How To Manage Eczema Naturally
Some of the ways weve been managing eczema naturally for my toddler. Lots of helpful tips, products, and advice to getting some relief for your little one.
Ive talked briefly about Yusufs eczema and the various changes weve been making to help manage eczema naturally and get it under control. But Ive gotten a few questions about it lately, so I figured it was time for an actual post that really outlines our journey and how Im managing my toddlers eczema.
I should note beforehand that Im sharing our story in hopes that it can help someone else dealing with eczema or dry, itchy skin. That being said, this is just our story with our toddler. Every case of eczema is different different severity, different causes, different symptoms, etc.
So what worked for us may not work for you although most, if not all, of the recommendations I share for how to manage it can be helpful for anyone.
Also, eczema is an internal problem and can only be treated by finding out the true cause and fixing it. Lotions and creams may provide temporary relief, but without treating the root cause it will never truly go away.
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Some Of The Best Places To Live In The Us If You Have Eczema
- San Francisco, CA, USA
With an annual humidity of 72%, this place has beautiful weather throughout the year. Compared to other cities, the air pollution in San Francisco is much lesser, which means that there are fewer allergens to trigger eczema symptoms.
- South Florida
Although the place has many sunny days almost throughout the whole year, it is a comfortable city because humidity is not too much and the area has one of the best fall seasons. The temperature ranges from 18C to 21C in summer and does not dip below 9C in the coldest seasons too.
- Austin, Texas
With an average humidity that varies between 84 in the morning to 47 in the evening, the health conscious city of Austin is a suitable state for people suffering from Eczema. The temperature is mostly sunny throughout the year, but with moderate heat and cold seasons.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
Noted as the countryâs least polluted state with zero high-ozone days, Honolulu is especially suitable for people whose eczema triggers up in cold weather. The humidity is balanced to moisturize and dry your skin naturally. All you have to do is make sure you have enough sunscreen throughout the day, even while staying indoors.
Though the place is mostly hot throughout the year, humidity is not extreme, and the weather during October is one of the most beautiful seasons to experience.
- New York City
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Protect Sensitive Skin With Long Pants & Long Sleeves
When your child wants to go outside to play, its important to protect their skin with long pants and long sleeves. This will keep environmental triggers like dirt, dust, and grass from irritating your little ones skin and causing a flare-up.
Be sure to apply an emollient product before dressing your child, and if its warm, choose soft, breathable clothes to prevent excessive sweating.
This same rule applies to their pajamas. When your child is bundled up in their blankets at night, they can easily become overheated if they go to sleep wearing tight pajamas. Sweating and overheating are major causes of eczema flare-ups, so dress your little one in loose, cotton pajamas so their skin can breathe.
We recommend our Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas. Designed for babies and toddlers with eczema-prone skin, these 100% cotton pajamas deliver skin-soothing moisture throughout the night!
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Symptoms Of Discoid Eczema
Discoid eczema causes distinctive circular or oval patches of eczema. It can affect any part of the body, although it does not usually affect the face or scalp.
The first sign of discoid eczema is usually a group of small spots or bumps on the skin. These then quickly join up to form larger patches that can range from a few millimetres to several centimetres in size.
On lighter skin these patches will be pink or red. On darker skin these patches can be a dark brown or they can be paler than the skin around them.
Initially, these patches are often swollen, blistered and ooze fluid. They also tend to be very itchy, particularly at night.
Over time, the patches may become dry, crusty, cracked and flaky. The centre of the patch also sometimes clears, leaving a ring of discoloured skin that can be mistaken for ringworm.
You may just have 1 patch of discoid eczema, but most people get several patches. The skin between the patches is often dry.
Patches of discoid eczema can sometimes become infected. Signs of an infection can include:
- the patches oozing a lot of fluid
- a yellow crust developing over the patches
- the skin around the patches becoming hot, swollen and tender or painful
- feeling sick
- feeling unwell
Water Temperatures That Help And Hurt
Baby swimming classes are often held in warm temperatures, which are usually ideal for infants but not for eczema sufferers. Health experts warn that this can be drying to skin and worsen existing symptoms, while cooler water can be extremely soothing towards angry skin. Before taking your child, it is always worthwhile ringing the centre to find out the pools temperature.
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Other Types Of Eczema Treatments
Wet wraps can be an effective way of cooling the skin and providing relief from the intense itch associated with an eczema flare and are very useful for reducing night time itch. Wet wraps should only be used after assessment by a specialist and guidance on how and when to apply them given.
Antihistamines are not recommended to be used to treat itch in eczema, as the itch in eczema is not caused by the release of histamine. However sedating antihistamines are sometimes used where the eczema is causing a severe lack of sleep for the child. In this case a short course can help sedate the child so they dont scratch and to establish a sleeping pattern.
Topical calcineurin inhibitors are used for controlling flares of eczema that have not responded adequately to topical steroid treatments, particularly in delicate areas, such as around the eyes, the neck and flexures of the arms and legs. They work by altering the immune system in blocking one of the chemicals that contributes to the flare of eczema. There are two types of calcineurin inhibitors called Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus , and they are usually initially prescribed by a specialist rather than a GP. Occasionally a mild burning sensation can be experienced on the first few applications of these products which usually stops after more frequent use. Calcineurin inhibitors are very useful for use on delicate site such as the face, neck and flexural areas.
Food & Your Baby’s Body
At the most basic, there are only two ways that food can have an impact on your baby’s body:
- Through direct food-to-skin contact.
- Through ingestion .
The interesting thing about each of these is that only one is likely to cause a localized eczema flare-up, while the other can cause a more system-wide reaction. We’ll explain both individually so you can see the distinction.
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What Causes Eczema And Scabies
Scabies is caused by an allergic reaction to mites living on your skin. Itâs also highly contagious. Eczema, on the other hand, is a skin irritation that gives your skin a rash-like appearance.
Scabies. The itchy rash is caused by an infestation of tiny, burrowing, eight-legged microscopic mites called Sarcoptes scabiei. The itching becomes more intense at night at sites where the mites burrow. It spreads from skin-to-skin contact and is more commonly found in places like child care centers, prisons, nursing homes, and classrooms.
The female mite burrows under your skin and lays eggs. When the eggs hatch, the baby mites make their way to the surface of your skin and spread to different parts. Someone with scabies may have 10-15 mites on them. The itching is usually caused by an allergic reaction to the mites, eggs, and their waste. They can be found on furniture, clothing, and bedding.
Eczema. This rash-like condition may start in childhood, adolescence, or in adulthood. The red, inflamed patches range from mild to severe. While experts donât know the exact cause, they suspect that eczema is triggered by genetic or environmental factors. However, if you have eczema, itâs not contagious.
Can Dairy Consumption Trigger Eczema
It may be possible for dairy products to contribute to the severity of eczema by inducing itching, which leads to skin lesions. Early experiments showed that food allergens can be absorbed after food intake and elicit systemic reactions such as flares.
The consensus is that dairy products or any other foods do not cause eczema, but they can be a trigger and worsen symptoms. Recent guidelines for atopic dermatitis do not support a restrictive diet to manage eczema. If food avoidance is necessary, it should be under the guidance of a dietician or an allergist.
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Keep Pets Away From Certain Areas
Letting mittens clamber all over your bed or on your fabric couch is a one-way ticket to a scratch-party. Creating barricades to limit the places your pet can access will at least reduce the amount of allergens on the areas you use the most. While it is possible for airborne particles to settle in these spots, a reduction in exposure is a good first step.
Its important to remember that when an animal is removed from an area or the entire home, it can take many months before the allergens have fully disappeared. This will also require a lot of cleaning with good/non-irritating products to help speed up the process.
Eczema Coping Tips Avoid Changes In Temperature
Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can sometimes irritate the skin for example, going in and out of air-conditioned buildings on hot days or heated buildings on cold days.Hard physical activity or exercise that makes you sweat heavily can also trigger the itch of eczema.Suggestions include:
- In winter, dont overheat your house. Dress warmly when going outdoors and remove the extra layers as soon as you return.
- In summer, dont over cool your house. Air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
- Avoid hard physical activity in hot weather. For example, do your gardening first thing in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.
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Foods To Avoid In Babies And Toddlers With Eczema
Eczema can be a frustrating and uncomfortable issue to deal with.
It can be especially difficult to manage in infants and toddlers, as many factors can contribute to the severity of your childs symptoms.
In some cases, making changes to your childs diet can help reduce symptoms, and eliminating certain foods from their diet may even help prevent flare-ups.
Here are 7 foods to consider avoiding for babies and toddlers with eczema. Keep in mind that its always best to speak with a healthcare professional before eliminating foods from your childs diet.
What Foods Should I Avoid While Breastfeeding A Baby With Eczema
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, lactating mothers with infants at high risk for adverse reactions need to minimize their use of peanuts and tree nuts while eliminating eggs, cows milk, and fish. Similarly, breastfeeding should be the policy of infant girls ages two and under, according to the World Health Organization.
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What Are The Differences Between The Skin Symptoms Of Food Allergy And Eczema
An allergic reaction to a food typically happens quickly. Symptoms of an allergic reaction then go away, usually after several hours, as long as the food is not eaten again. Eczema is a chronic condition that does not go away quickly. Eczema tends to show up in predictable places, such as on the cheeks of young babies or elbow creases of older children. The places on the skin where symptoms of an allergic reaction to food appear are more unpredictable. Hives, redness and itching from an allergic reaction can show up just about anywhere on the body and even in different places each time the food is eaten.
How Does Heat Trigger Eczema
Heat causes water loss which dries out the skin. Dryness breaks down the skins natural barrier which can then no longer protect it from irritants and toxins, allowing them to get into the skin and cause damage. Hot temperatures can also make us sweat. Not only does sweat take all the moisture out of the skin, but it also brings any irritants to the surface where they can aggravate and inflame the skin.
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The Right Strains And The Right Dosage:
You can take these strains when you have an active flare-up, but ensure to start with a low dose, slowly increasing every few days until you reach the recommended dosage.
- Lactobacillus casei
Each type of eczema will require a different method to achieve visible results within weeks, but for many, that could be as little as 2 weeks or less. If you are suffering from atopic dermatitis without allergies then this is the best option for you.
What Triggers My Childs Eczema Or Causes It To Get Worse
Some of the most common eczema triggers include:
Even your babys stuffed animals may be a trigger for eczema
- Dry skin
- Allergens such as pet dander, pollen or dust
Your childs eczema may be worse in the winter when the air is dry. Saliva from drooling can also cause irritation on your babys cheeks, chin and neck.
The best way to manage your childs eczema is by getting to know their symptoms and triggers so that you can help keep it under control.
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Minimize Contact With Irritants
Aside from natural remedies, some preventive care can also help ease eczema. For instance, many commonly found irritants can make things worse for your baby. Here are a few tips on how you can keep them at arms length:
- An allergic reaction to dust mites can worsen eczema. Since these organisms and their feces can accumulate on soft toys, youll need to make sure that theyre clean. Wash your childs toys at 60°C or place them in the freezer for 24 hours in a plastic bag weekly to get rid of mites. Bed linen should also be washed at 60°C to clear out mites.
- Certain fabrics may irritate your babys skin. Keep to breathable and friendly fabrics like cotton and avoid nylon or wool. If your baby has started crawling, dress them in cotton trousers so that they dont rub against the carpet.
- Avoid bubble baths and soaps as they can irritate and dry out the skin. Choose a mild, fragrance-free cleanser instead.
- Identify other irritants that could be troubling your baby and limit contact with them. Common irritants include animal dander, cigarette smoke, and chemical sprays.15
Eczema At Other Times Of Year
Although eczema generally improves in the spring, for some people the opposite holds true. Seasonal pollen can be a trigger, causing eczema flare-ups alongside hay fever. Some people also find their symptoms exacerbated by temperature changes, and get flare-ups during the transitional seasons .
Others find that their symptoms worsen in the summer months. Typically, this is due to the heat itself, which may cause sweating, coupled with the drying effects of air conditioning once you get inside. There may also be further triggers at this time of year, like swimming in a chlorinated pool or sitting on grass.
In each of these cases, the usual advice applies try to pinpoint any environmental triggers and minimise your exposure to them wherever possible. Try to stay cool, rinse off chlorine straightaway and always make sure to moisturise.
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Nicotine And Caffeine Causing Bad Reactions To Me
Recently, I have been having really bad reactions to nicotine and caffeine. After consuming either of them, I find myself in a confused and agitated state. I feel focused, but it feels as if my thoughts are blocked and I cant think properly. I find it hard to understand basic life situations. I even find it hard to speak and understand language. I also seem to lose my short term memory and all of my actions feel meaningless. I never used to have a reaction like this in the past. In-fact, I used to benefit from nicotine and caffeine greatly. They helped me manage my symptoms of ADHD. Also, I quit consuming either of them for at least 2 months, and once using them again, I still experienced this effect. Why is this happening to me?
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Mindful Meditation And Relaxation Practices For Stress
Research suggests that mindful meditation especially regimens like mindfulness-based stress reduction can help alleviate psychological stress and improve emotional well-being.
JAMA Internal MedicinePsychiatry Research
Other complementary relaxation techniques include:
- Light, graceful exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, or ballet
- Positive imagery or visualization, in which you focus your thoughts on an image associated with your desired change, such as a tropical rain forest to represent moist skin
- Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted at specific points of the body
- Distraction activities, such as writing, painting, video games, and knitting
- Listening to soothing music or nature sounds
Lio says he typically introduces his patients to several of these techniques and asks which ones sound good to them. Finding ways to relax and de-stress are critical, he says. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right fit for someone, but once found, it can make a tremendous impact.
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