Help! My baby has eczema!
When your baby or toddler has eczema it can feel like an uphill battle. Nothing seems to work, and your poor bub continues to itch themselves all day & night.
When our boy was 6-months old he broke out in eczema all over his body and would scratch all night, waking in the morning quite often weeping from where he had scratched his hair out. After 12-months of trying lots of things - some worked, some didn’t - it cleared up and his skin has been pretty clear ever since. Touch wood!
So, if you’re going through this battle at the moment, hang in there. I caught up with Dave Kwon, parent and clinician to find out more about eczema and what we can do to help…
What is eczema?
Also Known As atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic skin disease that often begins in early childhood. Ranging from mild to severe, the symptoms present as dry, red and itchy skin that can impact day-to-day life. There is no cure for eczema yet, but there are plenty of options to treat and manage the condition.
Is it more common in babies than adults?
Approximately 30% of children are affected with eczema. Onset is often before they are 12 months old with most showing signs at 3-4 months. The good news is the majority grow out of it before they are 5. The most common areas affected are the face with varying degrees of involvement in the abdomen and limbs, typically sparing nappy areas. The reason for this is not certain but probably due to the continuous hydration effect from nappies. Typically from around 18 months, sometimes earlier, eczema also likes to inhabit skin folds. Children with cradle cap, especially itchy cradle cap, are commonly associated with the manifestation of atopic dermatitis.
What causes eczema in babies?
Genetic predisposition and environmental factors are thought to be the 2 major causes of eczema. However, genetic predisposition is only inflamed if it is interacting with one or more environmental factors, so it is fair to say environmental factors are the main driving factor for this condition. This makes it incredibly hard to pinpoint what the exact cause is.
This leads parents to the next hurdle of treatment. How can we help our babies and toddlers?
The struggle is real as every child reacts differently to various stimuli and as parents, we’re there with them and know how difficult it is for them not only physically, but psychosocially as well. The effect is not limited to the child though, some Mums develop feelings of guilt that they passed on an ‘eczema gene’.
The key thing to remember is that genetic predisposition is only inflamed when there is interaction with environmental factors, so it’s very important to try and identify what triggers a flare up. Where possible, avoiding the trigger is the best treatment for eczema. One common misconception is the correlation between eczema and food intolerance or food/airborne allergens. For a small amount of cases this is true, but the overwhelming majority, environmental irritants are the problem. Some examples are:
● agents that dry out skin like soap, shampoo and chlorine in swimming pools
● abrasive clothing or surface such as wool, nylon or carpet
● chemicals such as artificial fragrance or paraben
As a parent and clinician I understand how tough it can be to watch this affect our children and how frustrating it is as just one small thing can make the condition flare up. I believe as parents we can only do our best to make sure we avoid exposure to any known triggers then try to find and administer suitable treatments.
There are often times of self-doubt when parents say "I must have done something wrong”, but please know that this is not the case. The eczema journey is one of discovery, trial and error. Treatments that advertise a ‘cure’ or work for your friends’ children might not have the same result for you, so the best you can do is stick with it until you find something that works for your child. If a flare up is significant, a topical steroid cream or ointment can be applied. If severe, it is unlikely that a simple skin care product will make a huge improvement, but used in conjunction with steroid therapy, it can work wonders.
You created your own creams after witnessing the pain parents were going through. Can you tell us a little more about Allganic?
As medical doctors, my business partner and I frequently encountered children with atopic dermatitis and were often asked for product suggestions from their parents. I realised that some very well known products that most doctors would recommend actually contain known irritants such as artificial fragrance, parabens etc. This was a conflict of interest for me, especially after my wife and I had our own sons. We have a family history of eczema and constantly worried about this condition from pregnancy on. Our interest shifted to skin care products, including fabric care as cloth is a common trigger, as this was one thing we could control unlike the weather and outdoor temperature. We probably tried every product in the universe but could not find exactly what we wanted for two main reasons:
Reasonable price: even though we loved some products, their prices were something we couldn’t continue to pay. When you’re using something so often and long term, the cost adds up quickly.
Preferred ingredient list: fragrance free was important to us and particularly difficult to find. We appreciate how nice that ‘fresh linen’ smell is, but it usually comes from artificial fragrance, which for children with eczema is like poison.
So we started researching and decided to make our own at home the way we preferred. We loved our products and they worked! If they worked for us, we knew they would work for others so we had to share them. Lucky to have talented people around us who shared our values and vision, Allganic was born and our team on its way.
To meet the highest of standards, we source our natural origin ingredients here in Australia and have our products made here too. Internationally, Allganic was awarded "best product" at Yiwu International Expo China and we recently acquired the ECOCERT ORGANIC certification which is the highest organic certification possible in the EU. Our product quality is reflected in these achievements which are very proud of.
WANT TO WIN A PACK FROM ALLGANIC?
Simply head on over to the Little Rockers Radio Facebook page to enter.
This is what’s up for grabs… A great GREAT prize if you are needing to change everything to help your child with eczema.
1 x 1LT Laundry Liquid
1 x 1LT Fabric Softener
1 x 300ml wash
1 x 300ml moisturiser
2 x 100ml wash
2 x 100ml moisturiser
3 x 20g balm
3 x sunscreen cushion
Keen to know more about Allganic?
Like the products, the story of Allganic® is beautifully simple. Two doctors who became parents, began looking for skincare to suit their children and were overwhelmed by the amount of online information and lengthy product ingredient lists.
As medical practitioners with a passion for providing effective but gentle solutions, they knew there had to be a better way. Ideas and dreams flowed around the dinner table about how they could benefit families with their expertise, always returning to these questions:
1. What products do our children really need?
2. Can we make them safe and suitable for children and adults with sensitive skin?
The answers, again, simple.
1. Our children only need to be cleansed and moisturised.
Understanding the lengths they would go to for the health of their own children, they knew other parents felt the same. This was their commitment: We will only use the highest quality, natural origin ingredients. Our entire range will suit all people with sensitive skin, making it safe for the whole family to use. The result is a premium range of hypoallergenic, dermatologist certified skincare that contains no nasty chemicals and can be used in the simplest of routines by everyone.
The star? Avocado oil! The science is in on how good it is for your insides, so all Allganic® skincare is enriched with it to shine on the outside too. Sourced from organic farms and rich in Vitamins A,B,D and E, the avocado oil in our Hair & Body Wash followed by Moisturiser will not only leave your skin feeling baby soft, but also help soothe dry irritated skin and eczema.
For those whose skin needs a little extra love, our Body Balm is especially for you. Organically sourced, it will immediately add concentrated moisture to dry and irritated skin, then improve the skin barrier to help protect from future issues.
Protecting your replenished skin from the outdoor elements is essential, so we created Australia’s first Sun Cushion. SPF 50+ with UVA/UVB protection, this sunscreen contains nothing but natural origin ingredients including certified organic avocado and beeswax, zinc oxide for 100% physical barrier and is 90 minutes water resistant. The lightweight, leakproof packaging makes this a must-have for not only baby bags, but also handbags. The sponge makes for quick and easy re-application through the day… even your kids will have fun keeping themselves safe from the sun!
So, your skin is now nourished and protected. Why cover it with fabric washed in chemicals when we have a natural, effective laundry liquid and fabric softener? With no optical brighteners, artificial fragrance or phosphorus, you can be confident your clothes and skin will be happy with the change. Made from 97% natural origin ingredients including organic, antibacterial Lemon Myrtle from Queensland, 1 litre of liquid will provide 33 standard washes that leave your clothes clean and fresh, not smelling like a perfume store.
As important as creating a natural range is, it is equally important to ensure we meet the highest of quality standards. To ensure this, we are proud to say that all of our products are natural locally made and achieved perfect 0% scores in skin irritation/sensitisation evaluations… all without being tested on animals.
Allganic is a proud sponsor of Little Rockers Radio.