Eczema, skin inflammation is also known as atopic eczema.
I’ve seen many babies, some as young as 3-4 weeks with whole body eczema. By the time I see them, Mom and Dad have often already tried everything – different soaps, less bathing, more bathing, and every over the counter cream money can buy.
Research has finally linked the digestive tract's “microbiome” to skin health. The “microbiome” refers to the population of bacteria that live in our gut. They play an important role in mediating the immune response, especially in regards to allergies and eczema. We know from recent research that children who have eczema are more likely to be born via c-section. We know they are more likely to develop asthma. We know that they are more likely to have an impaired microbiome.
The Causes of Eczema
Food allergies (IgE mediated) are known to exacerbate eczema, but non-IgE mediated food sensitivities can also play a role in eczema. The most common food culprits are dairy (cow’s milk, cheese and yogurt), eggs, gluten (wheat, barley, rye and oats), soy, peanuts, fish, beef, corn, citrus and even tomatoes. Stress, genetics, antibiotics, and environmental toxic ingredients like heavy metals can also play a role in atopic dermatitis.
What can I do?
1. Get rid of any personal care products that may be irritating. Certain chemicals can trigger eczema, or make it worse in susceptible children. Watch for irritating ingredients in:
Parent’s personal care products including perfume, deodorant, etc.
Laundry detergent & fabric softener. (Choose an unscented laundry detergent.)
Make sure to choose skin care products that are free of:
Fragrance, or “parfum”
Sodium Laureth Sulphate
2. Establish and maintain a healthy population of gut bacteria. When is the best time to begin giving a child probiotics? C-section babies should start on the first day of life. Babies born to mothers who have been on many antibiotics and have a family history of eczema should also start early.
3. Give your baby DHA. Studies show that mothers who take DHA when they are pregnant help reduce the risk of their babies having eczema, allergies and asthma. Babies have a very limited ability to convert omega 3 fatty acids to DHA which is crucial for developmental and skin health.
4. Consider giving some of the following foods
-tea of Job's tears barley and mung beans
-tea of dandelion and corn silk
-tea of aduki beans, Job's tears barley and corn silk
For an individualized program of health for your child, contact Dr. Sally Sherriff at 831-295-6327.
Holistic Pediatrics, Natural medicine for eczema, Natural medicine for children, Holistic Pediatrician, Naturopathic medicine.