National Eczema Week – 17th September
With September often brings a fresh start to family life and wanting to make positive health changes. As it is National Eczema Week this month (17th September) and I find that I see a lot of clients with this condition, I thought it would be useful to offer some support.
Eczema, also know as atopic dermatitis now affects 1 in 5 children in the UK. If your child is 1 of the 20% diagnosed with this condition they’ll suffer from: cracked skin, redness, bacterial infection, itching & scratching. Does this sound familiar? Add to that broken sleep, as the skin gets hotter and itchier at night, digestive problems and even asthma and allergies, it all adds up to not much fun for anybody.
What is eczema?
The skin is the bodies largest organ, providing a strong barrier to protect it from infections and irritation. Its made up of a thin outer layer, an elastic middle layer and a fatty layer at the deepest level. Each layer contains skin cells, water and fats – all of which help maintain and protect the skin.
Healthy skin is moisturised by fats and oils and plumped up with adequate water levels. In eczema sufferers the skin fails to produce the necessary levels of fats and oils and it is less able to retain water. As a result the body’s protective layer isn’t as good as it could be.
You might notice itchy patches on the hands, elbows and on the inside of the elbows and backs of the knees, but eczema can appear anywhere, even the eyelids.
It is important to know:
Family history – Eczema can be genetic, it is common in other family members.
Recurrent illness – Dry skin is more likely to crack and as a result infections, bugs and germs can get into the cracks.
Products overload – Many everyday products can aggravate the condition by removing oil from the skin.
Child born by C-section – Often children who are born via C-section have lower levels of beneficial bacteria, meaning they have a weaker immune system and can be more prone to inflammatory skin conditions.
The good news is many children will grow out of this, for those that don’t, eczema can be treated by adapting your child’s diet,
Here are my top 7 tips:
- Ditch gluten, sugar & dairy – Eczema is often a sign of “leaky gut”, a condition where undigested food and bacteria end up passing through the gut lining into the blood stream. These toxic substances result in inflammation. one way to deal with this is to remove triggers that make inflammation worse such as, gluten, sugar and dairy.
- Try A Food Intolerance Test – food sensitivity could also be a trigger for eczema, so taking a home Food Intolerance Test, and cutting out certain foods could help ease symptoms. Ask me about food intolerance testing.
- Take fish oils – research has shown that fish oils can reduce inflammation and they also create a calming effect-much needed when your childs condition is stressing him or her out.
- Adopt an anti- inflammatory diet – introduce plenty of healthy oils, containing anti-inflammatory omega-3. Include fish such as, salmon, mackeral and sardines and nuts such as, walnuts, almonds and pecans. Use herbs in your cooking as they have medicinal benefits and include berry fruits, sweet potato, broccoli, artichokes, garlic, onions, beetroot, avocados and red apples, as these all have particular anti-inflammatory properties.
- Increase your child’s nutrients – Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of allergic skin diseases. A finger prick test is a simple way to check. Contact me for details. Vitamin A has also been shown to have a significant impact on mucosal immunity. Recent studies have found that breast feeding can reduce the risk of eczema in children by over 50%.
- Take probiotics – Probiotics are great for a healthy gut, and have been known to reduce the severity of eczema. As well as supporting the immune system, they may also regulate hyper sensitivity responses. For advice on the right type of gut friendly probiotic contact me.
- Consult an expert – Making sense of all the contributing factors around childhood eczema isn’t easy. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially when you’re trying everything, but nothing seems to make a difference. That is where I come in. Email me via: email@example.com to book in a free discovery call and lets talk through how we can start tackling eczema from the root cause.