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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.

sun for eczema

Is sun good or bad for eczema?

Summer is a lovely time of year – swimming, picnics, days at the beach and long, balmy evenings. However, for those of us with children who suffer from eczema, it can be a stressful season.

There are a lot of varying opinions on whether the sun is good or bad for eczema, and there are no simple answers!

Some people find that their eczema improves with exposure to sunlight (this is particularly true of the contact and discoid types), while others experience a worsening of their condition in the sun.

Some types of eczema are even directly caused or made worse by exposure to the sun, although this is rare. The term for this is photosensitive eczema.

Once you work out what triggers your child’s (or your own) eczema, you can start to put a management plan in place for the coming warmer weather.

There is a lot of new research that says exposure to sunlight is beneficial for eczema sufferers. Vitamin D is great for lots of things, and some people do find a little sunlight can really help clear their skin. As well as Vitamin D, sunlight also triggers the release of compounds (regulatory T cells and nitric oxide) which dampen the problematic immune system response in people with eczema.

As with any outdoor activities in Summer, you need to follow the normal Sun Smart recommendations:

  • Cover up with loose, cotton or UV protection clothing
  • Use sunscreen (more below about which types to look for)
  • Wear a hat and sunnies
  • Seek shade
  • Don’t go out in the peak UV hours

Try planning some nice outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon sun when it’s not too warm. Dress your child in light, cotton layers to keep them cool. Don’t let your child get too hot or sweaty, as this can then become a trigger for a flare up. Stick to semi-shaded areas and always use sunscreen (sunburn can also cause skin inflammation and make eczema worse). Use your judgement when exposing them to a bit of sunshine – you want them to soak up those lovely rays, but to stay safe and cool!

When it comes to choosing your child’s sunscreen, try and find a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These types of sunscreen create a physical block meant to keep UV rays from penetrating the skin. They’re non irritative but effective – unlike some sunscreen with chemical blockers which can cause irritation, burning, and itching for those with sensitive skin.

Top Tip! Keep your sunscreen in the fridge in Summer for a super refreshing and cooling application!

 

In conclusion, sunlight is a good thing for most people with eczema. A little exposure to some light morning sunshine is something that can help manage flare-ups and improve the condition of sensitive skin, so long as you’re careful not to overdo it.

Spending more time outdoors this Summer? Check out our post about Spring remedies where you can find lots of tips for managing your child’s eczema in the great outdoors.

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.

spring remedies

Spring remedies for eczema

Spring is just around the corner, and whilst most of us are glad to see the warmer weather return, it can affect those with sensitive skin.

Heat can be a big trigger for those with sensitive skin and eczema, meaning flare ups can be more common in Spring and Summer. Hotter days also mean we have the air con on more, and that can be really drying – another thing that can exacerbate eczema symptoms.

With Spring also comes the release of pollen and other allergies from grass and flowers into the air which can irritate those prone to reactions. So, before the warm weather kicks in, we thought we’d give you a few tips to help cope with the change in season.

  1. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise again

The key to keeping eczema under control is moisturising the skin regularly. Don’t wait until the skin becomes red and itchy, make it part of your daily routine to moisturise your child so their skin stays soft and hydrated. Keep some cream or ointment close-by or in your handbag too so you can keep them nice and moisturised throughout the day if you’re out and about.

  1. Pick your playtime’s 

Try to organise your day so you’re out and about in the early morning and later in the afternoon. Avoiding the hottest parts of the day can really help manage those eczema symptoms. Another great way to beat the heat is to set up some water play in a shaded part of your backyard so the kids can still get outside and stay nice and cool.

  1. Be Sun Smart

We’d recommend being Sun Smart to anyone who’s out in the Aussie sun, but those extra layers of rashies, hats and sunnies do a really great job of protecting those with sensitive skin. If your child gets too hot and irritated, a cold compress is a nice way to cool them down and relive the itch.

  1. Swimming

We all love a dip to cool off in the warmer months, especially little ones! Sea water is a great natural remedy for eczema, so a splash in the ocean is always a good thing. If you go to your local pool, try to choose one that is saltwater based as chlorine can trigger eczema. If this isn’t possible, just take some simple steps to reduce the chances of a flare up. Make sure you shower your child straight after their swim using an oatmeal based, soap-free wash and cover them in moisturiser to protect their sensitive skin.

  1. Comfort at night

In Spring the nights can start to get warm, so make sure your child’s room is a nice cool temperature. Dress them in light cotton clothing (this is a great idea during the day too) so the skin can breathe and pop a fan on if it is feeling a bit stuffy.

  1. Rugs

Spring is typically picnic season, and that means lots of time outside. Sitting directly on sand or grass can really irritate your child’s skin, so make sure you have a blanket or rug with you on these occasions. You can get some great lightweight ones now that fold or roll up nice and small, perfect to keep in the back of the car for your alfresco dining occasions!

Need more suggestions, What are some quick tips for helping eczema in the heat.

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 soothe that tricky scalp area

The hair and scalp can be a tricky area to treat. The scalp can sometimes require conventional treatments like medicated shampoos, but there are also natural remedies you can try at home to relieve symptoms of itchy dry scalps and help your baby recover quickly.

Here are our top four natural remedies to help soothe the itch.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains wonderful fatty acids that can add moisture to the skin and relive the itch. Try applying cold-pressed virgin coconut oil directly to your child’s scalp after bathing. Use it before bed to keep the skin moisturised overnight and wash off in the morning so the hair isn’t greasy. Also read, All you need to know about coconut oil for baby eczema

Colloidal oatmeal

This is the main ingredient in our entire range – we can’t get enough of it. Oats have natural properties which are proven to help relieve the symptoms of itchy, dry skin. These properties are soothing, protective, anti-itch and moisturising. Try our oatmeal bath soak, eczema moisturiser, along with our nourishing scalp oil for combined efficiency for relieving itchy, dry scalps. This three step process layers hydration into the skin using moisturising products which not only seal in natural goodness to keep skin healthy, but also protect the skins barrier so it functions at its best.

Olive oil

Raid your pantry, because olive oil is also packed with healing properties for the scalp. Apply to the affected areas and leave the oil on for about an hour. Use a brush to remove scales from your baby’s scalp, reducing any build up. Rinse, brush again and then shampoo hair as usual.

Itchy Baby Co Natural Scalp Oil

We’ve combined a few of our favourite natural ingredients to create this soothing oil. It’s packed with the goodness of oat extract, which forms a silky barrier on the skin to trap hydration and help stop moisture loss. The organic coconut oil reduces flaking and the calendula oils are great for soothing and giving nourishment. Just pump a small amount into your hand and massage directly into your child’s damp scalp until the oil starts to be absorbed.

For hair in particular, sometimes loose flaky skin can get caught and you find yourself picking at your child’s hair to get it out. We’ve come across a few products over the years, and can recommend this Cradle Cap Brush and Comb to help remove that extra dry, flaky skin. Perfect for using after moisturising and applying our natural scalp oil.

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.

hydrating foods to pack in your child's lunch box

Hydrating foods to pack in your child’s lunchbox to help dry skin

Which hydrating foods can help dry skin?

“Make sure you drink plenty of water” I hear myself saying over and over only to empty a barely sipped from water bottle every afternoon after school. Looking after dry skin means it’s so important to keep the body super hydrated and lunch and recess often means a lot of running around in the heat without replacing any of the water the body loses. Packing hydrating foods in your child’s lunchbox can boost their fluid intake and make a big impact on keeping their skin healthy.

The good news is that drinking water isn’t he only way to keep bodies hydrated and keep the skin healthy from the inside. There are some great hydrating foods we can pack in our children’s lunch boxes to up their fluid intake for healthy skin.

Here are the best and most hydrating foods with their water content included to pack in your child’s lunch box to help keep the skin hydrated, healthy and happy…

1. Cucumbers: water content 95%

Cucumbers are made up almost entirely of water and also provide a small amount of some nutrients, such as vitamin K, potassium and magnesium.

2. Watermelon: water content 92%

Watermelon is probably more popular than cucumbers! It is made up of so much water and also has some fibre and several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.

3. Strawberries: water content 91%

Strawberries provide lots of fibre, disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and folate.

4. Peaches: water content 89%

As well at their high water content, eating a peach with the skin on can also contribute disease-fighting antioxidants.

5. Celery: water content 95%

At 95% water, add a little pot of hummus and hopefully this will make this super hydrating food a staple in your child’s lunch box.

Keeping your child’s skin healthy during school term also means sticking to your regular skincare routine to add hydration to the skin and strengthen the skin’s barrier against moisture loss.

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.

skincare natural ingredients

Which natural skincare ingredients are in our products?

In formulating our skincare range we spend a lot of time and resources researching and evaluating the properties of natural ingredients which are going to offer the most benefit for our children’s itchy, dry skin. Each natural ingredient is assessed for its ability to intensely moisturise, hydrate, soothe and protect the skin. So what are the natural ingredients we use in our itchy baby co skincare products to relieve itchy, dry skin?

What’s our hero ingredient?

We talk a lot about the wonderful properties of colloidal oatmeal to protect, nourish and cleanse our little one’s skin. Colloidal oatmeal is where our skincare products began and is the main ingredient in our super moisturising, nourishing and cleansing bath soaks as well as featuring in our moisturiser, face mask and our scalp oil is formulated with oat extract. Why are oats in all of our skincare products?

Oats have natural properties which are proven to help relieve the symptoms of itchy, dry skin. These properties are soothing, protective, anti-itch and moisturising.

If we look closer at oatmeal’s chemical structure, we can see more reasons for oatmeal’s effect on itchy, dry skin:

Oatmeal contains many types of phenols, which have antioxidant and soothing activity.

Oatmeal is packed full of starches and beta-glucans, so it can hold moisture and help the skin hold moisture too.

Plus, the cellulose and fibre in oatmeal helps soften your baby’s skin.

In addition, colloidal oatmeal is also made up of saponins which means it is a cleanser as well as a moisturiser. Bathing in colloidal oatmeal not only allows the skin to benefit from its moisturising, protective and soothing properties, but also washes away triggers and pollutants which can sit on the skin. That means you don’t have to use any other soaps or washes which might be drying on the skin.

Colloidal oatmeal is a particularly finely milled formulation which unlocks the natural properties of oats making them more accessible to the skin.

But wait… there’s more than one hero ingredient in our skincare products!

Let’s put the spotlight on some of our other hard working natural ingredients we formulate into our skincare products to look after after itchy, dry skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter is highly moisturising and hydrating, in part due to its high content of fatty acids which help the skin hold moisture. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E and F. These all help to keep the skin healthy as well as intensively moisturise. You’ll find shea butter in our moisturiser.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found naturally in many of our ingredients, including coconut, shea butter and goats milk. We also added extra vitamin E to our natural oatmeal face mask with vitamin E and our oatmeal moisturiser with coconut oil. This is because vitamin E protects the natural oils within the skin, strengthening and nourishing the skin.

Beeswax

Beeswax is loved by dry and sensitive skin conditions because of three main reasons:

1. Like colloidal oatmeal, it forms a protective barrier to keep the skin safe from triggers in the environment, while also holding in moisture.

2. Unlike petroleum based products, beeswax lets the skin breathe. This means it doesn’t keep in heat on the skin’s surface.

3. Beeswax draws moisture into the skin, which helps to keep dry and itchy skin hydrated.

You’ll find beeswax in our moisturiser.

Organic sunflower oil

Sunflower oil helps to protect the skin’s barrier which helps the skin fight against dryness. By protecting the skin’s barrier we can lock moisture and hydration to help with dry skin. Sunflower oil is found in our scalp oil.

Organic calendula flowers

Calendula is another name for marigold flowers, and it has a wonderfully soothing effect on the skin. Calendula contains mucilage which softens the external skin and helps the internal mucous membranes of your baby’s skin. It’s high in carotenoids and flavonoids which keep the skin cells healthy.  Calendula flowers are found in our scalp oil.

Carnuba wax

Carnuba wax comes from the carnauba palm found in Brazil. It’s known for its moisturising power, and its emollient properties which makes skin soft. It also creates a protective barrier on your baby’s skin to help it retain moisture. We use carnuba wax in our itchy baby co moisturiser.

Marshmallow root powder

Marshmallow isn’t just a confectionary, it actually comes from a highly potent root. Marshmallow root has a cooling, soothing effect on skin, and is known to help your baby’s skin stay soft. It also contains flavonoids which help soothe the skin. We added marshmallow root powder to our natural oatmeal bath soak with marshmallow root.

Coconut

Coconut is well known for its soothing and moisturising properties. Coconut contains saturated fats which help the skin hold in hydration and keep moisture from escaping through the skin’s pores. The high levels of fatty acid, called capric, caprylic and lauric acid offer natural protection for your baby’s skin. Coconut is high in Vitamin E which helps nourish the skin through its antioxidant properties. We added organic coconut to our premium formula for natural oatmeal bath soak with goats milk & organic coconut. We’ve also used coconut oil to enrich our scalp oil and moisturiser.

Goat’s milk

Goat’s milk has many nutrients, minerals and enzymes that can help nourish the skin.

What’s special about goat’s milk?

Goat’s milk has a high fat molecule content, which makes it extra moisturising. The pH level in goat’s milk is similar to healthy skin. This means it can help with dryness and protect your baby’s skin. Goat’s milk contains Vitamin C, D and E, which all help reduce skin dryness. We use goat’s milk in natural oatmeal and goats milk bath soak.

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.

helping my child's dry skin

My child has dry skin – what can I do to keep their skin healthy?

Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition where the skin becomes itchy, scaly and starts to crack. Looking after your child’s skin may take a lot of time and can be stressful, especially seeing them in pain from scratching so much. It can happen for a number of reasons, but it is important to remember that managing dry skin by using effective skincare products in a regular skincare routine will help keep your child’s skin healthy. With some children dry skin can be harmless, but for others if the skin is not regularly moisturised, it can trigger skin irritation, itchy skin and eczema.

What can cause my child’s skin to become dry?
  • Cold weather – Skin tends to be driest in winter, because of the dry air, cold temperatures and low humidity, making dry skin and eczema flare ups common. Using heaters and fireplaces during winter may also contribute to low humidity and drying of the skin.
  • Hot weather – During hot weather, your child will sweat more to try and regulate their body temperature, causing water loss from their 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.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents – Many available soaps, detergents and shampoos contain harsh chemicals that help remove oil from the skin, but can also strip the skin of moisture.

Where on the body is dry skin common?

Most dry skin is caused by environmental factors such as weather, low humidity and having showers and baths where the water is too hot. Hands, arms, and legs are the most common areas of the body to become dry. In most instances, dry skin can be managed using an intensive moisturiser.

What does dry skin look like?

  • Flaking, itching, peeling and scaling of the skin
  • Dullness and redness of the skin
  • Rough patches on the skin
  • Grey, ashy skin with cracks that if left untreated can bleed

What can I do to help my child’s skin?

Using a hydrating as well as cleansing bath soak to add moisture into your child’s skin during bath time will add moisture into the skin and coat the skin to prevent water loss. When you take your child out of the bath gently pat their skin without drying it completely. Then moisturise immediately while their skin is still a bit damp. Moisturise their skin again in the morning to protect it during the day.  Choosing to moisturise their skin with an ointment, like our itchy baby co. moisturiser, rather than a cream or lotion will work better for dry skin. This is because it stays on the skin for longer to lock in hydration and stop water escaping from the skin’s surface.

 

This blog post was brought to you and your family 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.

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

 

 

 

helping eczema and dry skin

How do I help manage my baby’s eczema and dry skin?

Looking after your child’s eczema and dry skin can take a lot of time, which is especially difficult considering everything else you have to fit into your day. However, the key to managing eczema and dry skin is to find effective products  for your child and to use them in a skin care routine every day which will help to  keep their eczema skin moisturised, hydrated and nourished.

What is the most effective way to manage my baby’s eczema and dry skin?

Coupled with sticking to your everyday skincare routine which will add moisture into the skin and stop irritants causing inflammation, is to avoid triggers that can worsen eczema symptoms. Make sure to also dress your baby in loose clothes made of cotton, to avoid irritation of clothing rubbing on skin and stop the skin overheating.

What can make eczema and dry skin worse in my baby?

Your child’s eczema may be different to someone else’s but there are some common triggers to avoid:

  • Dry skin

Dry skin can make your baby itchier, so it is important to try and apply moisture on your baby consistently and avoid dry environments. Dry skin also creates environment which bacteria love to live in, which when your child scratches their skin can lead to infection and inflammation.

  • Irritants

These can be from clothes such as wool or polyester, or from soaps such as perfumed detergents and body soaps. Look for products which don’t contain drying and irritating agents like SLES, SLS, EDTA, parabens.

  • Heat and sweat

Heat is the most common eczema trigger because it causes the body to sweat when it tries to regulate the body temperature. Sweat takes all the moisture out of the skin, and increases the likeliness of bringing irritants to the surface where they can aggravate and inflame the skin.

  • House dust mites

These are tiny insects which live in your home, especially in humid climates. When eczema skin comes into contact with these allergens, it can increase skin inflammation and itchiness. Even though it is not possible to get rid of house dust mites completely, there are ways to reduce dust mites by wet dusting and vacuuming regularly.

How can I put moisture back into my baby’s skin?

Regular lukewarm baths washes away any bacteria or allergens that may have built up on your baby’s skin, minimising the possibility of infection. Using a hydrating and moisturising bath soak in the bath will add moisture into your child’s skin as well as strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier. When you take your baby out of the bath, make sure not to dry them out completely as moisturisers work best on damp skin. Maintaining a regular eczema skincare routine for your child will help keep them stay hydrated and help form a barrier to keep allergens and irritants out.

This post was brought to you and your child with love 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.