routine. If your child has a rash and you are unsure what type of rash it is, see your doctor to ensure you have the right management plan.

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 questions for your doctor

Questions to ask your doctor about managing eczema

When we go to the doctors about managing eczema, we usually expect our GP to ask questions about symptoms of our child’s eczema and lifestyle behaviours. However, it is also helpful to know what questions you, as a parent can ask your doctor when your child has eczema. Being proactive and engaging in a conversation with your doctor will help expand your knowledge of this skin condition and assist you in understanding what treatment are available to help you with managing eczema . The health of your child is important to both you and your doctor, so keeping the lines of communication open will allow your doctor to help you and your family develop an appropriate eczema skin care treatment plan and reduce the impact eczema can have on your child and family.

How can I prepare for my child’s visit to the doctor about managing eczema?

It is a good idea to prepare before going in to the doctor’s appointment as it will allow you to get the most out of your visit and leave better equipped to manage your child’s eczema. Researching eczema beforehand can help you understand how eczema can affect your child and give you an idea of what you would like to know from your doctor.

It is also useful to keep a record of your child’s eczema in terms of flare ups, what they have been eating, or whether there have been any lifestyle changes triggering eczema. Sharing this information with your doctor, as well as how you are already managing eczema will help you develop an eczema management plan. Be prepared and download our eczema management resource so you finish your consultation with a documented plan on how to manage your child’s eczema.

What questions should I  ask my child’s doctor about managing eczema?

We should keep in mind whatever triggers our little one’s eczema the most, may be different to someone else with eczema and therefore you might be asking more specific and individual questions depending on your child’s symptoms.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor to help you with managing eczema:

  • What type of eczema does my child have?
  • Does my child also have psoriasis?
  • How severe is my child’s eczema?
  • What should I be looking out for in terms of flare ups?
  • What should I do when a flare up happens?
  • Will my child’s eczema go away?
  • Will my child be assessed for asthma, hayfever?
  • Does diet affect my child’s eczema?
  • Will food and allergy testing help?
  • What should I be doing on a daily basis to help manage my child’s eczema?
  • Are there specialists I should consider seeing, such as a dermatologist?

Managing eczema always involves a daily skincare routine  to ensure the skin is nourished and hydrated.  Step one of our pharmacist developed itchy baby co. skincare routine involves giving your child a daily bath with our bath soak to keep their skin hydrated and clean from irritants. Our colloidal oatmeal bath soaks leave a film on the skin to keep moisture in and stop hydration escaping from the skin’s surface. They have moisturising, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties.

Step two involves rubbing our long lasting moisturiser into your child’s skin immediately after the bath, then at least twice more throughout the day. Our moisturiser melts into the skin, going deep into the skin’s layers to help prevent dryness and have a long lasting effect on the skin’s protective barrier.

Step three pays extra attention to areas of the body which are commonly affected by eczema, such as the face, using our face mask, and the scalp, using our scalp oil. These products can be used on any area of the body which needs more intensive hydration.

Natural, pharmacist products to help you target 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.

 

treatment of peanut allergy and anaphylaxis

Update on treating peanut allergy and peanut anaphylaxis

Peanut allergy and life-threatening anaphylaxis is most common in infants and young children, but can also appear for the first time in adults. A recent Australian study has shown that peanut allergy affects 3% of children under 1 year of age. Peanut exposure may be hard to avoid, where even trace amounts can trigger symptoms. Generally, severity may lessen with age, but there have been around 20% of cases that showed allergies becoming worse with time.

Peanut allergy trials in Australia

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Professor Mimi Tang from the Murdoch Children’s Research institute, has developed a possible treatment for children allergic to peanuts. Participants in the trail were given a probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus with a peanut protein, every day for 18 months. After about a month, results showed that more than 80% of children who received this treatment could tolerate peanuts without allergic reactions. The test was repeated using the same children, 4 years later. Professor Mimi Tang presented results showing that 70% of the children were still able to tolerate peanuts without severe allergy symptoms.

Further safety information is needed for this treatment to be made available, however in this small group these findings showed that treatment is effective for long term tolerance for up to 4 years without serious reactions. It was also shown that more than half of the children were consuming large amounts of food containing peanuts, regularly. 

What is Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic?

The Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic, commonly found in small doses in yoghurt, calms the immune system’s response to allergens it would normally react to, reducing the severity of allergic reactions. This bacterium encourages the immune system to generate a tolerant response rather than an allergic reaction.

Professor Tang and her team reported that larger studies of this treatment were needed to assess long-term safety outcomes and to see whether children can overcome peanut allergies by taking the probiotic alone, or whether the peanut protein is needed.

Monash University & Aravax

Another trial was conducted by a Melbourne-based company called Aravax, testing an immunotherapy product called PVX108 to treat peanut allergy. This product is a result 15 years scientific research led by Professor Robyn O’Hehir and her team at Monash University.

PVX108 uses parts of peanut proteins to switch off allergic reactions to peanuts. The product is said to be relatively safe because the protein fragments do not contain the parts of the peanut proteins that can cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

The double-blinded and placebo controlled clinical trials that commenced in Melbourne in 2017 and will assess the safety of PVX108.

Treatment of Peanut Allergy

Currently there is no treatment for peanut allergy, but researchers continue to perform trials in Australia and the US. In the meantime, management involves taking steps to avoid exposing your child to peanuts and foods which may contain peanuts and traces of peanuts such as certain ice creams, cereals and granola, grain breads, biscuits and pastry.

Make sure you know what to do if a severe reaction occurs. Always keep your child’s EpiPen on hand as it can immediately reduce the severity of an anaphylactic reaction. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist on the correct method of using this device and become familiar with the steps so if an emergency arises, you are prepared. It is also important that at school there is a food allergy management plan and staff are able to use an Epipen in case of emergency.

It is also important to note that under no circumstances should you try to treat your child’s peanut allergy at home. These trials still need more safety information and when and if they become available treatment will be conducted in a hospital setting.

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.