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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.

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 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


 

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

 

 

 

eczema in the heat and warm weather

What are some quick tips for helping eczema in the heat?

Trying to manage our children’s eczema during the heat can be challenging because heat is a common trigger that can aggravate intense eczema flare-ups.  It is so hard emotionally to see our children distressed and also difficult practically when we are constantly doing our best to manage their eczema. Here are some ways to control the symptoms caused by heat and make our children more comfortable.

How does the heat affect eczema?

Healthy skin acts as a barrier to protect the skin from coming into contact with bacteria or any other microbes in the environment. However, when your child has eczema, the barrier doesn’t work as well and is more prone to have bacteria living on and inflaming the skin.

During warm weather, our children sweat to try and regulate their body temperature. Sweat contains trace amounts of chemicals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron, which may be irritating to the skin. In high humidity, sweat cannot evaporate easily, leading to a build-up of these chemicals and causing itching and irritation.

Sweat is made up mostly of water. When water sits on the skin it causes evaporation on the skin’s surface which takes away hydration from the skin. The makes the skin dry and more itchy.

Heat stimulates the itch reflex, so it is important to make sure your child is kept in a cool environment and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Managing eczema in the heat

  • Wear soft, breathable clothing

Loose fitting clothing is least likely to trap heat in the body and allow your child to stay cool. Stay away from nylon, wool or any rough fabric that may cause itchiness and irritation. Breathable cotton is best as it absorbs perspiration and is more comfortable for your little one’s skin.

  • Stay away from the sun during the hottest part of the day

Avoid be outside during the hottest part of the day to minimise flare-ups and have better control of your child’s body temperature.

  • Keep up the fluids

Making sure your child is drinking plenty of water will help to keep the body’s core temperature from rising. Ice blocks are another great way to increase fluid intake and also cool down the body down.

  • Using cool compresses or wearing a dampened singlet

Applying a cool compress to the skin or wearing a dampened singlet will immediately start taking the heat out of the skin and the edge off itching. Apply the wet compress for a few minutes, or until you can feel it warming up and then repeat until the skin cools down. When you have finished, moisturise the skin to stop hydration leaving the skin.

  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

Make sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times. If you are at home, keeping your moisturiser in the fridge will cool down the skin when you apply it. 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 water while the skin is still damp – this is when the skin can absorb the most amount of hydration from moisturising.

  • Regular bath time routine

Regular bathing is important in managing eczema because it helps to wash any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface and allows a greater opportunity to absorb moisture using a moisturising and protecting bath soak. It helps to also wash away sweat or pollen from the environment to soothe your child’s skin.

This blog post was brought to you and your baby 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 stop the itching

What can I do to stop my child itching their eczema skin?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition and itching is often the main symptom. Generally, children develop symptoms at a very young age, usually at three months and although many children will grow out of their eczema, some will experience eczema symptoms, including itching, right into adulthood. Understanding eczema and what we can do to relieve the itch will lead to better eczema management and less flare ups and infection.  

What causes eczema?

Researchers believe a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role. Those with eczema have a sensitive immune system so when triggered by an allergen, the system attacks it, leading to itchy and painful skin. The skin also lets moisture escape easily, which also makes it dry and itchy and allows irritants to get into the skin, causing inflammation.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

The first sign of eczema is usually red, inflamed skin, and the first symptom of eczema is usually intense itchy skin. This leads to dry and bumpy skin, with red patches of different sizes, generally on the face, neck, arms and legs, but these can occur anywhere on the body. Eczema locations can change with time, for example, when your children start to crawl, you may see more eczema appear on the lower legs

What to do when your child is itchy?

Night time can be one of the most difficult times to manage itching and too often we notice our children’s sheets with blood from where they have cut their skin itching. Dressing your child in 100% cotton pyjamas will let the skin breathe and not keep air trapped at the surface of the skin which increases heat and therefore the need to scratch. Using 100% cotton sheets, and blankets and ditching the doona and quilts also reduces heat around the body.   

Hot skin is itchy skin and using cool compresses can help by taking the heat out of the skin. Run a washer under cool water and squeeze it until it’s only damp not dripping wet. Place this on your child’s itchy skin for a few minutes and then repeat. Feel the washer after you take it off, it will be very warm! Also doing the same with one of your child’s singlets and then dressing them in it will bring down their core temperature, this can also help to lower the temperature of the skin and make it less itchy.

One of the most important ways to manage itching is to maintain your child’s regular skin care routine.

A healthy skin barrier is so important in managing eczema and controlling the eczema itch. Make sure you keep up with your child’s skin care routine to put the most amount of moisture into the skin and stop triggers getting in as well as moisture escaping.

This blog post was brought to you and your child 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.

 

face eczema

How can I treat face eczema

Eczema is a very visible condition, eczema on the face is more noticeable and because of this can cause even more distress. In babies the cheeks are often the first place eczema will appear and children who have eczema will often be affected by eczema on their faces.

What can I do to manage it?

  • using cold compresses

Taking the heat out of the eczema skin can help to relieve the itch and give immediate relief. To make a cold compress use a face washer and run it under cool water. Rest it on the face for a few minutes until it starts to feel warm, then take it off and run it under cool water again and repeat until the skin is cool and less itchy.

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Eight facts about eczema all parents should know

Eight facts about eczema all parents should know

What is eczema?

Eczema is a condition where the skin is very itchy and dry and over time the skin can harden in places. It follows a pattern of flaring up and then improving. There’s usually no single factor responsible for an eczema flare up. In between flare up the skin is usually dry and flakey.

How common is it?

In Australia about one in 5 children under 2 are affected. More than 6 million Australians have suffered with eczema at some point, most of these before they turn five years old.

What causes it?

It is not very well understood what causes it, although it is generally agreed that genetics plays a role. The skin barrier in people who have eczema does not work as well as in people who don’t have it. In people who have eczema, the skin lets moisture easily escape, which makes it dry and it also allows irritants to get into the skin which can make it itchy and inflamed.

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self care and eczema

Self care when your child has eczema

The emotional impact and stress eczema can bring to a family with a child who suffers with eczema can make getting by with a young family that much harder. It is becoming well know that families with children with eczema go through a lot of stress and can experience a lesser quality of life. In some studies the stress on parents, particularly mothers, was found to affect them more than families where children had other severe medical conditions such as deafness and diabetes. Self care is very important.

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