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is eczema hereditary?

Is eczema hereditary?

We still don’t know what actually causes eczema, and there are so many variations that it can sometimes take a while to even narrow down which type you’re dealing with in the first place! The latest thinking is that eczema is caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Abnormal function of the immune system
  • Environment
  • Activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
  • Defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in

So, is it hereditary?

Eczema certainly seems to run in families, so that suggests a genetic role in eczema’s development. A major risk factor is having a relative who has or has had eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies such as hay fever.

I have eczema, does this mean my child will?

Not necessarily. Lots of adults with eczema go on to have kids with no skin issues at all. Similarly, some children will develop symptoms when both parents seem to be eczema-free. If you do suffer from eczema or asthma, or have particularly bad allergies, keep an eye on your child’s skin. They may be more predisposed to eczema, so it’s a good idea to seek treatment as early as possible. It’s always better to treat eczema as soon as the sensitivity and itching begins – that way you can prevent some of the more severe reactions.

Preventative care

We have a range of gentle and natural solutions for those with sensitive skin, so it may be worth using these instead of normal children’s bubble baths which have a lot of harsh chemicals in them. If you do notice an issue with your baby’s skin, make sure you go and see a GP straight away. There are many kinds of eczema, all of which require slightly different treatments.

Using our bath soaks every night will help keen skin soft and hydrated, even if your child doesn’t suffer from eczema! It’s a great way to soothe any general itchy or dry skin and prevent breakouts for those little ones with sensitive skin.

Mum guilt

Don’t feel guilty if you have eczema and your child develops it too. It’s a very common issue for many, many children. Focus on creating a management plan for your bub so breakouts are less often and less severe. If you want to know more, check out some of our other blog posts – we’ve got lots of great tips on how to prevent toddler flare-ups, advice for managing eczema in hotter months and practising self-care if your child is diagnosed with eczema.

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 scratching skin

How can I help my eczema child stop scratching their skin?

When your child keeps scratching their eczema skin, nerve endings are opened which allows bacteria into their sensitive skin, leading to bacterial infections, inflammation and increased risk of scarring even when eczema flare-ups are reduced. We want to do everything we can to avoid the itch-scratch cycle which once your child starts scratching can be very hard to break and often leads to infection.

What is making  my child scratch their skin?

The need to start scratching is generally triggered by the external environment such as dust, house dust mites or even prickly clothing. When your child’s skin feels aggravated, the brain receives a nerve signal, urging your child to start scratching really fast to relieve the irritation. Once the irritation is gone, there are no more signals received and that itchy, scratching feeling goes away. However, by then your child’s skin is probably already inflamed and broken which makes it easily infected.

Tips on how to stop your child scratching

  • Regular bath time routine

Bathing your child regularly will remove any irritants sitting on their skin which could cause inflammation and infection and by using effective products, it will also will give the skin the best opportunity to absorb moisture.

  • A bedtime routine

Children with eczema often find it difficult to sleep during bed time especially because there is no activity to distract them from scratching. Their skin can also get hot at night, and cause more irritation and flare-ups. A good bedtime routine can help your child have a good night’s sleep. It is important to keep your child’s room cool and dress them in comfortable nightwear, preferably clothing made of breathable cotton, as well as light cotton bedsheets and cotton blankets when needed. Layering cotton sheets and cotton blankets should be used instead of heavy doonas which trap heat around the body, which increases the need to scratch.  Make sure to also keep your child’s skin hydrated by applying moisturiser, around 20 minutes before bed time to let it soak in.

  • Use Cold Compress on eczema skin

It helps to use a damp washcloth and hold the compress to your little one’s skin until the itching sensation goes away. This is especially useful on hot days to take the heat out of the skin, or an a very itchy patch of skin when your child has come into contact with an eczema trigger.

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care 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