Yesterday I shared with you the main points covered by speakers at the Against Childhood Eczema Launch event in London. Today I’d like to continue by looking at some of the suggestions they offered and what to avoid, as well as the products recommended by the representative from the National Eczema Society, Margaret Cox and Dr Steve Hewitt, a skin specialist for E45
Here are some assorted facts and tips I took away from the day:
- Diet triggers 25% of eczema in children under three. The best way to determine what food is causing the problem is to remove everything and reintroduce one food at a time in six week intervals, but this must be done with medical input to prevent the child becoming malnourished.
- When monitoring a child for eczema, remember that the thin parts of the skin will show the condition first, followed by the flexible parts such as the elbows and back of the knees.
- Do not cross contaminate creams and lotions. Don’t dip hands that have been on eczema back in to a pot of cream. Use a spoon or spatula, or a pump-top cream.
- Hard water aggravates eczema.
- Put a light layer of emollient on the child during the day, and a thicker layer at night when the skin self-heals. Be aware of the products and detergents you use:
Many baby products that parents are given as testers and samples contain harmful ingredients. One of these ingredients is called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate,Â which was developed in the 1900s as an industrial engine cleaner!
- Bio washing powders form a residue build up on clothes and are known irritants.
- Household cleaners have just as many harsh chemicals in them – then our children crawl around on these floors and put everything in their mouths.
- Make sure to use alcohol and fragrance free baby wipes or cloth baby wipes.
- Baby shampoo should be fragrance and colour free.
- A general rule of thumb in our home, which I think is generally good to follow, is if I can’t pronounce the ingredients, we don’t use it, eat it or wash with or in it.
E45 has been around for many years. The company make an emollient bath oil and wash cream and a moisturising lotion which are all on the ACBS list. This means that they can be classed as both cosmetic products and medical products and as such can be prescribed by a GP or bought over the counter.
Although E45 is working closely with GPs and pharmacists to spread awareness of the benefits of this cream, many GPs will still prescribe the old-fashioned aqueous cream, which was originally designed as a soap substitute and not as a leave on emollient. Hewitt recommends printing out and taking along to your GP the NICE guidance for childhood eczema and insisting on a prescription for a better emollient (like E45)
There have been periodic rumbles in the media over aqueous cream and its potential to make eczema worse when used as an emollient (although it’s fine when used as a soap substitute). E45 says it receives fewer than 10 complaints of a negative reaction per million users, compared to the 56% of people who reportedly experience aqueous cream as being â€˜stingy’ or worsening the problem.
E45 skin specialist Dr Hewitt suggests starting on an emollient regime as soon as the redness starts. The more emollient used to lock in moisture, he says, the less need there will be for steroids which thin the skin and should never be used for more than two to three weeks at a time. He also recommends however, that no emollient should be used for more than one year. After a year, change emollient. However, don’t wait that long if a product or a regime does not work for your child.
The National Eczema Society has produced free downloadable packs for teachers and schools to better understand eczema and how it affects children
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced guidelines on dealing with childhood eczema.Â It is a long read, but if you are a parent dealing with this, it is worthwhile.
The Against Child Eczema campaign Facebook site will have news and information that parents and health care professionals alike may find useful (I’ll post the link as soon as it is live).
At the event I received a duplicate set of E45 Bath Oil, Wash Cream and Lotion, which I’m giving away to a UK-based reader. Although the product is used for eczema it is also safe to use as a general cosmetic moisturiser.
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below. I will select a random winner on 19 March.
Although not prerequisite for entry to the giveaway, I’d be thrilled if you chose to become a follower of this website (see the widget in the sidebar) or signed up for the RSS feed.
If you are on Twitter please Tweet this information (and the previous post) to spread the message of hope and help to frustrated parents and suffering children, and to support the Against Childhood Eczema campaign.
AND THE WINNER IS:
Hayley! Please email me your address, and I shall post this off to you. Congratulations, and I hope it helps!
Thanks everyone for entering!