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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.

Top tips for weaning your baby off the dummy

Top tips for weaning your baby off the dummy

If you’ve decided it’s time for your child’s dummy to go, you might be wondering how on earth you start the weaning process. Some children give up their dummies by themselves, whilst others become almost addicted to theirs, needing them for sleep and comfort.  Getting rid of the dummy is a personal decision, unique to each family. It’s your choice and you the parent will know when the right time for your child is.

If your child is pretty attached to their dummy, you may find it easiest to take a gradual approach to weaning. Babies use dummies for comfort, self-soothing and managing stress, so you want to ensure they’re ready to wean.

Try using the dummy less for comforting during the day. Leave their dummy in their bed and explain it’s only for sleepy time. Gradually, use the dummy less and less when re-settling your child during the night. For example, give the dummy to your child every second time he cries in the night on day two, then every third time on day three, and so on.

Once your child is coping for longer periods without the dummy, set a time and date – then take away the dummy. Give your child a special reward or treat to mark the occasion, maybe a new bedtime book or toy that can help alter the bedtime routine to help break the association with the dummy.

For older children who understand the concept a bit more, you could introduce the idea of the dummy fairy. Similar to the tooth fairy, the dummy fairy will come and take their dummy and leave something in return.

Amy, from Perth, said she had success with the dummy fairy method: “Our son Noah was really attached to his dummy for bedtimes, but at 2 years old, we decided it was time for the dummy to go. We started talking to him about the dummy fairy coming to visit as he was such a big boy now. We explained she took dummies from big boys and gave them to new babies. We chatted about this for a few weeks, and even went to choose a special gold box to leave the dummies in. Every time we saw a new baby, he asked about their dummy and the dummy fairy who must have given it to them.

“Eventually the day came, and he placed his dummies in the box after one sad, final suck. We left the box outside, and when he checked later, the dummies were gone and in their place was a new teddy, new pair of PJs and a couple of new bedtime books. He really surprised us by going to bed fine that night, excited to be in his new PJs and feeling very grown up! We think it was the right time for him, and the fact we could talk about what was going to happen first worked in our favour. We will definitely use the same technique with our now 1 year old when the time is right.”

Jo Frost, AKA Super Nanny shares some of her top tips in this great video. She also recommends the dummy fairy, with a sprinkle of tough love, of course! Her idea it to tell the child that the dummy is going the night before and then actioning the plan the next day.

If you’d  prefer to take things slowly, there’s also a 15 day plan over on Baby Centre which is nice and simple to follow.

There are also a number of books available that can help you discuss getting rid of the dummy with your child prior to the big day. The Last Noo Noo is a good book for young children where the main character, a dummy addict called Marlon eventually gives up his beloved noo noo.

Just remember, once you’ve picked a date and taken the dummies away, stick to it! You don’t want to have to repeat the process all over again. Throw them in the bin so the child can’t stumble across them and you can’t be tempted to go back on your word! Good luck!

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 I manage my temper with toddlers

How I manage my temper with toddlers

We all get angry with our toddlers sometimes and I am definitely no exception. Throw in a stubborn three year old who won’t stop teasing his little sister by taking every toy she picks up to play with away from her to an already hectic morning when you’re going to be late for work, you’re surrounded by chaos and you can’t find your left shoe. Not to mention having been woken up by your toddler several times in the night with teething issues and you’re running on caffeine empty on top of everything else. Here you have a situation which is likely to get ugly if don’t take stock of your emotions and temper.

But it is so hard. Our kids seem to have the ability to trigger us more than anyone else can. As parents we get taken on an emotional journey as we love and bond with our children. Moments of pure bliss as well as not so blissful moments. As a mum I have felt a long list of emotions – frustration, irritation, exhaustion, fear, anxiety stress, and sometimes anger.

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screen time for infants

How much screen time is recommended for infants?

When it comes to screen time, what I hear time and time again from all good sources is infants under two should be kept away from tv. The main reason for this is that babies learn best through interacting with real people and not the people on the screen. The other reason is it’s harder for under-twos to get good visual information from the tv. Pop over here to find out how your baby sees tv.

What’s surprising is that watching tv takes a lot of effort for babies. It can make them really tired and if they’re not old enough to turn their heads away they can become distressed.

Screen time after my toddler turns two? The effect of tv on toddlers

What about screen time once your toddler turns two? There are a few reasons still to keep your toddler away from too much tv. The biggest one is that tv distracts your toddler from creative and physical play which is better for their learning and development. Another important reason is that if you have the tv on for distraction or comfort it may become a habit for your toddler as they get older.

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vegetables, toddler, fussy

My toddler won’t eat vegetables

I have been battling with my toddler to eat vegetables ever since I can remember. I have tried so many different things, from hiding pureed carrots and sweet potato in bolognaise sauce (which lasted about 2 weeks) to telling him that if he doesn’t eat his green beans he won’t grow to be big and strong (which never got off the ground). It was becoming an every day battle and I usually came out the loser.

My toddler is a ‘dairyvore’ – he could happily survive on cheese sticks, although his preference is Jarlsberg, as well as strawberry, yoghurt and milk. I guess on the upside this is better than having a ‘treativore’ which I think my youngest is shaping up to be, but for the moment at least she dabbles in beans and pumpkins.

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