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going on holidays with eczema

Holiday packing when your child has eczema and itchy, dry skin

Sounds strange but I always find myself delaying our family holidays and when we finally book a holiday feeling anxious in the weeks leading up to it. Why? Eczema. Flare ups can be unpredictable and when we are headed somewhere new with different weather, different triggers and restaurants which I haven’t spoken to about food allergies, I get really nervous.

But there is no way I would want us to miss out on our family holidays and the memories and time together. Here is what helps to take away my nervousness about the unpredictability of eczema flare ups when going on holidays with my family.

Research your holiday destination

Be aware of what type of weather you are likely to experience, if your child’s eczema is triggered by heat, choose a holiday destination or a time when the weather is more mild.

Find out about your accommodation amenities and facilities, for example is air conditioning available (for heat triggered eczema), is there a bath for daily bath time (to maintain your skincare routine), are the floors carpeted (for dust mite triggered eczema).

Find out where the closest pharmacy and nearest medical centre is and how far away the hospital is. It’s always better to be prepared just in case of an emergency and know where you can go for medical attention.

What to pack to go on holidays for your child with eczema

When you are on holidays and out of your everyday environment it becomes even more important to stick to your skincare routine. We need to give the skin as much moisture and protection as we can so it can deal with a new environment and being exposed to different triggers. It’s also a good idea to speak to your Doctor before you go on holidays to go through your eczema management plan.

It can be hard to find the same products you are using for your child’s skin while away. So make sure you pack their:
What to keep in your bag to have handy when on the plane or in the car
  • Any prescription medication
  • Moisturiser
  • Cold compress (especially useful for a long journey in a warm car)

Now that you are prepared, enjoy your family holiday and time with your loved ones!

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.

Can stress make your child's eczema flare up?

Is stress a trigger for my child’s eczema?

Stress. Why is it that on the days my little boy went to daycare his skin always seemed worse? So many people told me it was the sandpit, but it even on the days there was no sandpit play his skin was still affected. So what was causing his eczema to flare up while he was at daycare?

After a lot of monitoring all sorts of possible triggers, like whether he played in the sandpit that day or not, analysing the weekly weekly menu to try and pick up a pattern, taking note of whether it was a hot or cold day, and making sure his own sunscreen was applied which I knew didn’t irritate his skin… I wasn’t able to find a culprit.

There was one possibility left. And this was stress. The emotional stress of being in a less familiar environment, being away from me, and dealing with the everyday happenings at daycare was quite possibly the reason for his eczema flare ups.

What types of stress triggers eczema?

  • Separation anxiety – When your child is away from you for long periods of time, it may cause them mental and emotional distress and result in their skin being more itchy.
  • The stress scratch cycle – When your child feels stressed from irritants such as clothing and dust, they may begin to scratch their skin intensely.
  • Busy schedules – Just like all of us, when schedules get more hectic, we start to feel stressed and begin to worry. Children also feel this when their routines become overloaded or changed, so it is important to maintain a more relaxed routine for your little one and sometimes choose to do less.

How can I manage my child’s stress?

There are some changes you could make which could help to lessen eczema flare ups related to stress.

Itchy skin can make sleeping well really challenging and the lack of sleep can result in your child feeling stressed, worsening eczema symptoms. To help your little one (and you) get a good night’s sleep you could try:

  • Bath time can help some children relax, especially if it is part of their known routine.
  • After the bath massage their skin using a hydrating moisturiser or oil to protect the skin from drying out and getting itchy during the night.
  • Limit the use of screen time two hours before bed time.
  • Make sure your child’s bedroom is a relaxed environment – not too hot or cold. It is also important to dress your child up in pyjamas made of cotton which is a breathable fabric and lessens the heat around the body which can cause itchiness.

Although stress may not directly cause eczema, it can increase the incidence of eczema flare ups. Just being aware of stress as a trigger for your child’s eczema can influence decisions you make about your day to day routine.

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.

are pets good for children who have eczema?

What type of pets are good for children who have eczema?

Can children with eczema have pets?

We all love pets, especially children. They are a great way of passing time and having fun, while at the same time helping your child learn responsibility. Choosing a family pet when your child has eczema has comes with extra considerations, this is because pet dander and other allergens or irritants can potentially trigger eczema and aggravate flare ups.

Which pets can trigger eczema?

Any animal that sheds pet dander has the potential to trigger eczema flare ups in your child. Dander is material shed from the body of various animals that have fur, hair, or feathers. You may have heard of ‘hypoallergenic pets’ being better for your eczema child, however there is no proof that these animals are better for children with allergies because all pets have the potential to transfer dander and saliva to your child.

Research on pets and eczema

Studies conducted by Epstein, which was featured in ‘The Journal of Paediatrics’ showed that dog ownership among young children who tested positive for dog allergies, decreased the risk of developing eczema when they are older. Six hundred and thirty six children at risk of developing allergies, living in Cincinnati were collected and results showed that those with dogs were less likely to develop allergies compared to those who did not own a dog.  Doctors call this the hygiene hypothesis, where the theory is that being exposed to germs when a child is young strengthens the immune system.

Although research found this data for dogs, there was not very much information on whether cats act the same way. Studies showed that children who owned a cat before the age of one, who were also tested positive for allergies, were much more likely to develop atopic eczema than those who did not have a cat. If your child is allergic to cats, living with one may make them more likely to get eczema flare ups. Experts say that more investigations need to be administered on the positives and negatives of owning different pets while you have a child with atopic eczema.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, eczema flare ups can worsen with triggers such as allergens and pet dander (pet saliva, urine or skin flakes), and not always just the pet’s fur. Since research is still not 100% conclusive, it may be safe to expand your options and buy a pet with no fur instead (maybe a goldfish?). You can also spend time with the pet you are considering buying and see if your child’s symptoms worsen, and then make a decision.

Tips for living with a pet

If you suspect that your pet is aggravating your child’s eczema, here are some tips to help minimise flare ups:

  • Vacuum and dust regularly to get rid of pet dander and fur, as well as any dust mites that might be roaming around
  • Keep your pet out of bedrooms
  • Wash the pet bedding routinely
  • Bathe and groom your pet regularly to get rid of allergens that may be on them. It is best to do it outside to minimise contact with your child.
  • Make sure to wash your child’s hands after they have finished playing with the pets. Regular bath time is important to cleanse the skin especially after your child has come into contact with irritants and allergens.
  • Always remember to moisturise to keep the skin soft and hydrated!

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.