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Top 10 tips for protecting your babies skin this summer

We’re facing a heatwave of a Summer here in Australia which can be hard to manage when you have young children. Babies and young children can’t cool themselves as well as adults so they’re more at risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. The heat can also play havoc with your child’s sensitive skin and lead to flare ups of eczema.

Here are our top 10 tips for protecting your little one’s skin in the hotter weather.

1.      Be sun smart

After the age of 6 months, dress your baby in light, cotton clothing that covers their shoulders and arms. Always pop on a hat and if your child will be exposed to the sunlight, apply a natural, sensitive sunscreen. We’ve just launched our Itchy Baby Co natural sunscreen SPF50 that uses zinc oxide and colloidal oatmeal to protect your child’s sensitive skin, without causing irritation. (Please note, babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Their skin contains too little melanin, the pigment that provides some protection from the sun.)

 

2.      Splash around

Use water-play to cool your baby down in the heat. Set up a paddling pool in the shade or let your child play in a cool bath. Cool baths bring relief to the skin’s surface and won’t raise the body’s core temperature. Adding Itchy Baby Co natural bath soak to the bath will cleanse the skin, taking away any irritants sitting on the skin’s surface, whilst adding moisture, hydration and nourishment.

 

3.      Keep inside cool

Cool the inside of your house with fans and air conditioners. Keep your baby’s bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. When you put your baby to bed make sure their room is a nice cool temperature.

 

4.      Keep hydrated

Give your baby or toddler lots to drink on hot days. Extra drinks, icy poles and fruit like watermelon are great to hydrate on a hot day. You know your baby is hydrated if there are six to eight pale wet nappies a day. If your baby is under 6 months and exclusively breast or bottle fed, just offer them extra feeds. They don’t need extra water, but they may wish to feed more often during the hotter weather.

 

5.      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.

 

6.      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 moisturize 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.

 

7.      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.

 

8.      Store your moisturiser in the fridge during Summer

This is a fab mum-hack and my kids always love it when I smooth the freezing cream on them straight from the fridge! It’s refreshing when applied to the skin and has a cooling sensation which is divine during those Summer months.

 

9.      Wear loose, cotton clothing

The skin needs to breathe to be able to keep cool. Cotton is a breathable fabric and wearing loose clothing means the heat doesn’t get trapped at the surface of the skin causing itch and irritation.

 

10.   Eczema Friendly diet

A diet rich in foods which have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties can help to reduce eczema flare ups. These foods include broccoli, apples, cherries, spinach and kale. Fatty fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is also a strong anti-inflammatory. It is important to give your child foods with a high-water content such as cucumbers, apples, celery, carrots and pears to help keep their body hydrated.

This post was brought to you and your baby 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.

Outdoor activities for busy toddlers?

The weather is absolutely beautiful at the moment and we don’t know about you, but our kids just love getting outside! Although the heat can sometimes cause eczema flare ups (you can get some great tips on managing that here) you can still have lots of fun outdoors! We’d recommend playing in the shade wherever possible and avoiding the hottest parts of the day.

Here are our favourite outdoor activities for busy toddlers.

Catch

An oldie but a goodie! Balls are always enticing for toddlers and they also help with their gross motor skills and coordination. Grab a few balls of different sizes and textures and play catch with your toddler. You can also play round up the balls and get your little one to collect all the balls and try and throw them into a bucket or hoop.

Bikes or scooters

Kids love to get mobile and balance bikes, scooters and trikes are awesome for this. Let your child whiz around the garden or park, and if you want to add an extra bit of fun, add in some obstacles or create a road or path with chalk or tape!

Nature play

There’s so much to explore outside, and kids are fascinated by nature. Create a nature trail or a “shopping list” where your child needs to find a selection of items. This could include a stone, a feather, some dirt, a leaf, a gum nut etc. Once they have all the items, spend some time talking about them – what they feel like, what they smell like etc and if you have a magnifying glass, get them to look at the patterns close up. Finish off with some good old-fashioned mud pie making!

Bubbles

Bubbles are always a winner. You can get bubbles from most supermarkets and toy shops for just a few dollars. Remember once the mixture has run out, you can make your own solution with washing up liquid, water and sugar and keep reusing the tubes and wands! Making the mixture is just as fun for your child as playing with the bubbles!

Water play

Kids love splashing in the water – it’s fun and it also helps to keep them nice and cool! If you have a paddling pool, fill it up and add some bath toys for extra fun. If you don’t want your child to actually be in the pool, try filling a container with water and encourage them to wash their toys. Add a few bubbles and they’ll relish in soaping up their favourite toys and laying them out in the sun to dry. You can also add things like pom poms to the water and give your child a pair of tongs /or a scoop to get them out again.

Painting the walls

Don’t panic, we’re not talking about actual paint! Our toddlers love to copy grown ups and giving them a proper job always makes them feel special. Give them a bucket of water and a paint brush and task them with painting the fence or table legs. The water will change the colour of the surface, so they’ll get a great sense of satisfaction, and your furniture gets a bit of a cleaning!

Teddy bears picnic

Grab a picnic rug, some snacks, books and your child’s favourite bear and have a teddy bear’s picnic! You child will love taking Storytime outside and will love doing something special with you.

This post was brought to you and your baby 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.

Can sweating cause eczema flare-ups?

Here in Australia we’re blessed with beautiful sunny days and clear skies, and whilst that makes for a great outdoor lifestyle, it can play havoc with sensitive skin.

Heat is a common eczema trigger and heat also equals sweat. Your child will sweat more in warmer weather as they try to regulate their body temperature. Many people with eczema become itchy or experience a “prickly heat” sensation when they sweat, which is very uncomfortable.

Sweat contains mainly water, which takes all the moisture out of the skin, causing dryness and irritation. This environment attracts bacteria which further inflames the skin. Sweat also has a very small amount of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc which can also further irritate your poor bubs skin.

You may have noticed that the areas of the body where moisture accumulates most, such as the insides of the elbows, back of the knees and around the neck, tend to be hot spots for eczema rashes.

There are two types of sweat glands in the body that help with the sweating process. These are eccrine and apocrine glands. There are occasions when the opening of these ducts become occluded, especially in hot weather. This can lead to miliaria, a type of rash that commonly occurs on the back and can be itchy.

Management of your child’s eczema is crucial in the hotter months, and as always, prevention is better than treatment when it comes to flare ups. Try to keep your child as cool as possible on hot days. Carry a handheld fan where possible to cool the skin and get rid of any residual sweat. Dress them in light, cotton clothes that help wick away moisture and keep them in the shade where possible.

Make sure sweat doesn’t stay on your child’s body – wipe and dry the skin with cool water when necessary. If you do wash the skin, re-apply some eczema moisturiser or sunscreen straight away, to lock the moisture back in.  Keep your little one hydrated by getting them to drink lots of water throughout the day.

Here are some great tips on managing your baby’s eczema in hotter weather.

This post was brought to you and your baby 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.

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.

summer can cause eczema flare ups

Ten ways to help your baby’s eczema in the heat of Summer

The heat of Summer can trigger eczema flare ups and if the temperature, weather and climate trigger your child’s eczema, this time of year can be really challenging. Here a few tips to help get you through the heat of Summer when your child has eczema and itchy, dry skin and hopefully lessen flare ups and soothe the itch.

  • Keep drinking water as well as eating hydrating foods

Keeping your child’s fluids going will lower their core body temperature which means they will stay cooler and there will be less heat in the body to travel to the surface of the skin. Once heat gets to the surface of eczema skin it becomes trapped and doesn’t escape from the body as easily. This makes the skin, hot, itchy and bothered. Ice blocks are also a great way to increase fluids and also the coldness is a bonus. Being aware of hydrating foods and increasing these in your child’s diet can also help.

  • Store your moisturiser in the fridge during Summer

Sticking to your regular skincare routine to keep the skin nourished and strengthen the skin’s barrier is so important through Summer. Storing your moisturiser in the fridge so it’s refreshing when applied to the skin and has a cooling sensation is a must during Summer.

  • Use a cool compresses on the skin

Hot skin is itchy skin and so much of the body’s heat is trapped at the skin’s surface. Taking away the heat at the surface of the skin can reduce the need to itch and stop the itch, scratch cycle in its tracks.

  • Wear loose, cotton clothing

The skin needs to breathe to be able to keep cool. Cotton is a breathable fabric and wearing loose clothing means the heat doesn’t get trapped at the surface of the skin causing itch and irritation.

  • Patch test sunscreens and find one which is suitable for your child’s skin

Finding a suitable sunscreen when your child has eczema is often a case of trial and error. Patch test first before applying to the entire body and be aware of the ingredients. Often natural zinc sunscreens cause less irritation for eczema skin.

  • Soak a singlet in cool water, wring it out and wear it

This idea is particularly good if you have just come home from being out in the heat of the day because it is a quick way to decrease the body’s core temperature and take away surface heat from the skin. When you take the singlet off moisturise the skin straight away.

  • Cool baths with itchy baby co bath soak

Cool baths will bring relief to the skin’s surface and also not raise the body’s core temperature. Adding itchy baby co bath soak to the bath will cleanse the skin taking away any irritants sitting on the skin’s surface and also add moisture, hydration and nourishment to the skin.

  • Swimming in both salt and chlorine can reduce bacteria on the skin

Bacteria loves dry skin and skin infections are very common with eczema. Both salt and chlorine can reduce the amount of bacteria sitting on the surface of the skin, which is just waiting for a vigorous scratch to break the skin’s surface and jump in and cause infection. Just make sure you rinse the skin straight after swimming and apply moisturiser.

  • Play in the shade to lessen sweat

This will help to lessen any sweat which when it sits on the skin can cause irritation. If your child gets sweaty gently dab off any sweat sitting on the skin’s surface.

  • Sleep cool in cotton pyjamas and use only cotton bedding

Sleeping in cotton pyjamas and making sure your child isn’t sleeping under too much bedding will let the skin breathe and stop heat being trapped at the skin’s surface which will hopefully lead to a better night’s sleep.

 

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.

sport and eczema

Summer sport and eczema – some tips

Recently I enrolled my little boy into Saturday morning football and alongside the common thought of ‘how time is really going by quickly, I can’t believe we’re up to Saturday morning sport already’, was, ‘oh no, how is playing sport outside in summer going to affect his eczema and what can I do to help this?’

Heat is the most common trigger for eczema, couple this with sweating in non-cotton uniforms and my head was in my hands. But we have managed to get through the first two weeks of sport in good shape and this is what I have to share…

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